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A Story of Commitment, Kindness, and Hope

It was almost two years since his accident—an accident in the course of which he became paraplegic. It was during the approach of this second year anniversary, while working as a bank teller in Barrie, Ontario, the young man met Barry Munro. Barry had come in to do some banking.

Like the young bank teller, Barry, too, had sustained a spinal cord injury. It was during a 1987 diving accident which resulted in quadriplegia. After the diving accident, Barry became an advocate for increased consumer focus and participation in the field of neurotrauma research. Because of the work Barry had done, the young teller recognized his name.

The young man began to talk with Barry about the problems and challenges he’d faced since the accident; and, he told him about a man he’d met who had helped him begin to get his life back on track. That man was David Baldwin.

The teller had taken a trip to visit a friend in Kingston, Ontario to try to get rehab in that city. It was there he met David. Also a paraplegic, David is a Peer Support worker for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCIO). David immediately lent him one of his wheelchairs because the young man didn’t yet have one—sadly, limited access to wheelchairs is still one of the huge problems with the system our society faces today—and, David began to mentor the young man right away.

Try to imagine for a moment how incredibly important talking to and learning from someone who knows exactly what you’re going through is to an individual who has suffered a spinal cord injury. This kind of Peer Support offers a great deal of comfort and hope during an extremely frightening and challenging time. The young paraplegic was just starting out on a very long journey and now he’d found hope through David Baldwin who became his incredible mentor and friend.

From left, back row: Joseph Falconeri, Gregory Tucci, Leigh Harrison-Wilson, and Bryan Rumble. From left, front row: Barry Munro, David Baldwin

From left, back row: Joseph Falconeri, Gregory Tucci, Leigh Harrison-Wilson, and Bryan Rumble. From left, front row: Barry Munro, David Baldwin

Barry Munro says it’s not the first time he has heard such stories about David Baldwin. In fact, he says David’s passion and benevolence is legendary. It’s because of David’s caring and kindness, that on December 5, 2013, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP presented David Baldwin with an award thanking him for his outstanding dedication and commitment to helping those get back on track after a spinal cord injury.

David Baldwin has been a long-term advocate for people with spinal cord injuries. His reach goes far beyond the community in which he resides. Think about it: Here we have a young man living in Barrie benefiting and receiving Peer Support from someone in Kingston. The impact David has on the lives of others is life-changing and long-lasting. Thank you David for making such a difference!

For more information about Peer Support and SCIO, please visit: http://www.sciontario.org.

Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP Centre for Spinal Trauma

A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of the friends of Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP who made donations to the Sunnybrook Foundation via our firm this holiday season. The donations were given to the Sunnybrook Foundation in support of the Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP Centre for Spinal Trauma. Each of you knows how important the Centre is to us and, because of your generosity, on December 5, 2013, Falconeri Munro Tucci presented the Sunnybrook Foundation with a cheque in the amount of $11,100. After the cheque presentation, donations continued to come in making the total donation $13,350!

For more information about the Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP Centre for Spinal Trauma, please visit: http://sunnybrook.ca/content/?page=centre-spinal-trauma-back-spine-surgery. Again, thank you for your kindness in contributing to this worthwhile cause.

From left: Gregory Tucci (Managing Partner, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP) with Erin Goddard (Event Coordinator, Sunnybrook Foundation)

From left: Gregory Tucci (Managing Partner, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP) with Erin Goddard (Event Coordinator, Sunnybrook Foundation)

 From left, back row: Joseph Falconeri, Gregory Tucci, Leigh Harrison-Wilson, Bryan Rumble. Front row: Barry Munro

From left, back row: Joseph Falconeri, Gregory Tucci, Leigh Harrison-Wilson, Bryan Rumble. Front row: Barry Munro

Joseph Falconeri (Partner, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP)

Joseph Falconeri (Partner, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP)

Joseph Falconeri gives back at the 2nd Annual Hockey Arbitration Competition

It was an exciting moment! 32 teams from 12 different law schools across Canada had come together to compete in the 2nd Annual Hockey Arbitration Competition at the University of Toronto (October 18-19, 2013.)

During the competition, law students and sports fans alike had the opportunity to advance their research, writing and oral advocacy skills within the specialized context of an NHL Salary Arbitration proceeding. It was now down to two finalists–University of Windsor’s Pat Ganley and Ed Snetsinger; and, Osgoode Hall’s Adam Theofanidis and Justin D’Alosio.

Who will be victorious? It’s up to the three arbitrators to decide. Volunteering his extensive experience in Personal Injury Law, Joseph Falconeri, partner at Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP and chair of the advisory panel to Play It Cool was one of the arbitrators along with Clifford Hart, partner at Miller Thomson LLP; and Sam Hill, lawyer and business consultant at Law Offices of Sam Hill.

After the two teams battled in an extremely hard fought final, the arbitrators left the room to deliberate. The energy in the room was high, as the audience waited for the results. The arbitrators re-entered the room and announced the winner: the team representing the University of Windsor was crowned this year’s champion. Coming in second place was the team representing Osgoode Hall.

This exhilarating event ended with a speakers’ panel consisting of Joe Falconeri; Clifford Hart; Allain Roy, president and CEO of CMG Sports; and Anton Thun, co-managing director of MFIVE Sports Management. Various legal issues in the world of professional hockey were discussed during this lively conversation.

Special thanks to the organizers of this successful event: Christopher Travascio and Adrian Battiston on behalf of the University of Toronto Sports and Entertainment Law Society.

Says co-chair Adrian Battiston (as per the University of Toronto Faculty of Law’s news website), “What speaks the loudest about the success of the Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada is the overwhelming praise we continue to receive from participants, a handful of individuals emphasizing to us that this has been –by far–one of the most valuable experience of their law school careers to date.”

Hockey Arbitraton eam 2013

 

From left: Adrian Battiston, Co-Chair, Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada; Anton Thun, Co-Managing Director, MFIVE Sports Management; Allain Roy, President and CEO, CMG Sports; Clifford Hart, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP; David Goldstein, Associate, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP; G. Joseph Falconeri, Partner, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP; Chris Travascio, Co-Chair, Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada

The Litigation Process Explained

To recover damages from the entity that is responsible for the injuries you have sustained you will have to commence a lawsuit. If you choose to retain FMT llp it will be our job to assist you through every step of the lawsuit to ensure you are justly compensated.

The Litigation Process Explained

Time Limits

For most serious personal injuries a claimant has two years from the time when the injury occurred to commence an action against those responsible for the injuries. There are some situations where notice must be provided to a party within very short time periods. These time periods can be as short as 10 days. It is important to get legal advice as quickly as possible after an injury to ensure that none of the statutory limitation or notice periods are missed.

Investigation

Prior to commencing a lawsuit, an investigation must be undertaken to determine the correct parties, to obtain information from witnesses, to obtain medical information to assist in quantifying damages and to retain experts to help in proving who is responsible for the damages you or your loved one has sustained.

Pleadings

The Statement of Claim is the document that commences a lawsuit. It is your first chance to explain your case to the other side.

Claims for Damages

The Statement of Claim will set the various claims for different types of damages. These could include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Past loss of income
  • Loss of future income or earning capacity
  • Cost of Future care
  • Loss of household and home maintenance capacity
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Loss of care, guidance and companionship to your family members

Documentary Discovery

Each side of a lawsuit is required to provide the other side with copies of all the documents that are relevant to the issues between the parties. It is imperative that all documents are available from the other side to ensure that the oral discoveries are as productive as possible.

Oral Discovery

This is one of the most important stages of the litigation process. This is the opportunity for the lawyers to ask questions of the opposing parties to find out what information they have about the about the issues. It is important that you are well prepared before answering questions about your case.

Expert Witnesses

Throughout the litigation process you or your loved one will be sent to assessments by experienced medical professionals. These assessments help us to determine the value of the claim and convince the other side what the claim is worth. We also retain engineers, accountants and other experts to support your case as required.

Mediation

This is the best chance to resolve your case prior to trial. An experienced mediator will act as a third party intermediary between the parties to assist the parties in resolving the matter. We will not agree to mediate until your case is ready for trial. This is your one chance to speak directly to the representative of the insurance company that insures the party responsible for the accident.

Pre-Trial

At the pre-trial, a judge from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will listen to presentations from both sides and read briefs from both sides and will provide an opinion as to what he or she would do if he or she was the trial judge. This can often facilitate further settlement discussions or narrow the issues before the trial begins.

Trial

This is your opportunity to tell your side of your case to a judge and/ or jury and ask them to justly compensate you or your loved one for the injuries and damages that they have suffered. Preparation for trial is an extensive process for your lawyers and for yourself. We will work with you to present your case in the best possible light.

Appeal

After the conclusion of a trial the losing party can appeal the decision to a higher court. This is usually to decide a question of law that is disputed.

Accident Benefits Available to You

In Ontario all drivers of motor vehicles are required by law to carry automobile insurance. Every automobile insurance policy contains various benefits available to you, when you are involved in an accident, regardless of who was responsible. Anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario (and in some cases outside of Ontario) has access to Statutory Accident Benefits. The amount of Accident Benefits available and length of time they are available is dependent on the amount of insurance purchased and the nature of your injuries.

FMT llp will assist you throughout the Accident Benefits process. We will work with your medical professionals to ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits and treatments that are available to you. We will also aid with any disputes that arise between you and your Accident Benefits insurer. At some point it may make sense to resolve your claim for Accident Benefits for a lump sum payment and we will assist you with this.

Benefits that may be available to you if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedules include:

  • Income Replacement Benefits, Non-Earner Benefits or Caregiver Benefits
    You are only entitled to receive one of the above benefits at any one time. Which benefit is available to you is dependent on your circumstances both before and after the accident.
    Income Replacement Benefits are designed to replace a portion of the income you were making prior to the accident if you are unable to return to work.
  • Non-Earner Benefits are available to those who do not qualify for an income replacement benefit and suffer from a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of the accident.
  • Caregiver Benefits are available to someone who is the primary caregiver for a person in need of care without receiving remuneration and as a result of the accident suffers a substantial inability to engage in the care giving activities.

Accident Benefits Available to You

Medical Rehabilitation Benefit

These benefits assist an injured party in paying for medical and rehabilitation treatment that is reasonable and necessary as a result of the accident. The Medical Benefits available include medical, surgical, dental, optometric, hospital, nursing, ambulance, audiometric, speech-therapy and physiotherapy. Services available include chiropractic, psychological, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Expenses for medication, dentures and dental devices, hearing aids, wheelchairs prostheses, orthotics and other assistive devices are covered. Transportation to and from treatment sessions in certain circumstances is also covered.

Attendant Care Benefit

This benefit provides payment for a person to look after the injured party if they require assistance with taking care of themselves. This amount can be paid to a family member who is looking after the injured party, a paid aide or attendant retained to look after the injured party or a long-term care facility where the injured party is staying. The amount of attendant care available and the length of time for which it is available is dependant on the severity of the injuries.

Lost Educational Expenses

If at the time of the accident the injured party was enrolled in school, a benefit is available to compensate for lost educational expenses including tuition, books, equipment or room and board.

Expenses of Visitors

This benefit pays reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by family member visiting the injured party during his or her treatment or recovery.

Housekeeping and Home Maintenance

The insurer is required to pay for housekeeping and home maintenance services if the injured party as a result of the accident is no longer able to perform the services that he or she normally performed before the accident. The amount available and the length of time for which this benefit is available is dependent on the severity of the injuries.

Damages to Clothing, Glasses, Hearing Aids, etc.

The insurer is required to pay for expenses in repairing or replacing any damaged clothing worn by the person at the time of the accident or any damaged prescription eyewear, dentures hearing aids, prostheses and other medical or dental devices that were lost or damaged as a result of the accident.

Death and Funeral Benefits

If a person dies as a result of the motor vehicle accident his spouse and his children are entitled to a death benefit and are to be paid the funeral expenses. The amount of these benefits depends on the type of insurance purchased by the deceased.

Barry Munro receives Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

The Partners at Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP would like to congratulate Barry Munro on receiving the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal at a ceremony in Toronto earlier this year.

Created in 2012 to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. This year, commemorative medals were awarded to Canadians whose achievements have benefited their fellow citizens, their communities, their organizations, and their country.

Barry is currently the Chairman of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, as well as a former Director of Charities First Ontario and Neurological Technologies Inc.

For more information on the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, please visit http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14019

Congratulations Barry from all the lawyers and staff at Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP.

Our 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP is proud to announce the details of our 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, being held this year at The Country Club course (formally the Board of Trade Country Club) in Woodbridge on Thursday August 15, 2013.

Proceeds from this charity event will be directed towards the Canadian Spinal Research Organization (CSRO) and their Enteric Gila research at MacMaster University in Hamilton.

For over twenty-five years, CSRO has been funding leading Canadian researchers as they progress towards discoveries which will one day lead to finding a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries.

Enteric Gila research involves developing a therapy that harvests intestinal cells for transplantation onto the spine of the individual. An exciting aspect to this therapy is that it eliminates any issues with donor rejection, as the cells would be coming from the individual’s own body. For more information on the latest research being funded by CSRO, please visit www.csro.com/research.

For more information on participation and sponsorship opportunities regarding Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, please contact Trevor by phone at 647-726-1376 or by email at tgolem@fmtlaw.ca.