Practice Highlights


Personal injury lawyer Craig Brown attributes much of his success to proper risk management. Craig, one of Lexpert Directory’s “Leading personal injury practitioners” and listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada® 2017, counts several multi-million dollar court verdicts among his recent achievements. Nevertheless, he makes every effort to settle before facing the uncertainties of a trial as he did in helping secure the $5 billion-plus deal for Aboriginal victims of the residential schools system.

“Going to court obviously involves risk and almost always costs more, “ he says. “I want to control that risk for my client, although I love going to court.”

In the past five years, Craig has helped hundreds of clients achieve lucrative awards for brain and spinal cord injuries and other harms sustained due to negligence. From serious motor vehicle accidents to two headline-making court battles: he won $3.5 million for a 16-year-old Fort Erie boy who suffered catastrophic head injuries after being thrown from a defective bicycle and $1.2 million for Jennifer Cowles, 25, of Cambridge who was mauled by a Siberian tiger while visiting the nearby African Lion Safari.

In the historic Indian Residential Schools case, Craig displayed his class-action experience by leading a cross-Canada, 19-law firm consortium that achieved compensation for some 86,000 former ex-students. “This was a national tragedy that needed to be dealt with,” he says.

Craig is passionate about seeking compensation for damages suffered by innocent people. In the African Lion Safari case, the trial verdict allowed the single mother to “overcome tremendous odds and start her life anew.” He adds, “she was justly compensated and they got what they deserved.”

An author and lecturer, Craig is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Advocates’ Society, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and is an advisor to the board of the Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario.

Practice Areas:

  • Personal Injury
  • Insurance Disputes
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Product Liability
  • Class Action
  • Environmental

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL VIDEO

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Queen’s University (1975)
  • Bachelor of Laws, Queen’s University Faculty of Law (1978)
  • Masters of Environmental Studies, York University (1997)

Professional Accreditations and Affiliations

  • Certified Specialist (Civil Litigation)
  • LEXPERT Ranked Lawyer
  • Listed in Best Lawyers® Canada
  • Martindale-Hubbell Ranked Lawyer
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association

Additional Information

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).

*Leslie Craig Brown Law Professional Corporation

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  • State Farm v. Aslan, 2016 ONSC 2725

    State Farm vs. Aslan

    In this significant procedural decision on the right to an Examination Under Oath (EUO), Justice Charles Hackland of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, has ruled that an insurer must provide “reasonable advance notice of the reason or reasons for the examination” as a “condition precedent to the insured’s obligation to attend under section 33(4)3 of the schedule”.

    Justice Hackland went on to say that the reasons given must be “something more than determining entitlement to benefits”. In this case, involving seven catastrophically injured claimants, the judge found that State Farm’s notice was inadequate and that the claimants were not required to attend the EUO. The judge found that the obligation to inform the insured of the specific reason for the EUO was “reflective of the good faith obligations owed by an insurer and an insured in contracts of insurance….”.

    This decision overrules the recent FSCO decision by an arbitrator in Kivell v State Farm.

    L Craig Brown of Thomson Rogers was counsel to the claimants’ lawyer Miryam Gorelashvili.

  • Fernandes v. Araujo, 2015 ONCA 571

    On August 10, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in Fernandes v. Araujo confirming a motor vehicle owner’s liability under the Highway Traffic Act for its driver’s negligence is triggered solely based on the owners consent to possession and not the manner in which the vehicle was being operated.

    Stacey L. Stevens and L. Craig Brown successfully argued this issue before the Court of Appeal’s five member panel on June 18, 2015.  In this instance, Ms. Fernandes was a passenger on an ATV which was involved in a single vehicle collision on a public highway.  Following the collision, the ATV owner took the position that while he consented to the operation of his ATV on his farm, he did not consent to it being driven on a highway. The owner’s insurer, Allstate, brought a motion for summary judgment in an attempt to dismiss the Plaintiff’s claims against the owner on the basis that he was not vicariously liable for the driver’s negligent operation of his ATV. Stacey L. Stevens defeated this motion. Allstate appealled.

    As a result of Stacey and Craig’s efforts, the Court of Appeal overturned one of its previous decisions eliminating a long-standing conflict in this area of the law and preserving the rights of innocent accident victims to look to a motor vehicle owner for compensation for their injuries.

  • Melvin v. Ontario (Correctional Services)

    Melvin v. Ontario (Correctional Services) ONSC 5432
    August 23, 2013

  • Hoang v. Vicentini, 2012 ONSC 6644

    Court confirms that damages awarded at trial cannot be reduced by value of future accident benefits where entitlement to benefits is not “beyond dispute…in every respect.”

    In a recent court decision, Thomson, Rogers personal injury lawyers L. Craig Brown and Robert M. Ben won an important ruling for a brain-injured client whom David F. MacDonald and Michael L. Bennett successfully represented at trial. The court agreed with Thomson, Rogers’ argument that the value of future accident benefits cannot be deducted from a judgment awarding damages for future care. The defendant is under a “very strict onus of proof” to show that the plaintiff’s entitlement to future benefits is “beyond dispute…in every respect.” The onus cannot be met absent a “guarantee” from the insurer that benefits will continue to be paid in the future. See the Judge’s reasons for decision here.

  • Geoffrey B v. Mechanic Company

    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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Baxter v Canada (Attorney General)

  • Cowles v Balac:

  • Lytle v Toronto (City):

  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2018

    Posted August 22, 2017

    Published annually by Best Lawyers®, The Best Lawyers in Canada is one of the country’s most highly regarded legal directories. Inclusion is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey and a thorough authentication process. We are proud to announce that the following 17 lawyers from Thomson, Rogers were selected for inclusion in 12th Edition of The … Continued
  • Craig Brown Accepts Award of Appreciation at DSAO Opening

    Posted May 30, 2017

    Being out on the open water elicits a feeling of freedom that can’t be matched anywhere else. The DSAO (Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario) wants to spread that feeling to as many people as it can. Thomson, Rogers has proudly supported the DSAO since its inception to help maintain its mission to: Provide sailing opportunities … Continued
  • 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory Rankings

    We are proud to announce that 14 of Thomson, Rogers’ lawyers have earned the distinction of being listed in the 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory. To be included in the directory is an acknowledgement of excellence by their peers. Congratulations to: DAVID NEILL – listed as  Repeatedly Recommended in Plaintiff Personal Injury Litigation PATRICK SCHMIDT – listed as Consistently … Continued
  • The Paradox of Safety and Liability in BMW’s New Motorcycle Concept

    Craig Brown quoted | October 21, 2016

    They say you don’t need a helmet to ride this motorcycle. BMW recently released information about its latest concept bike, the . While it’s easy to expect futuristic styling with concept vehicles, BMW boasts about this one’s ability to keep riders completely safe from accidents or injury. Leave your helmet and body armour at home … Continued
  • Toronto ABI Network Conference 2016

    Thomson, Rogers is proud to be the Diamond sponsor of the Toronto ABI Network Conference 2016. We are also looking forward to co-hosting with the Toronto ABI Network the Networking reception on Thursday, November 10th. This year’s conference will focus on Connecting, Learning and Inspiring. The conference will be held on Thursday, November 10th and Friday, … Continued
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2017

    August 10, 2016

    Published annually by Best Lawyers®, The Best Lawyers in Canada is one of the country’s most highly regarded legal directories. Inclusion is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey and a thorough authentication process. We are proud to announce that the following 14 lawyers from Thomson, Rogers were selected for inclusion in 11th Edition of The Best … Continued
  • PIA Law Practical Strategies for Experts: Testifying Without Fear

    Location: The Carlu, 444 Yonge Street, Toronto  View Google Map Conference Goals This conference will enable participants to: Develop and enhance techniques for providing expert testimony Improve your confidence and avoid embarrassment in court educate delegates about the technical requirements of Examination in Chief and Cross Examination Provide insight on how to handle difficult cross-examinations Provide … Continued
  • Ride for Sight – A Motorcycle Charity Event

    Ride for Sight 2016

    Thomson, Rogers is proud to support Ride for Sight 2016. Ride for Sight is Canada’s longest-running and most renowned motorcycle charity event. For 37 years, motorcyclists from across Canada have rallied together against vision loss and raised over $20 million for research in hospitals and universities. On Friday, stop by our booth and say hello to … Continued
  • Foot doctor Pierre Dupont accused of using ‘knock-off’ implants

    CBC News | by Rosa Marchitelli, Craig Brown quoted | May 2

    A controversial foot doctor is now facing accusations about the use of questionable implants on patients without their knowledge. Go Public and Radio-Canada recently reported how, after being banned from dentistry in Quebec following serious problems with patients, Pierre Dupont reinvented himself as a foot specialist in Ontario. One of his Ottawa patients contacted us … Continued
  • SABS Section 33 – Examinations Under Oath

    Posted April 26, 2016

    View decision: State Farm vs. Aslan In this significant procedural decision on the right to an Examination Under Oath (EUO), Justice Charles Hackland of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, has ruled that an insurer must provide “reasonable advance notice of the reason or reasons for the examination” as a “condition precedent to the insured’s obligation … Continued
  • The Motorcycle Show Toronto 2016

    Posted February 22, 2016

    Thomson, Rogers was a proud show sponsor at this year’s Motorcycle Show Toronto. Lawyers Craig Brown, Leonard Kunka, Stacey Stevens, Robert Ben, Ian Furlong and staff members, Joseph Pileggi and Tawnya Rudy attended the 3-day event at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place. Along with raising funds for the motorcycle charity event, Ride for Sight 2016, … Continued
  • SCIO Ski & Snowboard Day 2016

    Posted February 16, 2016

    On February 11, 2016, Thomson, Rogers’ personal injury lawyers, Craig Brown, Ian Furlong and Joseph Pileggi made their way to Craigleith Ski Club in support of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario’s Ski & Snowboard Day. A fun-filled day was had by all with silent auctions, a buffet lunch, fun races, and complimentary Ski & Snowboard clinics. Here is an inspiring … Continued
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2016

    August 24, 2015

    Published annually by Best Lawyers®, The Best Lawyers in Canada is one of the country’s most highly regarded legal directories. Inclusion is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey and a thorough authentication process. We are proud to announce that the following 14 lawyers from Thomson, Rogers were selected for inclusion in the 10th Edition of The … Continued
  • ONCA finds owner’s liability based on possession and in a rare move overruled its previous decision

    August 11, 2015

    On August 10, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in Fernandes v. Araujo confirming a motor vehicle owner’s liability under the Highway Traffic Act for its driver’s negligence is triggered solely based on the owner’s consent to possession and not the manner in which the vehicle was being operated. Stacey L. Stevens and L. … Continued
  • 2015 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory Rankings

    We are proud to have 14 of our lawyers selected as leading practitioners in their field.

    Each year Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory sends out a survey to all lawyers across the country asking who they would recommend as leaders in their respective field. Thomson, Rogers is proud to announce that 14 of our lawyers have been selected as Leading Practitioners for 2015. Congratulations to: Roger T. Beaman – Repeatedly Recommended in Property Development … Continued
  • Court upholds $1.15 million damages awards

    The Lawyers Weekly | November 28, 2014

    In this case, Lanny Stilwell was rinsing a Visions Dutch Oven pot in the sink of his Beamsville, Ont., home in September 2000 when it broke into four sharp pieces. One of the shards sliced his right arm at the wrist, severing an artery in two places along with all of the tendons and nerves … Continued
  • TR Lawyers Feed the Hungry

    Posted September 25, 2014

    Thomson, Rogers lawyers served breakfast this morning as part of the Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry program operated through the Law Society.

    If you would like more information about the program or would like to donate, please visit: Lawyers Feed the Hungry Toronto.

  • Finding Solutions to Key Challenges: Part 1 Incurred Expenses – A Challenge for New Accident Victims

    On September 1, 2010, the interpretation of “incurred expense” changed dramatically and created new challenges for the families of innocent accident victims. From 1991 to 1995 the definition of “incurred expense” to obtain attendant care required families to retain professional caregivers in order to qualify for reimbursement under the SABS.  In subsequent revisions of the … Continued
  • Municipalities testing new road standards

    Law Times | January 10, 2011

  • 8 Million Dollar Settlement For Bryan Gill Who Was Injured As A Result Of A Drunk Driver

    December 20, 2010

    On June 25, 2000, Bryan Gill suffered a severe brain injury when the car he was riding in crashed into the ditch. The drunk driver of the car lost control on a township road under construction. Bryan was 30 years old when he was injured in this accident. As a result of the accident, Bryan … Continued
  • Preparing for Examination-in-Chief of the Expert

    Presented at PIA Law's Practical Strategies for Experts: Testifying Without Fear Conference | October 20, 2016

    On October 20, 2016, Thomson, Rogers’ personal injury lawyer Craig Brown presented on “Preparing for Examination-in-Chief of the Expert” at the PIA Law Practical Strategies for Experts: Testifying Without Fear conference. Excerpt of paper: The purpose of this paper is to provide practical assistance to counsel and experts who are preparing for trial.  To provide … Continued
  • Major Accident Benefits Changes Come into Effect on June 1st, 2016

    Accident Benefits Summary Charts (for accident on or after June 1, 2016)

    To help those in Ontario understand the major automobile insurance changes and the new reduced accident benefits limits, Thomson, Rogers has prepared two useful accident benefits summary charts. The first chart: Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule Summary (for accidents on or after June 1, 2016) highlights the accident benefits available for each of the three categories of … Continued
  • A Rider’s Guide to Risk Management

    Canadian Biker | by Craig Brown | March 2016

    Since I began riding in 1968, I have believed in the old adage “a motorcycle is the safest vehicle on the road – up to the point of impact”. Although I have been fortunate in avoiding a serious accident I have, like most riders, come off the bike on numerous occasions.  Those incidents are a … Continued
  • Owners’ Liability Triggered by Consent to Possession Rather Than Consent to the Operation of the Vehicle

    Accident Benefit Reporter | Volume 16, Issue 2 | November 2015

    In a rare move the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned its previous decision in the 1955 case of Newman v. Terdik firmly closing the door on an automobile insurer’s ability to deny liability coverage to its insured when a negligent driver operates their vehicle in a manner prohibited by the owner. Read full article
  • Direct Examinations

    Presented at The Canadian Bar Association's Skilled Lawyers Series V | February 19, 2015

  • Court shows willingness to order structure

    Law Times | by Marg Bruineman, quoting Craig Brown | March 24, 2015

    It’s not every day that a court orders a structured settlement despite a guardian’s wish for a lump sum. But such situations do happen as the courts and legislation recognize some forms of long-term payments, such as annuities, as a guarantee that the injured party will always have some income. “It raises all kinds of … Continued
  • Tango v. Tangled – How case managers and lawyers can work together to improve rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with compensable personal injuries

    Presented with Kim Doogan at the National Case Management Network of Canada Conference.

    View PDF of presentation.

  • Use & Abuse of Technology at Pre-Trial & Trial

    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.

    See the full article here.

  • The Use of Discovery Transcripts at Trial

    OTLA 2012 New Lawyers Division Conference | September 28, 2012

    View PDF of presentation. Preparation for Trial An obvious but sometimes overlooked requirement for the use of discovery transcripts at trial is that the transcripts exist in a form that is acceptable to the court.  That means they need to be ordered well in advance of trial and that a court copy signed by the … Continued
  • How to Succeed before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario: Practice Tips from Mediation to Arbitration – The Insured’s Perspective

    Ontario Trial Lawyers Association's "FSCO Arbitrations & Accident Benefits: The Nuts & Bolts" Seminar | September 27, 2011

    Appearing before the Financial Services Commission (FSCO) presents counsel with the unique opportunity of litigating a case from start to finish within a world where alternative dispute resolution prevails over going to trial. Although similarities exist between FSCO and the Superior Court, proceeding by way of Arbitration is a stream-lined and costeffective process that is … Continued
  • How to Succeed before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario: Practice Tips from Mediation to Arbitration – The Insured’s Perspective

    Presented at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association's "FSCO Arbitrations and Accident Benefits: The Nuts and Bolts" Seminar | September 27, 2011

    Appearing before the Financial Services Commission (FSCO) presents counsel with the unique opportunity of litigating a case from start to finish within a world where alternative dispute resolution prevails over going to trial.  Although similarities exist between FSCO and the Superior Court, proceeding by way of Arbitration is a stream-lined and cost-effective process that is … Continued
  • Future Care Cost Reports for Children and Young Adults – The Use of Pediatric Life Care Plans Prior to Trial and Beyond

    Presented at the Back to School with Thomson, Rogers conference on September 8, 2011

  • Update – The Expert Panel’s Report to the Superintendent on Catastrophic Impairment

    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.

    • Paper
    • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Use and Abuse of Technology at Pre-Trial and Trial

    September 2011

    This paper is primarily directed 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. The headings below present a wide range of starting points with practical tips based on our actual experience, at pre-trial and in the … Continued
  • The benefits of advance payments

    The Lawyers Weekly | October 29, 2010

    While the notion of giving money to a plaintiff without a final settlement may seem counter-intuitive, an advance payment can provide significant benefits to both sides. In motor vehicle cases, advance payments to an injured plaintiff by a tort defendant are a statutory right in eight provinces and all three territories. This well-established device can … Continued
  • Incurred Expenses – A New Challenge For Accident Victims

    Prepared by L. Craig Brown of Thomson, Rogers© 2010

    On September 1, 2010, the interpretation of “incurred expense” will change and will create new challenges for the families of innocent accident victims. Paper: Incurred Expenses – A New Challenge for Accident Victims Navigating the New SABS: Finding Solutions to Key Challenges – Incurred Expenses from Thomson Rogers on Vimeo.
  • Are Mary Carter Agreements Still Relevant? The Aftermath of the Laudon v. Roberts Case

    Presented at Osgoode Hall Law School: Managing and Litigating Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

  • Is Mary Carter dead – or just wounded?

    The Lawyers Weekly | October 30, 2009

    The Ontario Court of Appeal dealt a body blow to Mary Carter agreements (MCAs) last spring. It is unclear whether they will survive in their present form. The court has taken away what it calls the plaintiff ’s “double recovery” and reallocated it to the least cooperative defendant. For the past 15 years in Ontario, … Continued
  • Mary Carter – Friend or Foe?

    OTLA Fall Conference - Mea Culpa: Lessons Lived & Learned | October 29, 2009

    For the past 15 years in Ontario, Mary Carter Agreements (MCA’s) have been used infrequently but effectively in complex litigation as a risk management tool. For the plaintiff, they represent an opportunity to insure against an unfavourable result at trial through an alliance with a ‘settling defendant’ who participates in the trial in hope of … Continued
  • Top 10 Accident Benefits Cases You Need to Know

    Back to School Conference | September 2009

    The top 10 accident benefits cases summarized in the paper represent a selection of Court and Arbitration decisions from the past half decade which illustrate the scope and flexibility of the accident benefit policy when the patient’s rights are vigorously pursued. Desbiens v. Mordini (2004) Augello v. Economical Mutual Insurance Company (2008) H. V. Lombard … Continued