About the Firm

Toronto Office

Ottawa Office

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. 

Recent Blogs

Recent Cases

Young v Economical Insurance Company, 2023 ONLAT 21-011454/AABS

Date of Decision: June 01, 2023

Case Summary:

The applicant was involved in an incident on December 7, 2020. 

The Respondent raised a preliminary issue, whether the incident that occurred would meet the definition of an “accident” as per s. 3(1) of the Schedule. 

While filling air in his tires, the applicant slipped and fell on ice at the gas station on an icy winter day. The applicant sustained injuries to his left eyebrow and fractured his humerus bone. Adjudicator Grant found that this incident did not meet the definition of an “accident” as per the Schedule, and that the applicant is not entitled to the Accident benefits. 

Under s. 3 (1) of the Schedule, “accident” means an incident in which the use or operation of an automobile directly causes an impairment or directly causes damage to any prescription eyewear, denture, hearing aid, prosthesis or other medical or dental device.

The two-part test for determining whether an incident is an accident is well established in Greenhalgh v. ING Halifax Insurance Company. The first part of the test is whether the incident satisfies the purpose test. Adjudicator Grant agreed that the purpose test is met as putting air in the tires in order to operate a vehicle safely constitutes the ordinary and well-known activities for which automobiles are used. 

But there is a break in the chain of causation, the second part of the test. Adjudicator Grant further analyzed the “intervening act” and the “dominant feature”. The Respondent successfully argued that the use or operation of the parked car was not a direct cause of the applicant’s injuries. Instead, it was the fall on the ice outside the automobile that caused the injuries, thus creating a break in the chain of causation. 

In considering the “dominant feature” argument, Adjudicator Grant was persuaded by the decision in Ritchie v. Wawanesa, 2021 CanLII 134534 (ON LAT), where the Vice Chair Maedel concluded, that “falling on ice is a foreseeable and common risk when walking in parking lots in the winter”. Similarly in this case, ice was found to be the dominant feature of the fall, not the use or operation of the motor vehicle. The fall on ice created an intervening event, breaking the chain of causation. 
Adjudicator Grant in concluding that the applicant’s injuries were not as a result of an ”accident”, highlighted the “failing on ice” as a foreseeable risk when walking in a parking lot in the winter and that the icy surface was present whether a vehicle was involved or not. 


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