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Forget Smith brings together an experienced team of lawyers who exemplify the highest standards in the industry, delivering expert, responsible legal advice and client-oriented, technologically sophisticated services.

With offices in Toronto and Ottawa, Forget Smith provides bilingual advice and services throughout Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area, the National Capital Region, Eastern Ontario, Southwestern Ontario and Northern Ontario.

Our practice focuses on all aspects of advocacy on behalf of insurers, including statutory accident benefits claims, commercial liability claims, road liability claims, motor vehicle litigation, personal injury and disability litigation, “slips and falls”, subrogated claims, coverage disputes, professional liability claims, homeowners’ property and liability claims, regulatory negligence, administrative law, and construction matters. 

Our team of lawyers have decades of collective experience, with over 75 trials, hundreds of reported decisions, and countless successful settlements to their credit.  Our lawyers also have extensive trial and appellate court experience, with regular attendances before the Superior Court, the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Environmental Review Tribunal, the Financial Services Commission, and other tribunals.  

Although we are proud of our record in court, we recognize that early and cost-effective resolution of cases may require innovative strategies to avoid and manage disputes.  Accordingly, our lawyers have particular expertise with a full range of alternative dispute resolution options, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and other customized ADR solutions.

By offering cost-management strategies without compromising our superior quality of service, we deliver value to our clients both in terms of results and cost-effectiveness.  In this way, every client file is handled not only with top-tier expertise but with a focus on the particular needs of the case, whether the client is locally based or a multi-national organization. 

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Recent Cases

Chen v. Economical Insurance, 2023 ONLAT 21-007827/AABS

Date of Decision: March 13, 2023

Case Summary:
The Applicant was involved in an accident on May 17, 2019. She subsequently made an Application to the Tribunal to address the following issues: entitlement to non-earner benefits, MIG, payment of various OCF-18s, and a Special Award. At the outset of the 3-day hearing, the Applicant withdrew her claim for non-earner benefits. At the end of the hearing, Adjudicator Rebecca Hines held that the Applicant failed to establish that her injuries fell outside of the MIG and, as a result, was not entitled to any of the benefits in dispute nor was she entitled to a Special Award.

Approximately 5-6 months before the motor vehicle accident, the Applicant was a victim or an armed robbery at her workplace. Following this incident, she did not return to work and received benefits through WSIB. She had also been diagnosed with PTSD and other psychological conditions stemming from the robbery. At the time of the motor vehicle accident, the Applicant was still attending WSIB funded psychological treatment in relation to the robbery.

The Applicant argued that her injuries should be removed from the MIG because she suffered both pre-existing physical and psychological conditions. In the alternative, she had also sustained a psychological impairment and chronic pain because of the motor vehicle accident.

In coming to her decision, Adjudicator Rebecca Hines made the following findings:

(1 ) A few pre-accident entries in the family physician’s records referring to a “history of low back pain” and an x-ray showing slight degenerative disc disease was insufficient evidence to conclude that the Applicant’s pre-existing back pain would prevent her from achieving maximum medical recovery within the MIG. Moreover, the Applicant had no opinion from a treating practitioner to support her position.

(2) The Applicant did not visit her family physician until 3 months after the accident. The fact that the Applicant reported neck and back pain on a few occasions post-accident does not support a diagnosis of chronic pain or chronic pain syndrome that would remove her from the MIG. Adjudicator Hines rejected the opinion of Dr. Pernia (the Applicant’s treating chiropractor) on the basis that it was  supported by objective medical evidence of reduced functionality. Lastly, Adjudicator Hines noted that Applicant had failed to establish that she met the criteria for chronic pain as set out in the AMA Guides, which has been adopted by the Tribunal is assessing whether the Applicant suffers from Chronic Pain Syndrome falling outside the MIG.

(3) Adjudicator Hines agreed that the Applicant suffered from a pre-existing psychological impairment; however, found no evidence that it would prevent her from achieving maximum medical recovery within the MIG. Adjudicator Hines dismissed the opinion of Dr. Bao who prepared a psychological pre-screen report, noting that his evidence was not helpful or persuasive, as the form was replete with errors and lacked insight into the Applicant’s condition. Adjudicator Hines relied on several WSIB reports prepared by the Applicant’s treating mental health practitioners and noted that the reports did not reflect a change in the Applicant’s psychological diagnosis following the motor vehicle accident, nor was there an increase to her medication. Adjudicator Hines concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support that the motor vehicle accident worsened her pre-existing psychological impairment. Adjudicator Hines also found the insurer’s Psychological IEs persuasive and noted that they were consistent with the WSIB reports.


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