On Friday's GFB: June 22nd

Jun 21, 2012

By Dale Goldhawk

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On Friday’s GFB:
Frank Hivert, CEO of Oculys | 11:30am
Andrew Murray, President of OTLA | 12:15pm

GUEST – Franck Hivert, CEO of Oculys
TOPIC – Real-time estimates for emergency room waits on its website. http://s3.amazonaws.comoculys.com/productmenu/marymoduleproduct
INFO – Take the Pulse of Your Healthcare Organization in Real-time / MARY – Mobile Analytics Repository
Click here to see the MARY Brochure
MARY is a mobile decision-support tool that is accessible from any smartphone or tablet. MARY offers 360° visibility – in real time – into the current status of your hospital. It allows healthcare leaders to take the pulse of their hospital operations at any time, anywhere on any device; helping you improve Emergency Department wait-times, efficiency and the quality of patient care.


GUEST – Personal Injury lawyer, Andrew Murray, President of OTLA and Partner at Lerners LLP / BIO 
TOPIC – Personal injury lawyers resign en masse from Ontario committee on auto insurance reform
INFO – Report to Dwight Duncan a “gift to insurance companies,” and “unfair to accident victims.”
Toronto, June 21, 2012 – A group of prominent personal injury lawyers has resigned en masse from an informal Legal Advisory Committee on Auto Insurance Reform in Ontario. The lawyers tendered their resignation after their recommendations on catastrophic impairment were ignored in favour of recommendations from a flawed report. The Committee had been established by the Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to advise on auto insurance matters.

These four consumer-focused lawyers say the province is entertaining a proposal to redefine who qualifies for maximum auto insurance benefits for catastrophic injury, a move that will unjustifiably deny some seriously injured people the care they need.

“The Ontario government is looking at narrowing the definition of catastrophic impairment,” said Richard Halpern, Partner at Thomson Rogers. “This will in turn deprive many seriously injured victims of the support they reasonably need and expected from the protection they thought they were buying with their auto premium dollars.”

Of course the insurance industry loves it because it will severely restrict access to meaningful levels of benefits after serious traumatic injury,” said Halpern.

In the resignation letter, the four lawyers stated: “It is clear that our input on your committee has been politely received and entirely ignored. Importantly, the sober and objective views expressed by the Ontario Court of Appeal on the merit of combining physical and psychological impairment have been inappropriately rejected.”

The letter went on to state: “the recommendations in the report fail to adequately preserve the protection seriously injured consumers need in their auto policies. The report adopts many recommendations proposed by the panel headed by Dr. Cote that are flawed and are unfair to seriously injured consumers…overall we believe that seriously injured consumers will be poorly served under your recommendations.”

“The insurance industry is always trying to get governments to roll back the rights of accident victims,” said Roger Oatley of Oatley, Vigmond Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. “The government will now claim they consulted with stakeholders, including lawyers and consumers. We were invited because of our expertise, but ignored. We resigned because the process was a sham. Can you imagine, for example, that in this day and age, emotional injury has to be ignored when assessing the impact of an injury – even though our highest court recently said it should be taken into account.”

The letter was submitted to the office of Phil Howell, Chief Executive Officer & Superintendent of Financial Services Commission of Ontario on the morning of Thursday, June 21.

The signatories are as follows: Nigel Gilby, Partner and Personal Injury Practice Group Leader at Lerners LLP Stephen E. Firestone, Lackman, Firestone Law Offices Richard Halpern, Partner at Thomson Rogers Roger Oatley of Oatley, Vigmond Personal Injury Lawyers LLP

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