Darcy R. Merkur*, Partner

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Email: Click here to Email

Phone: 416.868.3176 | Cell: 416.996.7677

Fax: 416.868.3134

Certified Specialist - Civil Litigation
2014 Lexpert Ranked - Canadian Legal Lexpert
Best Lawyers

 

 

Proud to be one of just 14 plaintiff's personal injury lawyers in Ontario (i.e. members of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association) recognized as an expert in personal injury litigation in every available peer reviewed publication - in Lexpert®, The Best Lawyers in Canada®, as a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation (by the Law Society of Upper Canada) and as a partner at a Top 10 Personal Injury Law Firm in Canada (according to Canadian Lawyer Magazine).

Admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2000 and Certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Civil Litigation
 

*Darcy Merkur Law Professional Corporation
 

Practice Highlights

 

Personal Injury:

In addition to being certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in Civil Litigation, Darcy has again been recognized by his peers in both the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2014 as a consistently recommended leading lawyer in Personal Injury representing Plaintiffs and in Best Lawyers in Canada® 2013 in the field of Personal Injury Litigation. As well, Darcy was the proud recipient of the 2011 Dean Edgell Award, presented by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association for Darcy's significant contribution and excellence in legal writing, continuing legal education, and leadership activities. His reputation as a leader in the personal injury field was recently acknowledged in a Toronto Sun article on auto insurance where Darcy was referred to as "one of the province's leading personal injury lawyers".

Darcy handles a multitude of complex, serious personal injury cases on behalf of accident victims and their families and has had some great successes. In a personal injury jury trial involving an adolescent acquired brain injury accident victim, Darcy helped achieve such an outstanding result for the accident victim that the trial judge made a rare premium award to him and his co-counsel. In doing so, the trial judge noted that Darcy had “gained a great deal of expertise in personal injury litigation”.

While most of Darcy's work involves assisting Ontario motor vehicle accident victims, Darcy has had the privilege of assisting hundreds of victims of sexual abuse. His exceptional work on behalf of victims of sexual abuse was recognized by an Adjudicator in the Aboriginal Residential School Independent Assessment Process. In the decision, the Adjudicator wrote that, "the professionalism, advocacy and solicitor-client relationship displayed by Mr. Merkur during the course of the hearing was exemplary."

Darcy has also built a reputation as an innovator in the personal injury field. He has designed a revolutionary computer program for use in quantifying personal injury claims and his product is now available for sale through the legal publisher Carswell under the title “The Ontario Personal Injury Damages Calculator”. A short demonstration of the Personal Injury Damages Calculator is available here. The program can also be used to quantify the value of past and future accident benefits available under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS), such as attendant care benefits, income replacement benefits, medical and rehabilitation benefits and other benefits available in cases of catastrophic impairment. The program is instrumental for accurately evaluating compensation in car accident cases, slip and fall cases, slip and fall cases and other negligence cases.

Darcy passionately supports the rights of accident victims. Through his involvement with the Brain Injury Society of Toronto and, in particular, the Brain Injury Awareness Month planning committee, he tries to help raise public awareness of the difficulties faced by head injury victims.


Class Action:

Darcy was instrumental in the multi-billion dollar Aboriginal Residential School class action settlement -- the largest class action settlement in Canadian history.
 

Education

  • Bachelor of Commerce, McGill University (1995)
  • Bachelor of Laws, Osgoode Hall Law School (1998)

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury
  • Class Action

Professional Activities and Affiliations

  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • American Association for Justice
  • The Canadian Bar Association
  • The Ontario Bar Association
  • Past Co-Chair of the Brain Injury Awareness Month Planning Committee, a committee of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto
  • Recipient of the 2011 Dean Edgell Award, presented by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association

 


 

Recent Publications
 

Expert duties reinforced as lawyer ordered to pay costs over biased witness
LawTimesNews.com
(written by Yamri Taddese, quoting Darcy Merkur)
June 30, 2014

In a decision emphasizing counsel's duties around experts, a Superior Court judge has ordered a Toronto lawyer to personally pay a portion of his client's costs for wasting time and resources after finding he knowingly used a biased witness eventually removed from the case.

 

Loose ends can wipe out comprehensive settlements
The Lawyers Weekly
June 27, 2014

Failure to obtain court approval of the settlement of a minor's modest Family Law Act claim as part of a comprehensive personal injury settlement can result in the nullification of the entire settlement, according to Justice Gregory Mulligan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in his April 28 decision in Downing v. Reynolds [2014] O.J. No. 1897.

 

Cost proportionality not always kind to injured plaintiffs
LawTimesNews.com
June 9, 2014

When it comes to legal costs, the proportionality concept is a welcome feature in civil litigation but it can serve to penalize personal injury plaintiffs with modest claims.


Why credentials matter
Toronto Metro - Q & A with Darcy Merkur
June 6, 2014

When evalutating a personal injury lawyer, what credentials are important?
 

Bias a hot topic for experts as Getahun debate continues
Law Times
(written by Michael McKiernan, quoting Darcy Merkur)
May 19, 2014

Bias is once again the hot topic among expert witnesses after an Ontario Superior Court judge banned lawyers from meeting with their experts to review draft reports.
 

Attendant Services and Public Policy
Outspoken Magazine
(written by Peter Athanasopoulos)
Winter, 2014

Interview with Darcy Merkur about attendant services and the public policy process.
 

Liberals reduce medical benefits
Toronto Sun
(written by Alan Shanoff, quoting Darcy Merkur)
February 8, 2014

Late last year, Ontario's Liberal government reversed a ruling of the Ontario Court of Appeal and made it harder for auto accident victims to obtain medical-rehabilitation benefits.
 

Hard times for family caregiver
The Lawyers Weekly
February 7, 2014

The contentious change relates to the revised definition of “incurred” within subsection 3(7)(e) of the SABS. As of Sept. 1, 2010, the definition of “incurred” was amended to prevent friends and family members from claiming payment for services they provide to their loved ones following an accident unless they could establish that they had suffered an “economic loss” in providing such services.
 

An Unwelcome Surprise Change to Claiming Ontario Attendant Care Benefits
Accident Benefit Reporter Updater, Issue 17
February 5, 2014

The Ontario government recently blindsided the personal injury community with a further amendment to the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule (SABS) designed to essentially eliminate the possibility of friends and family members providing paid attendant care services to injured loved ones following a motor vehicle accident.
 

The downside of judge's ruling on reviewing draft expert reports
LawTimesNews.com
January 27, 2014

While a judge had commendable goals in declaring an end to lawyers’ practice of reviewing draft expert reports, her recent Superior Court decision may have the unwelcome consequence of affecting who counsel retain as experts.
 

Personal Injury Law: Service via Facebook should be the new norm
LawTimesNews.com
January 20, 2013

Recently, my colleague was able to persuade Justice Susan Healey of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that substituted service of a statement of claim on a defendant via Facebook was appropriate.
 

New report a good first step towards a better insurance dispute resolution system
LawTimesNews.com
November 18, 2013

Former Superior Court associate chief justice Douglas Cunningham’s interim report on Ontario’s automobile insurance dispute resolution system this month is a good first step towards a new and better approach.
 

Challenges With Opinions From Treatment Providers
Mondaq.com
November 7, 2013

All treatment providers must now strictly comply with expert report rules before been able to provide opinion evidence at trial.
 

Referral fees are now the norm for personal injury cases
AdvocateDaily.com
November 1, 2013

In the years since the rule change allowing Ontario lawyers to pay other lawyers referral fees, the practice has gone from the exception to the norm in serious personal injury cases.
 

Going from the exception to the rule
The Lawyers Weekly
November 1, 2013

More than a decade after the introduction of lawyer-to-lawyer referral fees, the practice has gone from the exception to the norm in serious personal injury cases.
 

FSCO dispute system needs an overhaul
AdvocateDaily.com
October 31, 2013

The next problem the Financial Services Commission of Ontario needs to address, after getting a handle on the backlog of mediations, is arbitration timelines for both getting a date for a hearing and waiting indefinitely to receive a decision afterwards.
 

Personal Injury Law: FSCO must now tackle arbitration delays
LawTimesNews.com
October 28, 2013

While congratulations may be in order to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario for finally getting a handle on the enormous backlog of mediations, the next problem to address is the arbitration timelines for both getting a date for a hearing and, what may be the most frustrating thing ever, waiting indefinitely to receive a decision afterwards.
 

Arbitrator rules against retroactive benefits cuts
AdvocateDaily.com
October 16, 2013

Accident benefit insurers may still be responsible for the cost of rebuttal reports in relation to accidents governed by automobile policies predating Sept. 1, 2010, when legislative amendments removed the payment obligation.
 

Accident victims get break as arbitrator rules against retroactive benefits cuts
LawTimesNews.com
October 14, 2013

Despite the Sept. 1, 2010 legislative amendments removing the obligation on accident benefit insurers to pay for rebuttal reports, they may still be responsible for the cost in relation to accidents governed by automobile policies predating that time.
 

Despite delay, catastrophic definition may still be overhauled
AdvocateDaily.com
September 25, 2013

As the Ontario government continues to consider an overhaul of its definition of “catastrophic impairment,” (CAT), a fear exists that efforts over the last 15 years to establish consistency and predictability in applying the test will be lost
 

Plaintiff's counsel may be forced to rely more on legal experts
AdvocateDaily.com
September 6, 2013

The Ontario Divisional Court recently clarified the rules surrounding treating health practitioners providing opinion evidence at trial and they must provide a written report prior to trial.
 

Court clarifies expert report rules
The Lawyers Weekly
September 6, 2013

All treatment providers must now strictly comply with expert report rules before being able to provide opinion evidence at trial.
 

Merkur named leading practitioner in Lexpert Directory
AdvocateDaily.com
July 29, 2013

Toronto plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer Darcy Merkur has been included in the 2013 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, recognizing leading personal injury practitioners.
 

Use & Abuse of Technology at Pre-Trial & Trial
By Craig Brown & Darcy Merkur
The Litigator
June, 2013

This paper is directed primarily at younger lawyers without significant trial experience who, by virtue of their facility with technology, are perhaps best equipped to use it creatively in the litigation process.
 

Bar reacts to first case on minor injury guideline
Law Times
May 6, 2013

The decision has the potential to finally constrain the guideline.
 

Clarifying catastrophic impairment designations
AdvocateDaily.com
April 29, 2013

Insurers, take note: any Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 9 or less following a motor vehicle accident will lead to a “catastrophic impairment” designation whenever there is any evidence of brain impairment.
 

Catastrophic impairment designation clarified
The Lawyers Weekly
April 26, 2013

There must be effective recourse for innocent accident victims who are forced to go without necessary treatment and care while they unnecessarily fight to have their clear "catastrophic impairment" designation confirmed.
 

The Other Side of the Fence
Claims Canada
April, 2013

The premise of no-fault benefits is immediate access to necessary benefits. A lengthy dispute process to resolve claims for immediate benefits is absurd.
 

Case provides little clarity on protection of legal advice
AdvocateDaily.com
April 3, 2013

While accident victims are required to disclose all of their medical, employment, and tax information as a prerequisite to their pursuit of justice, what happens when a client discusses confidential legal advice with a treatment provider such as a psychologist?
 

Personal Injury Law: Dupont provides little comfort on protecting legal advice from disclosure
LawTimesNews.com
April 1, 2013

People want their privacy and feel they shouldn’t have to divulge their personal information in order to obtain the fair compensation they deserve.
 

Overhaul auto insurance system
TorontoSun.com
February 16, 2013

Ontario's NDP is clamouring for a 15% rate reduction in car insurance premiums citing lower payouts by insurers since the gutting of no fault accident benefits in 2010.
 

Recent decision a step forward for victims
AdvocateDaily.com
February 11, 2013

Qualifying as having suffered a 'catastrophic impairment' allows an Ontario motor vehicle accident claimant to essentially access an extra $2-million in needed benefits, the determination is crucial both to the claimant and to the responsible insurer
 

Changes coming for meaning of catastrophic impairment
AdvocateDaily.com
February, 2013

Just as a common understanding of the term “catastrophic impairment” has been reached, its definition is being completely reworked with an aim for a more accurate and objective system
 

Lawyers have time to wait before disputing catastrophic impairment designations
The Lawyers Weekly
February 1, 2013

Seriously injured accident benefit claimants in Ontario no longer are required to dispute a "catastrophic impairment" denial within two years from the date of the denial, according to a recent arbitration decision.
 

Efficiency needed in dispute process
AdvocateDaily.com
January 22, 2013

A streamlined accident benefits dispute process is needed to improve the system surrounding recovery for claimants.
 

Personal Injury Law: Accident-benefit-dispute process makes no sense
LawTimesNews.com
January 21, 2013

It’s a situation that happens way too often. Your personal injury client is seriously injured and needs ample care and rehabilitation. Thankfully, and with effective legal representation, you navigate through all of the red tape, leap over all of the hurdles the accident benefit insurer puts in your way, and things run smoothly until the insurer secures a highly contentious independent medical examination report that leads to crucial treatment and care denials.
 

The need for a 'speedy' personal injury trial
The Lawyers Weekly
November 5, 2012

In addition to the physical and emotional consequences arising from a serious accident, personal injury claimants and their families must address financial implications which can be extreme.
 

Will negative discount rate boost litigation in 2013?
CanadianLawyerMagazine.com
October 5, 2012

The Ontario government is raising eyebrows with its newly published discount rate for trials starting in 2013 that for the first time puts it at a negative number.
 

Personal Injury Law: Pastore completes trilogy of cases protecting accident victims
LawTimesNews.com
October 1, 2012

Only one marked or extreme functional impairment due to a mental or behavioural disorder is necessary to qualify accident victims for enhanced catastrophic impairment benefits, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in a welcome decision last week in Pastore v. Aviva Canada Inc.
 

Drawing the line on what's owed to a care provider
The Lawyers Weekly
September 5, 2012

The extent of one’s "economic loss" has been determined to be irrelevant to an evaluation of the quantum available to a care provider who otherwise can meet the definition of "incurred" within the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule (SABS).
 

Are you a curse-mailer?
CanadianLawyerMag.com
August 27, 2012

You have all received “curse-mail” from other lawyers. You know, the snarky e-mail that draws you into a punch-back response — the bullyish “how dare you” threatening e-mails that critique your view as “preposterous,” “ridiculous,” and “outlandish.”
 

Personal Injury Law: Case could spark avalanche of underinsured claims
LawTimesNews.com
August 13, 2012

Plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers must do a better job at pinning down tort defendants’ insurance limits and identifying potential coverage issues from the outset to determine whether or not to advance a claim as against any underinsured policies.
 

Appeal court widens door to non-earner benefits
LawTimesNews.com
July 30, 2012

Accident benefits claimants who return to work after their motor vehicle accidents may find it easier to obtain non-earner benefits following a ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal last week.
 

Personal Injury Law: Victims lose if government adopts recommendations on catastrophic impairment
LawTimesNews.com
June 25, 2012

The Ontario minister of finance appears determined to announce major changes to the definition of catastrophic impairment set out in the statutory accident benefits schedule despite warnings by victim advocates and others about the negative consequences of them.
 

Expert Costs Under Scrutiny
Accident Benefit Reporter
Volume 13, Issue 1
Summer 2012

The Hamfler decision raises the bar on how to properly establish the reasonableness of assessable disbursements and raises challenges for plaintiff’s counsel trying to manage expert costs while at the same time complying with the new onerous rules mandating comprehensive expert reports. In the end, personal injury claimants may end up paying the price for costs that are no longer recoverable from the insurer.
 

Personal Injury Law: FSCO decision puts accident-benefit settlements at standstill
LawTimesNews.com
May 7, 2012

Accident benefit settlements are at a complete standstill thanks to a recent Financial Services Commission of Ontario arbitration decision invaliding the mandatory settlement documents approved by the superintendent.
 

Expert costs under scrutiny of courts
The Lawyers Weekly
April 27, 2012

Experts who overcharge for their services, beware: No longer will the courts rubber stamp disbursements that were normally recoverable against a losing party.
 

Volunteer Spotlight
BIST Beacon
April, 2012

An interview with Darcy Merkur about his volunteer role with the Brain Injury Society of Toronto.
 

Personal injury lawyers fed up with FSCO mediation delays
LawTimesNews.com
March 12, 2012

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has failed to provide a timely process for resolving disputes over accident benefits.
For those unfamiliar with the mandatory dispute process, all Ontario accident benefit disputes must first go to mediation through FSCO before the applicant has the right to issue a lawsuit or arbitrate.

 

Kusnierz Decision on Catastrophic Impairments Overturned
The Health Professional Magazine
Winter 2012

At this time the superintendent of financial services at FSCO is in the process of submitting a report to the Minister of Finance on recommended changes to the definition of catastrophic impairment. In light of the Kusnierz appeal decision and the clear comments by the Ontario Court of Appeal relating to the issue of fairness, any proposal to expressly prevent combining physical and psychological impairments would be inappropriate.

 

Scars left behind
The Lawyers Weekly
February 3, 2012

The Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that psychological impacts can be considered in combination with physical injuries when determining whether an accident victim has suffered a "catastrophic impairment" pursuant to the whole person impairment (WPI) test under the Ontario Statutory Benefit Schedule (SABS).
 


Privacy poachers take big hit
The Lawyers Weekly
February 3, 2012

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s creation of a potentially sweeping new tort for invasion of privacy will generate litigation and other revenue opportunities for a broad cross section of the Bar, lawyers predict.
 

Thomson, Rogers Launches Online Trauma Resource Directory
Law Times
January 9, 2012

Thomson, Rogers has launched a new resource site to allow lawyers, insurance adjusters, health professionals, and accident victims to access vital information on health practitioners.
 

Disclosure of Facebook Information
The Lawyers Weekly
November 4, 2011

Whether the contents of a personal injury plaintiff's Facebook page must be disclosed in an affidavit of documents is a contentious issue that has yet to be conclusively decided by the Ontario court in accordance with the new higher disclosure standard of 'relevance.'
 

Is Facebook Information Really "Relevant"?
Law Times
October, 2011

Whether the contents of a personal injury plaintiff’s Facebook page must be disclosed in an Affidavit of Documents is a contentious issue that has yet to be conclusively decided by the Ontario courts in accordance with the new higher disclosure standard of "relevance".
 

A Catastrophic Upheaval - Kusnierz Decision Challenges Desbiens Ruling
The Health Professional Magazine
Fall 2011

Following the decision in Kusnierz v. Economical Mutual Insurance Co., 2010 ONSC 5749 (S.C.J.), the rules for calculating whole person  impairment (WPI) ratings in accordance with the definition of "catastrophic impairment" in the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) are now up in the air.

 

Personal injury bar shaken by catastrophic injury report
Law Times
September 12, 2011

The personal injury bar has been thrown into a state of uncertainty by an expert report on the definition of catastrophic impairment.

 

Court upholds surveillance disclosure decision
The Lawyers Weekly
September 9, 2011

A personal injury defence lawyer sending surveillance of the plaintiff to a defence medical expert must now contemporaneously release the surveillance to plaintiff’s counsel. No longer can a plaintiff be ambushed at a defence medical examination by questions by the medical expert designed to contradict the surveillance sent to the defence expert, yet unseen by the plaintiff.

 

A "Catastrophic" Upheaval
Accident Benefit Reporter*, Vol. 12, Issue 1
May, 2011
 

Communicating with personal injury clients
The Lawyers Weekly
April 29, 2011

Personal injury clients have completely unrealistic expectations when it comes to communication with their lawyers - and meeting those expectations is a major challenge for most plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers.

 

IAP Compensation Calculator 2011
February 1, 2011

As part of the Residential School Class Action, victims of serious abuse may receive personal injury compensation through the Independent Assessment Process (IAP). This excel based program calculates the value of IAP claims.

 

A catastrophic upheaval in interpreting 'impairment'
The Lawyers Weekly
December 17, 2010

The rules for properly calculating "whole person impairment" (WPI) ratings in accordance with the definition of "catastrophic impairment" in the Ontario Statutory Benefit Schedule (SABS) are now up in the air, following a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
 

Ontario eliminates fatality deductible
The Lawyers Weekly
September 10, 2010

As of Sept. 1, the controversial fatality deductible has been eliminated in all cases of death caused directly or indirectly by a motor vehicle accident in Ontario.
 

New rules on experts create headaches
Law Times
July 26, 2010

New rules governing the use of expert witnesses in the civil justice system have increased costs and caused confusion, according to lawyers who retain them.


New no-fault benefits laws provide less
London Free Press
June 5, 2010

According to personal injury lawyer Darcy Merkur, approximately 3% of car owners have purchased the currently available optional coverage and "it is unrealistic to think that motorists will suddenly understand the need to purchase optional coverage to properly protect themselves in the event of a motor vehicle accident."
 

Suing Big Pharma
Financial Post
May 10, 2010

Lawyer Darcy Merkur, a partner with Thomson Rogers law firm in Toronto, has filed a class action against Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of Mirapex, which is prescribed to people who suffer from Parkinson's disease.
 

Lawyers sound alarm on insurance reform
The Lawyers Weekly
May 3, 2010

The new statutory accident benefits schedule effectively halves the payments seriously injured victims of noncatastrophic injuries will receive.


Why Ontario Motorists Will Need More Insurance
The Lawyers Weekly
April 30, 2010

Ontario’s new Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule reduces the accident benefits available to motorists covered by standard automobile insurance policies and restricts access to those benefits. It will have a negative impact on motor vehicle accident victims in Ontario.

 

Ontario Cuts Auto Insurance Costs by Reducing Coverage
The Lawyers Weekly
December 18, 2009

Most car owners will have reduced basic auto insurance coverage and, as a result, many seriously injured accident victims will end up with access to significantly diluted protection.

 

Repairing the Catastrophic Impairment GCS Test
Accident Benefit Reporter*, Vol. 10, Issue 2
November 2009

 

Repairing the Catastrophic Impairment Test
The Lawyers Weekly, Personal Injury Section
September 11, 2009

Head injury victims in Ontario with depressed Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores following a motor vehicle accident will no longer be denied access to the over $2,000,000 in accident benefits available to those suffering a “catastrophic impairment.”
 

Punitives and The Jury
The Litigator, Journal of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
April 2009

Discussing the law regarding punitive damage claims in personal injury and product liability lawsuits and how a personal injury lawyer may best present a punitive damage claim at trial on behalf of an accident victim.
 

Certification Not the Holy Grail Anymore
Article in the Law Times
April 6, 2009


New Rules Impose Seven-Hour limit on Discovery
The Lawyers Weekly, Personal Injury Section
February 6, 2009
 

Spreadsheet Software Makes Settlement Calculations a Snap
Article in The Lawyers Weekly
February 1, 2008

Darcy is the author of the Ontario Personal Injury Damages Calculator (OPIDC) published by Carswell – click here for a guided, video demonstration.

Click here to order the 2013 version of the Ontario Personal Injury Damages Calculator (OPIDC) or call Carswell directly at 416-609-3800 or
1-800-387-5164.
 


 

Recent Presentations

Darcy R. Merkur, David F. MacDonald, Michael L. Bennett, Supporting ABI Car Accident Survivors, Family Members and In-Patient Rehab Teams, presented at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare on May 7, 2014.

Darcy R. Merkur, David R. Tenszen, How You Can Help Your Patients Understand Their Legal Rights, presented at Lakeridge Health, Whitby Campus on November 27, 2013.

Darcy R. Merkur, Up-to-Date Review of Statutory Accident Benefits Legislative Framework (re: the anticipated CAT definition changes), presented at the Back to School with Thomson, Rogers and Toronto ABI Network conference "Hospital to Home: Working Collaboratively" on September 12, 2013.

 

Best Practices for Hospital Social Workers & Transitional Care Coordinators Re: Safe & Effective Discharge Planning, presented at the Back to School with Thomson, Rogers and Toronto ABI Network conference "Hospital to Home: Working Collaboratively" on September 12, 2013.
Panel:
Darcy R. Merkur (Moderator)
Ingrid KuranSt. Michael's Hospital
Zia Poonjiaji, St. Michael's Hospital
Jessica SchroterToronto Rehab
Michelle Diamond, Private Sector

Darcy R. Merkur, The Anticipated Changes to the Definition of "Catastrophic Impairment" and It's Expected Impact, presented at the Back to School with Thomson, Rogers and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario - Managing Your Injury to Independence conference on September 13, 2012.

 

Darcy R. Merkur & L. Craig Brown, Use and Abuse of Technology at Pre-trial and Trial, presented at the OTLA 2012 Spring Conference "Torts & Trials: The Tips You Need to Know & Use" on June 7-8, 2012.

Darcy Merkur, Update - The Expert Panel's Report to the Superintendent on Catastrophic Impairment, presented at the Back to School with Thomson, Rogers - Catastrophic Brain Impairment: Children, Young Adults and their Families (Rehabilitation Strategies) conference on September 8, 2011.

 

Darcy Merkur & Leonard Kunka, Ask for Legal Advice - a seminar on recent Court cases impacting the interpretation of the definition of "catastrophic impairment" in the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule, presented at the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario on June 10, 2011.

Darcy Merkur & John Rossos, Recovery of Interest Charges, presented at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Spring Conference, on May 27, 2011.  A discussion of the potential for personal injury claimants to recover interest charges incurred to pay for ongoing rehabilitation and treatment during the course of a personal injury claim.

Darcy Merkur, Ontario Personal Injury Damages Calculator 2011, Live Webinar, March 10, 2011, on the use of the Ontario Personal Injury Damages Calculator 2011 for effectively and accurately quantifying personal injury lawsuits in Ontario, including Ontario car accident claims and claims under the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.

Darcy Merkur, Leonard H. Kunka and Stephen Birman, The 3 Most Important Changes to the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule From the Perspective of Hospital Trauma Workers, presented at St. Michael's Hospital on October 21, 2010.

Darcy Merkur, Update on Statutory Accident Benefit Legislation, presented at the Back-to-School II with Thomson, Rogers conference on September 30, 2010.

Darcy Merkur, Persuasive Presentation of Damages, presented to the Canadian Caucus at the American Association of Justice conference in Vancouver on July 11, 2010.  A presentation on how to effectively present damage assessments in personal injury claims.
 

Darcy Merkur & Leonard Kunka, Overview of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule - Ontario Regulation 34/10, presented at the Navigating the New SABS: Practical Solutions conference with Thomson, Rogers and the Toronto ABI Network on March 31, 2010


Darcy Merkur & Richard Halpern, Ontario Proposed Auto Insurance Reforms (2010), presented at the Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment (CAPDA) Forum on the changes to Ontario auto insurance on January 8, 2010.

 

Darcy Merkur, Expert Witnesses - New Duties, presented at the OTLA Fall Conference - Mea Culpa: Lessons Lived & Learned on October 29, 2009.

 
Darcy R. Merkur, Quantifying and Assessing Personal Injury Damages, presented to the OTLA Women's Caucus on May 21, 2008 in Toronto.
 

Darcy R. Merkur, Complex Damages Assessments/Calculations: Technological Advances, presented at the Litigating Catastrophic Injury Claims conference organized by the Federated Press, spring 2008.
 

Darcy R. Merkur, Computing Tort Damages in Motor Vehicle Cases, presented at the Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development CLE on Managing and Litigation Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, winter 2008
 

Darcy R. Merkur, Implications of the Residential Schools Agreement for other Mass Torts, presented at the Canadian Institute - Institutional Liability for Sexual Assault & Abuse Conference, winter 2007
 

Darcy R. Merkur, Using Cutting Edge Technology Applications to Effectively Analyze and Present Your Claim, presented at the Canadian Institute - Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation Conference, fall 2007
 

Darcy R. Merkur & L. Craig Brown, Effective Use of Technology at Trial, presented at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Conference, fall 2006
 

Darcy R. Merkur, Access to Aboriginal Justice through the Class Action Process, presented at the Law Society of Upper Canada - Access to Aboriginal Justice Conference, spring 2006

 


 

Recent Court Decisions

 

Quadriplegic Motor Vehicle Accident Trial (Spring, 2011)

In the spring of 2011, Craig Brown, Darcy Merkur and Stacey Stevens were trial counsel to a motor vehicle accident victim who had lost control of his motor vehicle within days of his vehicle passing a safety inspection. The plaintiff was catastrophically impaired in the accident and was receiving catastrophic accident benefits from his accident benefit insurer. The claim was for in excess of $15 million. Three weeks into this jury trial, in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, a resolution was reached between the parties. The details of the resolution are confidential. With permission of the plaintiff, you can review a copy of the plaintiff's opening statement at the link below (to product privacy, all names have been redacted).

 

Resolution of Sexual Abuse Claims at North York General Hospital

Resolved claims by 26 victims alleging sexual abuse by Dr. George Doodnaught while at North York General Hospital. See Toronto Star article dated March 24, 2011, and Press Release dated March 8, 2011.
 

Class Action Against the Directors of Farm Mutual Financial Services Inc.

A Certification and Settlement Approval motion with respect to a class action against the directors of a bankrupt investment company that were alleged to have breached their duty to the customers of that company.  The $21.25 million settlement was approved. For details see: the reasons of Justice Perell.


Allegations of Sexual Assault By Dr. George Doodnaught at North York General Hospital

Thomson, Rogers is pleased to announce, on behalf of its clients, that an agreement has been reached with North York General Hospital to establish an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Process that will allow qualifying claimants to come forward and receive compensation in a fair and efficient manner. More...
 

Banerjee v. Shire Biochem Inc. et al.

In this class action lawsuit, Craig Brown and Darcy Merkur were successful in having a class action certified on behalf of users of a Parkinson's Disease drug that claim they suffered compulsive behaviour, such as compulsive gambling, as a result of using the drug.
 

Resch v. Canadian Tire
After achieving an extremely successful jury verdict of $3.5 million on behalf of an accident victim, Craig Brown and Darcy Merkur, the lawyers for the accident victim, were acknowledged by the Judge as having done a marvelous job advocating on behalf of the injured victim and his family. The Judge awarded Craig Brown and Darcy Merkur a very rare $100,000.00 costs premium for having achieved an outstanding result. An appeal by the defendants to the Ontario Court of Appeal was later marked as abandoned.
 

Haddad v. Kaitlin Group Ltd.
In this Motion for Certification, Alan Farrer and Darcy Merkur persuaded the Court that the circumstances of this misrepresentation claim warranted resolution by way of a class action. In this case, home purchasers claim damages from a developer of a Subdivision for allegedly making mispresentations about the nature of the Subdivision in its Marketing Materials. The case will now proceed as a class proceeding under the Ontario Class Proceedings Act.

Baxter v. Canada
Thomson, Rogers was the first to issue a national class action on behalf of all Aboriginal Residential School survivors throughout Canada. Lawyers Craig Brown, Alan Farrer and Darcy Merkur were involved in every step of the class action including in the negotiations that lead to the largest class action settlement in Canadian history! The settlement, valued at in excess of $4 billion, was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Affidavit of Darcy Merkur was cited extensively in the Court’s approval of this monumental settlement.

Webb v. Weiglein
Leonard Kunka and Darcy Merkur helped a victim of a tummy tuck gone wrong receive compensation for her pain and suffering.

Britton v. O’Callaghan
Darcy Merkur successfully argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal that the more favourable Ohio substantive law applied to a car accident victim injured while a passenger in an Ontario motor vehicle being driven in Ohio.

Chisholm v. Liberty Mutual Group
Darcy Merkur appeared before the Ontario Court of Appeal regarding the issue of a drive-by shooting victim’s entitlement to statutory accident benefits under the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).

McIntyre v. Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
Darcy Merkur appeared before the Ontario Court of Appeal regarding the issue of whether personal injury damages can be seized to pay an outstanding restitution order.

Abick v. Continental Insurance Co. of Canada
Craig Brown and Darcy Merkur successfully argued for disclosure of opinions given by a personal injury lawyer hired by the insurance company in a car accident case on behalf of both the insurance company and its insured.

TDL Group Limited v. Niagara
Roger Beaman and Darcy Merkur persuaded the Ontario Court of Appeal that a municipality had the right to install a median on the roadway in front of an entrance to a popular Tim Horton’s.

 


 

 Testimonials

In September 2011 our world changed.  Our 19 year old son, fresh into college, was walking home from a friends a few blocks from our home when he was struck down by a car.  He was alone, there were no witnesses and the driver left the scene where he lay unconscious on the road.  The driver was never identified. 

 
Weeks later when he left the trauma unit to enter rehab, it was suggested we find a lawyer. We were provided with information on a number of firms.  It was then we met Darcy Merkur with Thomson and Rogers.  We met someone who was supportive, professional and committed.  Up to this point we had little knowledge of our rights or the  supports available to us. We felt rescued and hopeful.
 
Darcy worked with us for the next two and a half years.  The case was complex and working with my son was challenging because of how the catastrophic brain injury affected his personality. It was a very difficult time. Darcy was persistent and creatively found ways to work with him.   
 
My son will need support for the rest of his life.  His life goals have completely shifted and although his dreams may not have changed, the challenges he faces to make them come true are mountainous. 
 
Darcy Merkur was successful.  Not only because of his diligence and determination to contend with the details of the case and close with an appreciative settlement, Darcy was able to establish a solid, trusting relationship with our son which was the most important quality of all. 
 
- Pat C.
 

 

An audio message of thanks from an appreciative client.

Click below for audio

 

- R. Saunders

 


 

In 2006 my mom was involved in a collision, resulting in a permanent injury to her knees and back. For a few years following the incident, life became terrible for her as well as us, her family. Multiple surgeries, countless painkillers, hours of therapy, a relationship breakdown, and the loss of her ability to work did more damage to her mind and heart than the collision itself did. We could never get her the right support she needed to heal properly without fear for her future.

After a difficult experience with another firm, she received a referral for Thomson, Rogers. After a little research, it became clear that Thomson, Rogers would be the best place for a situation like hers, given the depth of their experience with personal injury cases.

I remember mom being nervous about the first meeting. As we sat in the lobby, she stared at the floor, barely holding herself together. She worried what she would do if nobody took her on. When Stacey and Darcy sat down with her, I think that hopelessness came through as she told them about her case. We later drove home with the same relief that comes when you pass something heavy to someone else to hold when your arms are about to give out.

Over the following months, information and discussions with the other parties flew back and forth. We never knew exactly what was happening day to day, but it was clear that things were moving forward. Some days I would come home from work and mom would be on the phone with Stacey, who had called to see how she was doing. Some clients need to have frequent contact and Stacey recognized that.

Less than two years after that first meeting, a resolution was reached with a better-than-expected outcome. This end was fair and final, which is all mom wanted from the beginning.

If she had not asked Stacey and Darcy for help, there is no telling where she would be now. I don’t even want to think about that. Rather, I’m thankful I get to see her new reality where she no longer worries about getting by, her spirit is restored, and her body in a manageable state. I am grateful that I get to see her get married next year and have the life she always wanted for herself. Thanks to Stacey, Darcy and the team at Thomson, Rogers, I get to see that happy endings really do exist.

- Holly C.

 


 

Hello Darcy, you’ve never met me but I’m Ryan’s mother. I just want to let you know that I got a text from my son with a picture of a cheque that came to him today and boy is he happy and so excited. You have done an amazing job for him and I love my boy with all my heart and my daughter. I just wanted to tell you that to see his life made a little more bearable is really really special and you have enabled that to happen. It’s terrible what happened to my daughter this year concerning their children and our whole family has been up and down on a roller coaster ride non-stop and it’s so nice to know that there are people in the world like you that really help when it’s needed. All I can say Darcy is that I hope to meet you some day and I’ll make you a great home-made lemon pound cake from scratch with lemon drizzle on top and you’ll love it, as a thank you from Ryan’s mother. You’ve done an awesome job. Thank you so much Darcy.

- Mother of Ryan S.

Click below for audio

 

Having had the misfortune of suffering personal injuries for reasons beyond my control on two separate occasions over the last few years, I had the good fortune of retaining the law firm Thomson Rogers to look after my interests.

The gentlemen who handled my cases, Mr. Darcy Merkur in the first instance, Mr. Stephen Birman in the second, were exemplary in their support and professionalism, and obtained results beyond my expectations. I could not have been in better hands!

Sincerely,

- H.H. Bremer, PhD

 


 

Just want to say again, how grateful I am for the work you did in pursuing my claim for my accident this May.

Thomson and Rogers came highly recommended but I didn't expect the level of service I received.

I truly felt like you took a personal interest in my case and were always courteous, thorough and attentive. I always received an immediate response to all my queries. I also appreciated that you took the time to explain each step in the process to me.

Most of I am impressed with the amount I was awarded, which speaks to your ability as a negotiator.

I would highly recommend your firm to anyone.

With much gratitude,

- Barbara B.

 


 

I would like to personally thank you for the professionalism and respect that was shared between you and I as well as the entire team during the handling of this claim to ensure that our mutual goal of helping D and his family was accomplished. Your trust and our mutual respect allowed me to interact and develop a working relationship between D and his family as well as all his health care practitioners, that was not only appreciated, but in my opinion, was another reason for the successful handling and result of D’s claim. It was a complete and utter pleasure to work with you and the team and I look forward to working with you and/or Thomson, Rogers again.

- Letter from senior accident benefit insurance adjuster upon the successful resolution of a child’s catastrophic impairment accident benefit claim (May, 2012)

 


 

Dear Darcy,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My son now has the possibility for a future, thanks to your endless work on my behalf.

On the day of mediation I was very worried that I was going to get very little money from the stingy folks at our favourite insurance company.

You may not have noticed but I was far from my best that day, I should have been in hospital. You picked up my slack and “held my hand” during this very stressful procedure.

I thought that I would take anything that the insurance company offered, but you wouldn’t let me. You kept maneuvering around those guys like they were puppets, there to do your bidding. After five grueling hours I had a settlement that was larger than my wildest dreams. I don’t hand out compliments very often, but the dedication, hard work and patience on your part came through. I saw my files at one point and could not believe what you and Elena had put together on my behalf. Elena answered my never ending questions for well over a year, and was always kind, efficient and honest.

I got more money then you promised and I truly believe what I told you in the settlement process during a break. I was blessed the day that I found you for my lawyer, and grateful for being treated like a human being.

You may not feel the same way but you and Elena feel more like friends than someone who I was lucky enough to hire.

Liam and I thank you both from the bottom of our hearts, and you will always be remembered as the lawyer with a heart and soul, who truly stands behind their clients.

Thanks again,

- R. Saunders and son Liam

 


 

Following our accident we sought advice from a lawyer referred to us by a lawyer friend of ours. After more than a year our medical doctor mentioned that he had never been contacted by our lawyer and he found that quite surprising. That was when we knew we had an issue with our first lawyer and that we needed help.

Darcy, in a week, took us further than the 1st lawyer had in more than a year. The end result/settlement was greater than we had anticipated; particularly after the process had been delayed. Darcy communicated effectively; he provided ongoing counsel and never created any false expectations. We did go to discovery and Darcy's coaching was helpful during that stressful time. We are very happy we went to Thomson Rogers and to Darcy in particular.

- Jane and Paul Beck

 


 

In the fall of 2009, I was hit by a car while crossing the street in my wheelchair. My chair was thrown about 25 feet and made about 3 rotations. After hitting the ground it was unfixable to say the least, and my body did not fair any better.

Two weeks after the accident I was having major difficulties talking, sleeping and generally a great amount of pain everywhere in my body. My doctor told me to sue the driver, which I had not even considered. My problem was finding a law firm which I could trust in my state of mind, or rather, lack of mind. Wheels kept spinning and I still did not know where to go.

A friend told me about a law firm that had helped out many in similar circumstances. The firm was Thomson, Rogers, and I was lucky enough to get Darcy Merkur as my lawyer. This guy actually cared about his clients and after grueling questions by him he agreed to take me on as a client. Luckiest day of my life.

Darcy has turned out to be not just a great lawyer, but a caring man as well. Who has ever heard of a lawyer who comes to the hospital to visit you and see how you are doing? Mine did on several occasions. His law clerk Elena has also turned out to be a gem that I can count on anytime. Between Darcy and Elena I feel confident that no matter how this suit finally turns out, I know that it will be the best that anyone could expect.

Thank you all for taking care of me and making me always feel comfortable that you are always acting in my best interest.

Gratefully yours,

- Robin S.

 


 

Darcy,

A sincere "Thank-you" for putting quick closure on a most difficult time in my life. Throughout the process you’ve been diligent, trustworthy & ethical.

You listened to my urgency for prompt resolution & as a result you pleasantly surprised me with a settlement that was beyond anything I was expecting.

I "thank you" for your hard work and decent nature.

With grateful regards,

- Marge P.

 


 

Dear Darcy,

I am writing to thank you and Thomson, Rogers for all you did for my sister and I, in the speedy resolution of Tammy’s case.

I don’t think anyone can prepare for the overwhelming situation that arises following an accident. I spent months trying to read and comprehend everything.

Then we called Thomson, Rogers and you came to help. You explained everything clearly. Any questions we had, you quickly handled. Everyone at Thomson, Rogers was courteous and understanding and made us feel like we were important.

So, on behalf of my family, my sister, and myself, I thank you Darcy and your firm for a great job! I wish only the best for you all.

- M. F. Derochie

 


 

Dear Darcy,

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for the incredible assistance you and your team gave me and my family. The accident altered our lives, and you helped make the alterations bearable.

It was so comforting having a knowledgeable professional like you on my team.

You always made me feel safe and confident in my legal journey. I am able to look forward to my revised life positively.

I would also like to thank the staff of Thomson Rogers. They were extremely supportive.

Thank You Darcy!

- Tammy K.

 


 

Switching lawyers to Darcy Merkur was one of the best decisions I have taken in the past 3 years!

- Ksenia O. thanking her referring treatment provider.

 


 

Dear Darcy,

I would like to thank you for your professionalism and support! I couldn’t even dream to resolve my case so fast!

I appreciate your help and am very glad that I have chosen you to represent my case!

With great appreciation,

- Ksenia O.

 


 

Dear Darcy,

Doug and I would like to express our thanks to you for the work you did on our behalf to compensate us for our loss through Factor Corp. This has made a huge difference in our lives since we were at retirement age when this took place. You can imagine our concern at the thought of losing everything we had put into this plan and now we can rest a little easier, thanks to your abilities.

Your expertise has made a difference in our lives and we want you to know how much we appreciate this. We don’t have the abilities that you have to enter into a legal discussion of this nature – and yes, we will definitely call you should the need arise, heaven forbid!

Sincerely,

- P. & D. Wettlaufer

 


 

Dear Darcy R. Merkur,

It is with the greatest appreciation that I write this.

The monies we invested with FMFS were extremely important to our future. We cannot thank you enough for your exemplary work in conducting your investigation and litigation.

We won't hesitate to recommend you and your firm, should we hear of someone that can use your assistance.

Sincerely,

- C. & G. Richardson

 


 

Dear Mr. Merkur,

Your letter arrived this week, a few days after we had received two cheques, each for 50% of our investments, from KPMG, and we both wanted to thank you so very much for all the help given to us by you.

Without the feeling of trust we had in you we would, perhaps, not have been courageous enough to have participated in the class action suit, and thereby lost a large sum of money.

Our best wishes for your continued success in the future.

Yours very truly,

- J. & O. Sears

 


 

I wish to congratulate you and your staff for your diligent efforts in finally achieving closure regarding the Farm Mutual Financial Services Inc. claim. I am very grateful for your involvement, it could not have come at a more opportune time for me. Cudos to you all.

I most certainly will keep your name on file should I ever be faced with a similar situation.

Most sincerely,

- E. J. Eaton

 


 

Dear Darcy,

Thank you for the job well done!! It was very much appreciated.

You guys are the best, God bless you.

- P. Metatawabin

 


 

Dear Mr. Merkur,

I am very happy with the settlement you recieved for me. My daughters also thank you for the contribution they received as part of the settlement. I am following up with you, to let you know how pleased I am at the outcome. I really am grateful and hope that you know how happy I am to be telling you so!


- E. Messier
 

 


 


Dear Darcy,

Thank you for all the help you provided me with during my recovery from my motorcycle accident. If it were not for you and your staff I would have been no wiser as to my legal rights and consequently financial support.

You and your staff handled my requests expeditiously and for that I'm very grateful. You were always available for informative help.

Thanks for obtaining me a final settlement with the insurance company which was far beyond what I expected.

- G. Yates

 



Mr. Merkur,

Thank you for the excellent service that you provided in handling my case against the insurance company. We want you to know that before we were referred to you, we had seen 3 other lawyers that also specialized in car accidents and they all said that I would receive a very minimum amount in settlement. You, however, were able to settle for 6 TIMES the amount that the other lawyers were predicting.

- C. Perruccio

 



Hi Darcy,

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to you, Len, and the entire team for the exemplary services you have provided me. Your services are very commendable and are sincerely appreciated.

- V. Cayabyab

 



Dear Len and Darcy,

We want you both to know how fortunate we are to have such a fine team representing us.

The accident certainly changed my lifestyle in a hurry! However it was so much easier to deal with knowing that your firm was so involved in looking after our interests.

We thank you for
- your professional and common sense approach
- your knowledgeable and sound advice
- your excellent communication
- achieving a fair and just settlement

Thanks again for doing such a fine job and caring so much.

- E. Chatten and R. Chatten

 


 
Dear Mr. Merkur,

I am very much pleased with the speed and result of the settlement and I thank you all for the support.

- R. Geroche

 


 
Hey Darcy,

This is S. Rajapakse whose motorcycle accident case you recently settled. I just wanted to send you a note of thanks for your work in this case. I was more than happy with the outcome and am glad to put the matter behind me. I am also pleased at how smoothly everything went...

- S. Rajapakse

 


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