Kolapully v. TTC et al., 2022 ONSC 5473

The plaintiff was injured when she was struck by a TTC bus as a pedestrian. She required emergency surgery to repair a left ankle fracture, and also suffered a mild concussion, fracture of the left tibia, and fractures of the left and right fibular heads. She argued that her injuries led to post-traumatic osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and depression. Following a trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff $175,000 in general damages, subject to a 25% reduction for contributory negligence given that she was crossing the road without the right of way when the accident occurred. On a threshold motion, Justice Sugunasiri accepted on a balance of probabilities that the accident caused the plaintiff permanent and serious impairments of important physical functions. Justice Sugunasiri preferred the evidence of the plaintiff’s orthopedic expert (Dr. Getahun) over that of the defence expert (Dr. Bogoch) in concluding that the orthopedic injuries were permanent and led to restricted range of motion and impaired gait.

Rumsey v. Auricchio, 2022 ONSC 3674

The plaintiff sustained soft tissue injuries in a left-turn motor vehicle accident wherein the turning plaintiff was struck by the defendant travelling straight. Following a trial, the jury found the plaintiff 75% at fault, and the defendant 25% at fault. The jury awarded the plaintiff $40,000 in general damages, $147,700 for past loss of income, and $59,900 for future loss of income. On a threshold motion, Justice Gambacorta held that the plaintiff did not meet the threshold. Justice Gambacorta was critical of the plaintiff’s chronic pain expert (Dr. Ghouse) who did not have a full history of the plaintiff’s chronic back pain before the accident. There was also surveillance of the plaintiff doing things that Dr. Ghouse opined she would be unable to do. Justice Gambacorta preferred the evidence of the defence expert (Dr. Kwok) who concluded that the plaintiff’s soft tissue injuries did not lead to any limitations. The plaintiff recovered no damages as a result of the threshold decision and collateral benefit deductions.

Emmanuel et al. v. RBC General Insurance Co. et al., 2022 ONSC 1718

The plaintiff was injured as a pedestrian, when she was struck by an unidentified truck in November 2014. She sustained a mild concussion and soft tissue injuries. Following a trial, a jury awarded her $75,000 in general damages, and awarded her husband $10,000 in damages pursuant to the Family Law Act. The plaintiff was found 75% at fault for the accident. The defendant brought a motion on threshold following the trial.

Justice Sugunasiri held that the plaintiff did not meet the threshold. As to her psychological injuries, the plaintiff did not seek any treatment after 2017. Additionally, she called no treating witnesses. From a physical perspective, Justice Sugunasiri noted: the plaintiff did not fill all possible prescription refills for pain medication; the plaintiff did not see a physiotherapist after December of 2014; the plaintiff did not see a doctor for pain, nor any doctor at all since the birth of her third child in September of 2019; the plaintiff worked at Red Lobster in February of 2019 doing kitchen prep until September of 2019 when her third child was due; and the plaintiff had three young children for whom she was primarily responsible until the children were eligible to attend junior kindergarten. Justice Sugunasiri rejected the expert evidence of physiatrist Dr. Ghouse because his conclusions were not supported by objective evidence. Justice Sugunasiri preferred the defence physiatry expert, Dr. Clark, who found that the plaintiff’s subjective reporting was inconsistent and unlikely to be related to ongoing injury or impairment.

Girao v. Cunningham, 2021 ONSC 7530

The plaintiff was injured in a 2002 motor vehicle accident. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision on the first trial. At this second trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff $40,000 in general damages. No damages were awarded for future healthcare expenses. The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s injuries did not meet the threshold. Justice Chalmers agreed and the plaintiff was barred from recovering any general damages. Justice Chalmers accepted that the plaintiff suffered whiplash injuries that were permanent, but that the injuries were not serious and would not prevent the plaintiff from returning to her job. He rejected the plaintiff’s arguments that she suffered from psychological injuries and TMJ syndrome from the accident. The psychological injuries were caused by a sexual assault when the plaintiff was 18 years old. The TMJ syndrome was caused by the plaintiff grinding her teeth when she slept. Justice Chalmers accepted the opinions of defence experts Dr. Lipson (physiatrist), Dr. Gryfe (oral surgeon), and Dr. Finkel (psychiatrist).

Legree v. Origlieri, 2021 ONSC 7650

The 27 year old plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries as a result of a rear-end motor vehicle accident in 2016. She went on to develop chronic pain and anxiety/adjustment disorder. After a 12-day judge-alone virtual trial, Justice Fowler Byrne concluded that the plaintiff satisfied the threshold, and that the plaintiff was entitled to: (1) gross general damages of $100,000; (2) future health care costs of $143,560.78; and $1,993.10 for out of pocket expenses. The claims for past and future income loss were dismissed. Justice Fowler Byrne preferred the plaintiff’s physiatrist, Dr. Friedlander, over the defendant’s physiatrist, Dr. Boucher. She also preferred the plaintiff’s neurologist, Dr. Basile, over the defendants’ neuropsychologist, Dr. Watson and neuroradiologist, Dr. Cheung. She also accepted the opinion of the plaintiff’s psychotherapist, Allan Walton.

Noori v Liu, 2020 ONSC 3049

The plaintiff was injured in a 2013 motor vehicle accident. She alleged to have chronic pain as a result of her injuries. Following the trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff $40,000.00 in general damages. The jury did not award the plaintiff anything for her claims for lost income, loss of competitive advantage, loss of housekeeping capacity, or healthcare costs. The jury awarded $0.00 to the plaintiff’s mother, who was a Family Law Act claimant. On the defendant’s threshold motion, Justice Coats concluded that the plaintiff did not meet the threshold. The plaintiff’s evidence was found not to be credible. Justice Coats preferred the opinion of Dr. Boucher (chronic pain specialist for the defence) over the opinions of the plaintiff’s experts, Dr. Berbrayer and Dr. Tippin (who relied heavily on the plaintiff’s self-reporting).

McNamee v. Oickle, 2020 ONSC 2371

The plaintiff had extensive pre-accidence issues with alcoholism, depression, and pain. She suffered soft tissue injuries in an MVA and alleged that all of her subsequent health issues were caused by the accident. At trial, the jury awarded $30,000 in general damages, $2,500 in loss of housekeeping capacity, $3,900 for massage/physiotherapy treatment, and $240 for medication. A further $2,500 was awarded on the FLA claim. The threshold analysis turned on causation. The defence conceded that if the accident was the cause of the plaintiff’s impairments, she would meet the threshold. Justice Beaudoin ultimately concluded that the accident was not the cause of her impairments, and rejected the opinions of her experts (Dr. Ricci, Dr. Suddaby, and Dr. Kevin Smith). Justice Beaudoin found that the plaintiff’s experts relied too heavily on the plaintiff’s self-reporting and either did not have sufficient records or refused to waiver on their opinions in the face of damning clinical notes and records when put to them at trial. Justice Beaudoin accepted the opinion of Dr. Michael Ross, who testified for the defendant, who explained that the plaintiff did not being to decompensate until subsequent life events occurred.

McNamee v. Oickle, 2020 ONSC 1380

The plaintiff sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident and commenced an action for damages. Following a multiple-week trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff $15,000 for general damages, $2,500 for past housekeeping, $0 for medication, $3,100 for past treatment, and $2,500 for the FLA claimant’s non-pecuniary claim. The plaintiff had numerous long-standing medical issues before the accident, including chronic neck and back pain and severe headaches. He suffered soft tissue injuries from the accident, and continued to work in his pre-accident employment. He claimed that the accident caused an exacerbation of the pre-accident conditions. Justice Beaudoin preferred the expert evidence of Dr. Devlin (for the defence) over Dr. Kleinman (for the plaintiff), and held that the plaintiff had not proven that his current ailments were a result of the MVA, and therefore he did not meet the threshold.

Robichaud et al. v. Constantinidis et al., 2020 ONSC 310

Following the trial in this matter, which arose from injuries the plaintiff sustained in a motor vehicle accident, Justice Schabas awarded the defendant costs in the sum of $131,980.35. The defendant sought production of plaintiff’s counsel’s adverse costs insurance policy pursuant to Rule 30.92. Counsel for the plaintiff objected on the ground that the plaintiff was not the policy holder, and production would breach solicitor-client privilege. Justice Schabas agreed with counsel for the plaintiff, declined to order production of the policy, and affirmed that where the policyholder is the law firm and not a “party”, Rule 30.02 does not apply.

Mundinger v. Ashton, 2019 ONSC 7161

The plaintiff sued following a 2010 motor vehicle accident, when she was 19 years old. She alleged to have sustained soft tissue injuries, which resulted in ongoing issues with pain and psychological trouble. The jury awarded $29,000 for past loss of income, $4,000 for future loss of income, and $20,000 for general damages. Justice Charney concluded that the plaintiff did not meet the threshold. Justice Charney barred the jury from deciding on the claim for future care costs due to insufficient evidence. He also declined to put a question to the jury regarding loss of competitive advantage due to the lack of opinion evidence separating same from the claim for loss of future income. In terms of the threshold motion, Justice Charney held that a psychologist did not fall within the definition of a “physician” in the threshold regulation and therefore could not satisfy the requirements for a physician’s opinion regarding the threshold test (a psychologist’s opinion could corroborate the evidence of a physician, though). Nevertheless, he proceeded to consider the evidence of the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Romeo Vitelli, whose evidence/opinion he did not accept. He did accept the opinion of Dr. Jeremy Larouche, an orthopaedic surgeon, appearing for the defendant.