On February 22, 2013, FSCO released its appeal decision in
Hodges v. Security National. The applicant was represented by Tammy
Ring and Marc Flisfeder from the Toronto office of Lerners
LLP's personal injury group.
The applicant was the driver of a motorcycle which was involved
in a head-on crash with a minivan on August 9, 2009. As a result of
this accident, the applicant suffered numerous serious injuries
including a closed head injury with left occipital subdural and
subarachnoid bleed. The first Glasgow Coma Scale ("GCS")
score was recorded as 11 at the scene of the accident. The
applicant was transferred to hospital where he was administered
consciousness lowering medications and intubated. The applicant was
extubated on August 7, 2009. His GCS score continued to be
monitored and was recorded hourly. On August 8, 2009, the GCS score
was noted to be 9 between 11:00 hours and 15:00 hours. On August
10, 2009, the GCS fell to as low as 7.
The insurer argued that the GCS scores were invalid for a
plethora of reasons, including that the applicant has been
prescribed consciousness lowering medication and because his GCS
scores were impacted to some degree by injuries other than his
brain impairment. The insurer also argued that imaging tests should
be used to determine whether an individual is catastrophically
impaired, rather than the GCS test set out in the SABS. Finally,
the insurer argued that the GCS test should only be considered
valid if administered within 24 hours of the accident.
On May 22, 2012, Arbitrator William Renahan rejected the
insurer's arguments, holding that the applicant suffered a
catastrophic impairment within the meaning of section 2(1.2)(e)(i)
of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. The insurer appealed
The two issues on appeal were whether the applicant had a valid
GCS score of 9 or less, and whether the GCS score was recorded
within a reasonable period of time after his car accident. Delegate
Blackman rejected the insurer's arguments entirely and was
critical of the fact that the insurer's written submissions
made little reference to the relevant case law. In dismissing the
appeal, Delegate Blackman set out 22 points that succinctly
summarized the law on the application of GCS test in relation to
the determination of catastrophic impairment.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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