The 10th annual Practical Strategies for Health Care Professionals conference took place on Thursday June 9, 2011 and was an overwhelming success. Each year, McLeish Orlando co-sponsors this conference which is undertaken as a fundraising venture with 100% of the registration fees being donated to charity. This year, the conference raised over $20,000.00 for the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. McLeish Orlando wishes to thank all of the presenters and each of the over 200 attendees that helped make the conference a success.
In a novel decision, Newfoundland court has ruled that victims of moose-vehicle collisions may sue the government for negligently failing to manage the provincial moose population. Last year, there were an estimated 800 collisions or close calls involving moose.
The plaintiffs allege that the government introduced a non-native species of moose to Newfoundland in the early 1900s and since then has failed to manage the population.
The decision opens the door for the class of plaintiffs to move forward with the claim. However, the plaintiffs must still prove that the government has been negligent.
Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, we hope that the province can find effective ways to manage the moose population. Moose pose a significant danger to drivers and passengers. A bull moose can weigh over 1100 pounds. When a car hits its long, spindly legs, it crushes them and the top-heavy mass comes hurtling through the windscreen, killing or crushing those in the front seats.
The case has garnered attention from international publications such as The Economist.
The Ontario government is completing a review on what constitutes a “catastrophic impairment” when a person is injured in a car accident. The definition is critical: a person who has suffered a catastrophic impairment is entitled to access much greater levels of benefits for care and treatment. This is not akin to a lottery ticket. A catastrophically injured person must still prove that the benefits are reasonable and necessary. All the definition does is raise the ceiling so that the most seriously injured accident victims may gain access to the treatment and care that they legitimately need. Last week, an expert medical panel completed a review of the definition of catastrophic impairment. The recommendations are based on a technical review. In yesterday’s Toronto Star, Dale Orlando wrote an article urging the Ontario government to consider not just rigid technical definitions but also to consider the real needs of severely injured individuals.
The text of the article is reproduced below:
‘Catastrophic impairment’: What’s at stake
Published On Sun Apr 17 2011
Dale OrlandoPresident of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
“If any changes are to be made to this definition of injury, the government should ensure that everyone who needs the additional level of coverage has access to it. It is important to remember that, just because someone is deemed to be catastrophically impaired, that does not confer an automatic right to benefits. They must demonstrate need on an ongoing basis in order to receive benefits from their insurer.”
[This is the fourth part of a series by Patrick Brown on upcoming changes to Ontario’s Auto Insurance Laws]
Starting September 1, 2010, many family members who provide basic care needs to their injured family members will be cut out from receiving any compensation for these essential services. The new law eliminates any benefits going to a family member who help the disabled family member unless they show they suffered an “economic loss” because of it.
This will have a devastating impact on families who chose to have family members look after their severely injured loved ones. The new law was passed at the request of the insurance industry. It will force families to use outside agencies. Right now for instances, if a family member is hit by a car and suffers serious injury to the extent they can no longer dress, bathe or feed themselves, a benefit is available up to either 3,000 or 6,000 per month so that other families members can help. Under the new system, this funding will stop unless mom, dad or sibling can show they lost money somehow [i.e. they have to quit work or miss work without pay]. The only way to access the benefit is to have a third party care agency come in and provide the services. Continue reading