Prior to Jan. 1, 2010, the power to bifurcate a civil trial was not conferred by any statute or found under the Rules of Civil Procedure, but was based on the court’s inherent jurisdiction to control its own process, writes Shaw. The amendment then came into force, changing the rules so they included a specific provision for separate hearings, which reads: “With the consent of the parties, the court may order a separate hearing on one or more issues in a proceeding, including separate hearings on the issues of liability and damages.” Continue reading
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Toronto (July 3rd, 2013) – The family of a 48-year Toronto woman, struck and killed by a TTC bus last January, has launched a $3.2 million damage suit against the driver – who faces charges arising from the tragedy – and the Toronto Transit Commission.
“The sad reality, is that what happened to Wendy Martella, could happen to anyone,” said Dale Orlando, of McLeish Orlando LLP, the lawyer representing the Martella family. “Wendy was simply crossing the street, on her way home from work as a Senior Management Support Officer with Scotia Bank, when she was struck and killed by the TTC bus as it accelerated through a red light, without warning.”
The TTC bus driver, Magdalene Angelidis, appeared in court on Thursday, June 6th, 2013, on charges of careless driving and failing to stop at a red light.
Orlando writes in the statement of claim, that on January 23, 2013, at approximately, 4:00 p.m., Angelidis stopped the TTC bus in the intersection of Eglinton Avenue and Sinnott Road to pick up a passenger. The bus drove through the intersection, and a red light, striking Martella as she crossed the street on a green light. She suffered serious injuries, and died the following day at Sunnybrook Medical Centre.
The Martella family, alleges the TTC bus driver was distracted and failed to follow proper protocols by making an unscheduled stop in an intersection, writes Orlando in the statement of claim.
The TTC bus driver is scheduled to make a second court appearance at Old City Hall court on July 4.
See more at:
- CP24 News
- CBC News
- CTV News
- Metro News
- National Post – July 3, 2013
- National Post – July 4, 2013
- News Talk 1010 Video
- The Star
- Toronto Sun
- Toronto Sun.com Video
- City News Toronto
- City News Toronto Video
- Global News Toronto
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Brain injuries are occurring at an alarming rate among Ontario teenagers, a new study has found, making education and awareness on the effects of a blow to the head crucial for parents, says Toronto critical injury lawyer Dale Orlando.
“I think there’s a common misconception where people talk about a concussion without understanding that a concussion is considered to be a brain injury,” says Orlando, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP. “A concussion, by definition, is a mild or moderate brain injury.”
The study found that one in five teens in Ontario has had a concussion or another brain injury in their lifetime that was serious enough to leave them unconscious for five minutes or to send them to hospital overnight, CTV reports.
As well, a total of 5.6 per cent reported they had had a concussion or significant brain injury in the past year, it adds.
“Statically, the majority of people who suffer mild traumatic brain injuries go on to have full symptom resolution, but there is a percentage that have significant ongoing difficulties as a result of their mild traumatic brain injury,” says Orlando. “But even for the people that do go on to have a good recovery and are symptom free, they become much more vulnerable to more significant impairments if they suffer a second head injury.”
The study used data from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, CTV reports, noting it used responses from almost 9,000 students from Grades 7-12.
The survey found that the majority of traumatic brain injuries for the teens occurred during sports: 47 per cent for girls and 63.5 per cent for boys, with hockey and soccer accounting for more than half the injuries, the report says.
“I think as parents we have to be hyper vigilant and aware that a concussion isn’t just a minor thing like a scrape or a bruise that happens through the course of childhood that isn’t a big deal,” says Orlando.
“Many Canadian boys and girls grow up chasing the dream of making a living playing hockey, but Peewee games and Bantam games – they’re not the NHL,” he says. “Rules regarding hits to the head should be stringently enforced. Any hit directed to the head should have serious consequences for the person delivering the hit. Hitting from behind, driving somebody’s head into the boards … the penalty should be increased to eliminate it from the sport.”
On the soccer field, Orlando says it’s common to see injuries from regular activities, like heading the ball.
“That may not be appropriate for children of a certain age,” he says.
Orlando says while improvements have been made in sporting rules, more can be done to prevent serious injury.
“I think we’ve come a long way from the days of somebody suffering a concussion and having the coach say ‘Get back out there for your next shift.’ There are practices and protocols in place,” he says. “Parents have to recognize that a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and the restrictions associated with return to play are there for a reason.”
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A recent case points out very clearly that there is not an absolute bar when it comes to whether a negligent driver can still pursue a negligence claim against a road authority, Toronto critical injury lawyer Dale Orlando says in Law Times.
Deering v. Scugog (Township), says the article, involves a 2004 motor vehicle accident that left two teenage sisters quadriplegics, with the trial judge finding the defendant municipality to be two-thirds liable with the drive responsible for the remainder. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal last year, and the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal in December.
As all avenues of appeal have now been exhausted in the case, says Law Times, the Superior Court’s decision is the latest word on the duty of municipalities to keep roads in a reasonable state of repair and the “expected driving capability of the ordinary driver.”
Whether a negligent driver can still pursue a negligence claim, says Orlando, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP who represented the younger sister, “is a question of apportionment after objective analysis of the state of non-repair of the road.”
“Shannon Deering was admittedly negligent. She was over the speed limit on an unfamiliar, hilly road and, accordingly, contributed to the happening of the accident. But that is the second question. The first is: On an objective analysis of the test, did the road represent an unreasonable risk of harm to an ordinary, average user, not to a negligent driver? This includes drivers who are not super drivers,” he says.
Orlando also says he believes that the Deering decision doesn’t create any new tests but reinforces previous decisions. “Municipalities are not held to a standard to make the road safe for negligent drivers. That’s not what the case means,” he explains.
While many Ontarians look forward to Victoria Day weekend as an official summer kick-off, it is also the beginning of trauma season; the time when getting to and from the cottage can be a killer, Toronto critical injury lawyer Dale Orlando writes on Huffington Post.
“The Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s latest statistics show that in 2010, seven people died and more than 300 were hurt in over 1,300 collisions on Ontario roads on the Victoria Day long weekend,” the article says.
“A check with the City of Toronto’s traffic safety unit confirms that in Toronto alone, more than 130 people were hurt in over 400 collisions on this holiday weekend last year.”
“If you can avoid the rush-hour cottage country drive, do so; you won’t be sharing the road with those who, no matter how many aggressive lane changes they make, will only arrive about 15 minutes ahead of everyone else who is keeping their cool,” he writes.
“And it may seem obvious, but step away from the cellphone. Put it in your briefcase or trunk and out of your hands so you won’t be tempted to check just one last email.”
When it comes to boating safety, take extra caution on the first time out, advises Orlando.
“Wear a life jacket, and while it’s obvious, leave the alcohol on the dock because it’s just as dangerous as drinking and driving,” he says.
The provincial government has reopened renewed consideration of the provisions by starting stakeholder consultations not restricted to medical experts as was the case with last year’s review by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the article says.
“Where’s the fire?” Orlando, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP, asks in the report.
“They’re searching for a solution to a problem that simply doesn’t exist. Around one per cent of claims are deemed catastrophic. On a claim-by-claim basis, it’s a lot of money, but in the scheme of things, there’s no evidence that there’s been an upswing in costs.”
The Law Times article also discusses an Ontario Trial Lawyers Association advisory sent out in March that alleged the Insurance Bureau of Canada is misinforming officials about insurance premiums, claims costs, and profits.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada responded by publishing an actuarial analysis from JF Cheng and Partners on March 28, and then a KPMG LLP-authored analysis of Ontario private passenger automobile insurance results for 2008-12, the article says.