The Fine Print - April 2010

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The Fine Print, April 2010.

Text of The Fine Print - April 2010

  • In reviewing the Ontario Governments new

    regulations governing auto insurance, you may be

    left with the impression that the province has

    bowed to industry demands yet again with a slate

    of amendments that further erode the rights of

    accident victims. This latest government handout

    to the insurance industry will likely prove to have

    been unnecessary.

    The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) brought

    pressure to bear on the Ontario Government with

    a scare tactic campaign centred around rising

    premium costs. The industrys recent demand for

    insurance reform and premium increases is simply a

    rehash of the pleas heard by the same parties in 2002.

    In the past, insurance executives admitted that

    their cycles of protability are largely due to how

    they price their product during good times and

    the level of risk assumed in their investment deci-

    sions. When those decisions work in their favour,

    the industry enjoys gargantuan prots as they did

    during the 2003-2007 period, including record

    prots in 2004 and 2005. When the

    insurance market softens and the

    stock market slips, the industry

    expects Ontario drivers to smooth

    out the rough spots.

    As of September 1, 2010, the new Statutory Accident

    Benets Schedule (SABS) will include a host of

    changes such as:

    Replacing the existing Pre-Approved Framework

    Guideline for Grade I and II Whiplash Associated

    Disorders with a new Minor Injury Guideline for

    accidents occurring on or after September 1, 2010

    and capping medical/rehabilitation and assess-

    ment/examination expenses for minor injuries

    to $3,500.

    Reducing medical and rehabilitation coverage

    for non-catastrophic claims to $50,000, inclusive

    of all assessment and examination costs incurred

    by the injured claimant.

    Reducing attendant care cover-

    age for non-catastrophic claims

    t0 $36,000.

    Ontario SABS changesfurther erode accidentvictim rights

    Spring 2010

    continued

    Queens Park enacts legislation that reduces

    Accident Benets for Ontario drivers.

  • Eliminating caregiver, housekeeping and home

    maintenance benets for non-catastrophic

    claimants.

    Capping each assessment to $2,000 this

    applies for all assessments, whether they are

    requested by the claimant or insurer.

    Providing payment for in-home assessments

    only to claimants who have sustained more

    than a minor injury.

    Eliminating rebuttal examinations.

    Oering $2,500 for accounting reports to support

    income replacement claims.

    Merging treatment plans and applications for

    approval of assessments or examinations into

    one process.

    This erosion of rst party rights has been counter

    balanced to a small extent by a minimal restoration

    of tort rights. The new regulation includes the

    elimination in fatality claims of the statutory

    deductible of $15,000 from Family Law Act awards

    of $50,000 or less.

    For more information about the changes to auto

    insurance and practical strategies for dealing with

    the implications of the changes, visit us at

    www.mcleishorlando.com and view our free

    recorded webinar. The webinar will be available

    until June 24, 2010.

    Ontario SABS changes continued

    The world watched in horror as Haiti was devastated

    by an earthquake on January 12, 2010. People and

    charities around the world mobilized to donate

    their time and money to help Haiti rebuild.

    GlobalMedic, a disaster relief organization of

    Canadian paramedics and emergency workers

    was one of the rst to respond. Within 24 hours

    of the earthquake, a team from GlobalMedic was

    in a helicopter en route to Haiti. Rahul Singh, a

    paramedic and founder of the not-for-prot

    group, has led more than 25 missions into disaster

    zones in the past decade. When Rahul and his

    team arrived in Haiti, they set to work to provide

    Haitians with clean drinking water.

    To assist GlobalMedics eorts, the lawyers and sta

    of McLeish Orlando held a fundraiser on January 15,

    2010 and collected $5,000. GlobalMedic is using the

    donation to purchase water purication systems

    that will supply clean drinking water to more than

    3,000 Haitians each day.

    McLeish Orlando salutes GlobalMedics eorts in

    Haiti and was proud to contribute to the cause.

    We invite you to learn more about GlobalMedic

    by visiting www.globalmedic.ca.

    McLeish Orlando Raises $5,000 GlobalMedics Haiti Relief

    Clean drinking water thanks to the eorts of

    GlobalMedic, a Toronto-based relief agency.

  • David Virgoe celebrated Fathers

    Day on June 17, 2007 by meeting

    his newborn grandson Joshua for

    the rst time.

    It was an exciting time for David

    and his wife Debbie. In addition

    to welcoming their fth grand-

    child into the world, David and Debbie were nal-

    izing the purchase of a new home in Angus,

    Ontario and were scheduled to move in on July 6.

    Tragically, David Virgoes life was cut short.

    On the morning of June 18, David was driving an

    18-wheel tractor-trailer northbound on Highway 400

    to pick up a load from Midland, Ontario. A veteran

    commercial truck driver with more than 25 years

    experience, David took great pride in his work.

    Behind David, the drivers of three cars were

    speeding, making sudden lane changes and

    following too closely as they approached the

    tractor-trailer. One of the drivers lost control of

    his car as he attempted to pass the tractor-trailer,

    striking the trucks passenger side. The impact

    propelled Davids tractor-trailer across two lanes

    into a Jeep in the left lane and then into the guard

    rail. The force of the trucks impact was so severe

    that it peeled the guard rail o of its posts.

    Davids tractor-trailer started to jack-knife and

    was in danger of swinging out into the busy south-

    bound lanes of Highway 400 where it almost

    certainly would have caused numerous head-on

    collisions and deaths. At that moment, David

    intentionally steered his tractor-trailer hard to the

    right, across all three northbound lanes and into

    the passenger-side ditch to prevent further

    collisions and injuries. His rig ipped over and

    rolled, killing David.

    Davids ultimate sacrice has been honoured with

    numerous awards, most recently The Governor

    Generals Medal of Bravery. On February 4, 2010,

    Debbie Virgoe attended the medal ceremony at

    Rideau Hall and accepted the award on Davids

    behalf. He was awarded the Goodyear Highway

    Hero Award in March 2008, the rst time this

    award was given to a Canadian, and the Commis-

    sioners Citation for Bravery in October 2007.

    Debbie Virgoe is determined to ensure that David

    did not make his sacrice in vain, and that his

    death would bring about meaningful change. She

    has volunteered with victims groups and worked

    with Project E.R.A.S.E (Eliminate Racing Activity

    on Streets Everywhere).

    After learning that the drivers of the cars involved

    in the collision did not have valid insurance policies,

    Debbie began advocating for changes to prevent

    uninsured drivers from being able to renew the

    stickers for their licence plates. As a result of Debbies

    eorts, in September 2009, her MPP introduced

    a motion to allow for this change. The motion

    was supported by all parties.

    Debbie also organizes an annual charity golf tour-

    nament in Davids memory. All proceeds go to the

    Ontario Trucking Association Education Foundation

    to assist the children of Ontario truck drivers who

    have been killed or seriously injured. The fourth

    annual tournament will take place on September

    18, 2010. For more information on this event and

    Debbies advocacy visit www.davidvirgoe.org

    McLeish Orlando is proud to represent the Virgoe

    family and supports Debbie in her pursuit of

    victims rights and road safety.

    David Virgoes story of heroism

    Debbie Virgoe helps mobilize Ontario truckers

    and their rigs with a critical message.

  • January 2010

    22nd The Tricks of the Trade 2010 Practical Strategies

    for Settling Cases: The 98% Solution

    Dale Orlando spoke to the Advocates Society about

    Bill 198: Tort & Accident Benet Amendments.

    25th to 26th The Canadian Institutes 8th Annual

    Forum on Personal Injury Settlements

    Patrick Brown co-chaired this conference and discussed

    the strategic use of experts. Kate Mazzucco presented

    on important procedural rule and case law updates.

    Dale Orlando spoke on a damages panel about recent

    developments and key considerations.

    February 2010

    5th The Lawyers Weekly

    Kate Mazzucco authored Court allows indirect cross-

    examination of expert.

    16th The 35th Annual OBA Institute of Continuing

    Legal Education Program on Civil Litigation:

    Brave New World: New Rules and New Technology

    John McLeish presented on the use of demonstrative

    evidence at trial.

    18th Bridgepoint Hospital Lunch and Learn

    Patrick Brown and Kate Mazzucco spoke on dealing

    with the police, adjusters and lawyers in the hospital.

    March 2010

    7th The Law Society of Upper Canadas

    Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation

    John McLei