Expert evidence in disability and personal injury lawsuits.

Lawyers often seek the opinions of medical experts in disability and personal injury lawsuits. The purpose of these engagements is generally to present evidence in relation to such important matters as: • the underlying cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; • the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and corresponding functional limitations, deficits or disability; • any further treatment or rehabilitation initiatives that may need to be undertaken; and • the prognosis for future recovery or symptom improvement. Although opinions on such matters may vary from expert to expert, the...

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How much notice and severance must be given?

Are the notice and severance provisions in the Employment Standards Act or Canada Labour Code all that an employer is required to give an employee when firing them without cause? Not necessarily. The Employment Standards Act and the Canada Labour Code establish the minimum notice or severance in lieu of notice that an employer is obliged to provide. However, the common law (which is law developed by judges in decisions of courts) has established that employees are entitled to “reasonable notice” of termination, which can be much more than what is required by statute....

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Pension benefits not deducted from wrongful dismissal damages.

In a decision released in 2013, IBM Canada Limited v. Waterman (“Waterman”), the Supreme Court of Canada decided that an employee was entitled to keep his pension benefits as well as the full damages awarded to him for wrongful dismissal over the same period of time. Background After 42 years of service, and at the age of 65, Richard Waterman (“Mr. Waterman”) was terminated by IBM Canada Limited (“IBM”). He was only provided with 2 months notice. At the time of termination Mr. Waterman was entitled to a full pension pursuant to IBM’s defined benefit pension plan. Over the course of his...

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Punitive damages explained.

Punitive damages are particularly prevalent in the USA where they are often left to the discretion of a group of citizens, a jury, who may impose them when they determine that a defendant’s conduct has been uncivilized or to deter other from acting in such an underhanded way, to improve, generally, law and order, or simply to reward the plaintiff for his financial risks in litigating and enforcing the law. Where awarded, they are an exception to the rule that damages are to compensate not to punish. The exact threshold of punitive damages varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In...

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Aggravated damages explained.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision in Fidler vs. Sun Life, released on June 29, 2006, clarified the legal principles for awarding aggravated damages in Canada. Facts of the Case Ms. Fidler was a bank receptionist who, at the age of 36, became ill and was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. She began receiving LTD benefits from Sun Life in 1991. The benefits were terminated in 1998, based to a large extent on video surveillance which Sun Life felt detailed activities inconsistent with her claim that she was incapable of performing light or sedentary work....

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Structured settlements explained.

In larger personal injury claims, a structured settlement may be available to you. You must negotiate the structured settlement before judgment or during the settlement process. After judgment, the option of a structured settlement is no longer available. A structured settlement, in simple terms, is an annuity purchased at the time of the settlement, which provides a stream of income over a certain period of time. The significant advantage to a structured settlement is that you receive a certain stream of income tax-free over a given period of time. Also, the principal of the investment and...

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