Eric Goodman Interviewed by Huffington Post on $1.5 Million Brain Injury Award

Posted on by Goodman Law

A recent case in the British Columbia Supreme Court has made headlines across the province. Colloquially referred to as the “Dominatrix Case”, the lawsuit involved a young girl who, after suffering a moderate brain injury in a motor vehicle accident, went on to pursue a career as a sexual dominatrix.

The Court found that the brain injury she sustained dampened her ability to make wise and low-risk life choices, and was therefore responsible for her foray into this rather taboo profession.

The Huffington Post recently featured the case and interviewed the Plaintiff at length. The article also discussed the broader implications of the Court’s decision, during which Eric Goodman provided the following analysis:

Cases where someone must show how an injury compelled a job switch after an accident usually involve heavy labourers forced into more sedentary work, said Eric Goodman, a personal injury lawyer based in Vancouver.

“This case further affirms the prevailing medical wisdom that even a mild traumatic brain injury can dramatically change one’s personality and decision making processes, often permanently and with far-reaching negative effects on one’s quality of life and earning capacity,” he told HuffPost B.C.

Goodman applauded the court for disregarding Afonina’s pre-accident teen “quirks” and focusing instead on evidence that she had a bright and prosperous future ahead of her before the crash.

“It was heartening to see the court refuse to judge the book by its cover,” said Goodman.

Supreme Court of Canada Blocks ICBC’s Attempt to Remove Mussio Website

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As previously discussed, the BC Court of Appeal rejected ICBC’s attempt to block the website www.icbcadvice.com, an independent resource to assist claimants in dealing with ICBC. Wes Mussio acted as counsel for the website and is also listed as a featured writer.

ICBC appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

As reported this week the Vancouver Sun, we are pleased to announce that the Supreme Court of Canada declined to review the Court of Appeal’s result:

“We are very happy to see the case finally come to a close with the Supreme Court of Canada dismissing ICBC’s case in its entirety,” said lawyer Wesley Mussio, who represents website operator Stainton Ventures Ltd..

The Supreme Court of Canada ruling was released Thursday.

“This result not only helps maintain the public service website, ICBCadvice.com, but also allows dozens of other websites that use the term ‘ICBC’ to continue to operate,” Mussio said. “Indeed, a simple Google search results in dozens of websites that use ICBC in their name. Had ICBC been successful, it would have had a major impact on many websites run by ICBC service providers including lawyers and repair shops. All these websites would have had to shut down or change their names had the courts sided with ICBC.”

Spokesman Adam Grossman said Thursday that ICBC is disappointed with the court decision.

“We had pursued this case because we have an obligation to prevent customer confusion and believed some customers might see the domain name and think the website and its content are being provided by ICBC, when in fact it’s being provided by a third party. We always seek to ensure our customers clearly know when they’re dealing with us and when they’re dealing with others.”

According to Stainton Ventures, the website started in 2006 to help the public deal with ICBC on injury or property damage claims.

ICBC demanded that the website be taken down and the domain name be transferred to ICBC. The insurer argued in B.C. Supreme Court that it owned the trademark “ICBC’ and that Stainton Ventures were infringing on ICBC’s rights.

In 2012, the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed ICBC’s claim. ICBC lost again last year before the B.C. Court of Appeal.

In the 2012 decision, Justice Christopher Grauer ruled ICBCadvice.com’s use of ICBC does “not constitute misrepresentation because they are not likely to deceive the public.”

Mussio noted Thursday that anyone visiting the website would quickly learn that it is an independent entity with no involvement with ICBC.

“In fact, it’s very clear that the website gives information that is contrary to ICBC’s interests, particularly with respect to educating members of the public on how to deal with the insurer.”

He said the site “can now be revamped to further assist the public on how to handle ICBC injury and property damage claims.”

Supreme Court of Canada Denies ICBC Permission to Appeal Our Client’s Victory

Posted on by Goodman Law

We are pleased to announce that the Supreme Court of Canada denied ICBC permission to appeal our client’s victories in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the British Columbia Court of Appeal, a decision that finally compels ICBC to compensate our client for her serious spinal injuries.

As previously announced, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled in our client’s favour, overturning the lower court’s decision and prohibiting ICBC from relying on a zipline waiver to deny compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident.

ICBC sought “leave” (in other words, permission) to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.

ICBC’s argument was that the decision was wrong and has implications across the country.

We argued in response that the Court of Appeal decision was properly decided, and that the issue specifically pertains to British Columbian legislation (the Insurance (Vehicle) Act), and therefore the highest Court in the land need not intervene.

 

Mussio Goodman Prevents Unfair Medical Assessment of Client

Posted on by Goodman Law

We are pleased to report that  Anthony Eden of Mussio Goodman successfully defended our client’s interests by preventing a Defendant IME (independent medical examination) with a neurologist expert of the insurance company’s choosing.

Insurance companies are entitled to defend a claim by compelling the injured person to attend an IME with doctors of their choosing. The law is clear that Plaintiffs must attend these appointments as long as they are reasonable. Unfortunately, sometimes the insurance companies cross the line in terms of what is reasonable under the law.

In a recent case, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client because his disability benefits had been unduly terminated. In order to prove his claim, we retained the services of a doctor who is an expert in the field of chronic pain. This doctor also has a broad range of expertise, including neurology.

Additionally, we relied on our client’s family doctor in support of his ongoing disability. In response to these opinions, the insurance company attempted to disprove the claim using four expert reports; they sought one report from a psychiatrist, one from a vocational specialist, and one from an occupational physician. Then, they tried to obtain an additional report from a neurologist, claiming that our chronic pain expert was essentially a neurologist as well.

The insurance company therefore argued that they needed a neurology report to defend the claim. This was notwithstanding the fact that the insurance company had already sent our client to a neurologist in 2002 who wholeheartedly supported his disability. Notably, they wanted an updated report with a different neurologist, even though there had been no evidence of any neurological change since the 2002 report.

We opposed this IME  on the basis that it would make the trial unfair. The law is clear that the parties must be on equal footing with regard to the expert evidence. The Master in Chambers ultimately agreed with our argument, the reasons for which were published in Korpa v. Co-Operators Life Insurance Company 2014 BCSC 2246:

[26] The issue in this case is whether, in all the circumstances, there is a need to put the parties on an equal footing with respect to the medical evidence or, as it has sometimes been described, to balance the playing field.

[27] I have concluded that, for the following reasons, Mr. Korpa should not be required to attend an IME with Dr. Dost…

[36] In all these circumstances, I am not satisfied that the defence has shown the need for examination by a neurologist to balance the playing field.

 

The Importance of Using Sick Days For Injuries Instead of Vacation Days

Posted on by Goodman Law

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Vacations are a time to kick back, relax, and enjoy some well-deserved time off work. Here at Mussio Group, we know that when you have been injured in car accident and are prevented from working, your time away from the office is no vacation. Constant pain, treatment, and specialist appointments are a far cry from margaritas and Mexican sun.

It may seem logical that when you miss work because of your injuries and take vacation days as a result, you should be compensated for those wasted days that you could have spent on the beach or with your family. However, the Supreme Court of British Columbia does not see it that way. Continue reading →