Commercial Host Liability: Would You Like a Cab With That?

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Commercial establishments in the business of serving alcohol must be aware of the legal responsibilities expected of them towards their patrons under the eyes of the law. For example, if a clearly drunken patron ends up leaving a bar after a wild night of binge drinking before getting into his/her car and attempting to drive home and violently crashes into a pole, the bar would likely bear a degree of liability for the damages suffered by the drunken patron.

However, over the last 20 years, the courts have further expanded the responsibilities of commercial hosts to include owing a special duty not only to their own patrons, but also to third party users of the road who may become seriously injured or killed as a result of conduct committed by their patrons. This expansion was established in the 1995 Supreme Court of Canada decision of Stewart v. Pettie. In other words, as a commercial host, you can also be on the hook for damages suffered by third parties who were not even present at your establishment so long as their injuries or death were caused by the negligence of an intoxicated patron who had been at your establishment. Read more

Bringing a Personal Injury Claim? Beware: The Eye In The Sky May Be Watching You

In Ontario, motor vehicle accident victims who bring lawsuits against negligent parties may be entitled to recover compensation for pain and suffering if they can prove that their injuries amount to a “serious and permanent impairment of an important mental physical and/or psychological function.”  This is known as the threshold test.

As a result, insurance companies defending these claims will sometimes choose to conduct surveillance on the person making the claim, hoping to catch them doing something inconsistent with what they claim they cannot do. This can be done through video surveillance, photographs, or simply written observations over a period of time. Read more

Common Misconceptions About Your Injury Claim

In my legal practice, I have come across a few common misconceptions from clients that I would like to share with you below:

 

1.  If I go back to work, it will only hurt my case so I will stay unemployed during the duration of my case and turn down any opportunities until my case is settled:

There may very well be circumstances preventing you from going back to your pre-accident employment. This might include a doctor’s recommendation or an impairment preventing you from returning to your pre-accident duties. However, to say you will not return to the workplace because it makes you look “less injured” is not a good enough reason. Deciding not to return to work without first making any sort of reasonable attempt to at least inquire about or try doing modified duties or hours would likely raise suspicions of the insurance company on the other side (who ultimately may settle with you or choose to offer you less if anything).  If your case proceeds to trial, ultimately the jury will decide the outcome. As a result, if they sense you are being dishonest, their suspicions may also be triggered resulting in a less desired outcome. Read more

Remedies for Car Accident Victims in Ontario: Looking Beyond the Twisted Metal

 

 

 

Car accidents happen. They are a fact of life on the roads. Unfortunately, when accidents involve motor vehicles travelling at high rates of speed, the results can be devastating. People involved in these accidents may escape without a scratch. Others less fortunate may die or lose limbs or vision. Any number of functional impairments from a motor vehicle accident may greatly diminish one’s quality of life. The legal remedies in place to address these injuries are discussed briefly below. Read more

The Importance of Mitigation: Don’t be the Author of Your Own Misfortune


 

In the case of Ksiazek v. Newport Leasing Ltd., the Plaintiff was sitting in the passenger seat of her friend’s car about to make a left hand turn. Suddenly and with little warning, a pick up truck coming from the opposite direction abruptly turned into the front of the Plaintiff’s car.  The Plaintiff suffered several injuries including two fractured fingers, which required the insertion of pins accompanied by a cast. She also suffered lower back pain, a fractured sternum, soft tissue injuries, and depression amongst several other injuries. The Defendant admitted fault.

At trial, a substantial portion of the Plaintiff’s claim was for compensation relating to Past Income Loss and for Pain and Suffering.

The court awarded the Plaintiff compensation for each of these. However, the court noted the Plaintiff’s failure to mitigate her losses.  As such, it awarded her 25% less than what she would have been entitled to. Read more

Has Your Pet Been Injured or Killed?: Compensation for Emotional Distress on the Rise

 

Traditionally, pets have been treated as property under the eyes of the law. That being the case, a pet owner attempting to obtain compensation for the death or injury of his/her pet was limited to the fair market value of the pet at the time of loss, plus any related costs incurred (such as veterinarian bills etc.). Thoughts of even awarding a pet owner general damages for “pain and suffering”, “mental and emotional anguish”, or “loss of companionship” for their pet’s loss, death or injury was unheard of in Canada. A pet’s loss was seen as no different  than losing a  Laptop computer or other prized personal property. Read more

Jack Layton Faces Battle Of His Life: Is Private Treatment On The Table?

 

 

 

Jack Layton recently announced his “temporary” hiatus from politics to deal with his personal health crisis. I was flipping through the channels when I came across a sickly looking man who very much resembled Jack Layton. To my surprise, it WAS Jack Layton. His face was thin and bony in appearance and caked with makeup hiding what must have been an even more unsightly look.  I’m not a tailor, but I could see that his suit was at least one size too big on him. He walked to and from the press table with a limp; reliant on the very same cane he held during the election campaign (which was more of a prop than a necessity back then). Read more

Contests Gone Wild: Controlling the Promotional Contest in Canada

 

 

Have you ever thought about organizing a Bikini Contest to give away a prize? What about organizing any promotional contest?

The reality is, promotional contests are absolutely everywhere.  Canadians love contests, and the contest industry is on a high. It’s almost impossible getting through your day without coming across some advertised contest. Whether you observe them online, on the radio, or on roadside billboards, the laws governing how these contests must run are crucial for every advertiser to be aware of in order to avoid severe criminal and civil penalties in the event of legal shortfalls. Read more

Bell Canada Pays Price for Misleading Advertising: Who’s Next?

 

 

 

After being taken on by the Competition Bureau, Bell Canada has agreed to pay a monetary fine of $10 million to the Bureau for engaging in misleading advertising.

Bell Canada’s advertised prices failed to include the many hidden fees such as modem rental and phone and digital television services that were later tacked on when consumers tried purchasing the advertised products or services. For example, Bell’s bundle package, which included cable, television and home phone services was advertised as low as $69.90/month but actual prices charged were $80.27 (about 15% more). An investigation launched by the Bureau determined that Bell has been engaging in this practice since December 2007. Read more

Pigs in a Pit: Animal Welfare on the Meat Front

 

 

I wanted to bring to light the realities of the meat industry. I’d be the first to admit that I enjoy a good piece of steak or ribs every now and then.

However, I came across a clip of South Korean officials performing a government approved “Pig Cull” after discovering traces of foot and mouth disease in the meat supply. This involved the slaughter of over one million pigs in the hopes of eliminating the problem. Read more