Practice Highlights

Deanna S. Gilbert was admitted to the Law Society of Ontario in 2008. Her practice is devoted to representing Plaintiffs in personal injury litigation including cases arising from motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, product liability, and assaults.

Deanna frequently appears before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and accident benefits tribunals. In 2016, Deanna was a Lexpert Rising Stars Finalist. In 2017, Deanna was added to the peer-reviewed Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, ranked as “repeatedly recommended”.  Deanna is also included in The Best LawyersTM in Canada 2020 publication.

Deanna’s advocacy has resulted in a number of precedent-setting and reported judicial and arbitral decisions. She has authored a number of papers on civil litigation and is currently the Contributing Editor of the Ontario Accident Benefits Case Summaries published by LexisNexis Canada Inc. Deanna has both chaired medical-legal conferences and presented as a guest speaker. She is often interviewed and cited by legal news publications for her insight into hot topics in personal injury litigation.

Deanna is a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Advocates’ Society, the Ontario Brain Injury Association, and the Brain Injury Society of Toronto.

Outside of work, Deanna is a proud and dedicated volunteer. Her commitments have included, but not been limited to being: a Member of the Connect for Kids Committee operated through Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital; a Co-Chair of the Volunteer Appreciation Committee for the Brain Injury Society of Toronto; a long-term volunteer for the Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program operated by the Law Society of Ontario; the Chair of Thomson Rogers’ Give-a-Day Campaign; and the Chair of Thomson Rogers’ clothing drive for Dress for Success and Dress Your Best Toronto.

Deanna holds a Certificate of Proficiency in French.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Huron University College (2004)
  • Bachelor of Laws, Osgoode Hall Law School (2007)

Professional Accreditations and Affiliations

  • LEXPERT® Ranked Lawyer
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers™ in Canada since 2018
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Co-Chair of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) Volunteer Committee
  • Member of the Connect for Kids Committee (Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital)
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  • Ruddell v. Gore

    Following the settlement of his personal injury case and a Consent Judgment, the Plaintiff was forced to bring an action pursuant to section 258(1) of the Insurance Act to compel one of two insurers, Gore Mutual Insurance Company or Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, to pay the Judgment from the proceeds of its insurance policy.

    By way of background, the Plaintiff sustained serious injuries when the vehicle in which he was a passenger crashed. The driver and owner of the vehicle (“the Defendants”) were insured by Gore. Gore took the position that the Defendants had failed to co-operate in their Defence and had, therefore, breached a term of their policy. If true, Gore would have been permitted to reduce its coverage from the $2 million policy limits to the statutory minimum in Ontario of $200,000 (which amount would not have been enough to satisfy the Plaintiff’s claims for damages). Since the Plaintiff had his own policy with Allstate with limits of $1 million, he added Allstate as a Defendant for underinsurance coverage. The parties ultimately settled the case in terms of the damages but the two insurers continued to fight over which insurer had to pay the damages.

    A separate action was brought to have a Judge decide whether Gore’s off-coverage position was meritorious. The Judge found that the owner of the vehicle had not breached her policy with Gore, such that Gore had to respond to the Plaintiff’s claims up to its full policy limits of $2 million and, therefore, pay the monies owed under the Judgment.

    Ruddell v. Gore, 2018 ONSC 3932 (2018-06-22) – Endorsement

  • Babcock v. Destefano

    Wawanesa sought to send the Plaintiff to four Defence medical examination; all or which requests were made after pre-trial. Notwithstanding Wawanesa’s breach of the Rules, the Plaintiff was agreeable to attending one but not four Defence medicals. Wawanesa insisted upon the Plaintiff attending all four and proceeded with a motion. The motion was dismissed but for the one assessment, the Plaintiff had always been willing to attend. Motion for leave to appeal was dismissed. Wawanesa was chastised by both the Superior Court and the Divisional Court for failing to comply with the Rules regarding the time for serving expert reports.

    Babcock v. Destefano, 2017 ONSC 276 (2017-01-13) – Reasons for Decision (Motion to Leave to Appeal)

    Babcock v. Destefano, 2016 ONSC 5698 (2016-09-14) – Costs Decision

    Babcock v. Destefano, 2016 ONSC 5352 (2016-08-24) – Citation

  • Thornhill v. Chong

    This was an action against Dr. John Chong in which it was alleged that his medical management of his patient, Janet Thornhill, was negligent.

    2016 ONSC 6353 (CanLII) – Judgment

    UPDATE (April 2, 2019):  The College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) reviewed the care that Dr. Chong provided to Janet Thornhill over the course of over 10 years. On April 2, 2019, the CPSO released its written Decision, which considered the Trial Decision as well as the expert reports that were used at trial. In its April 2, 2019 Decision, the CPSO found that Dr. Chong breached the standard of care in his treatment of Janet’s cancer. The CPSO cautioned Dr. Chong about his charting practices, the poor quality of his assessments and his misplaced psychotherapeutic approach to Janet’s painful tumour. The College also noted that contrary to his claim of being an Occupational Medicine Specialist, Dr. Chong was not entitled to hold himself out as a specialist in Occupational Medicine, having not received that designation from the Royal College. As indicated in the Decision, Dr. Chong entered into an Agreement with the CPSO that will significantly restrict his practice and his stated qualifications. This CPSO Decision is yet another victory for Janet and a further public affirmation of the courage she has displayed. Thanks to Janet, Dr. Chong’s current and future patients will hopefully be better informed and will receive better care from this physician.

    The College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) Decision

  • Willis v. Pentagram Inc. et al.

    This action involved a slip and fall that took place on November 1, 2007. The plaintiff was drinking heavily at several different bars and restaurants located on Danforth Avenue in the City of Toronto. The last of the establishments visited by Mr. Willis that night was operated by the defendant Pentagram Inc. It was at Pentagram that Wills fell while descending a staircase on his way to use the washroom.

    As a result of the fall, Mr. Wills suffered very serious injuries. Leaving him a quadriplegic living in an assisted living facility operated by the March of Dimes.

    View Reasons for Decision (Ontario Superior Court of Justice)

  • TD General Insurance Company v. Lynn Baughan 2012 ONSC 333

    This Application was about insurance coverage issues.  Ms. Baughan was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident that took place in the United States Virgin Islands. The sole question that needed to be decided on the Application was whether the term “United States of America” ought to be interpreted to include the United States Virgin Islands for purposes of accident benefits and underinsurance coverage.

    View Reasons for Decision (Ontario Superior Court of Justice)

  • Aherne et al. v. Chang et al., 2012 ONSC 2689

  • Aherne v. Chang, 2011 ONSC 3846

  • Aherne v. Chang, 2011 ONSC 2067

  • H.T. v. Security National Insurance Co.

  • H.T. v. Security National Insurance Co. (Appeal)

  • Sparks v. Ontario, 2010 ONSC 4234

  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2020

    We are proud to announce that 13 Thomson Rogers partners have been selected for inclusion in the 14th Edition of The Best LawyersTM in Canada. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation.  Lawyers are not required or … Continued
  • Nemchin v. Green: A Refresher on the Use of Surveillance and Facebook

    In the recent decision of Nemchin v. Green, [2019] ONCA 634 (CanLII), the Ontario Court of Appeal provided further guidance on the use of Schedule B documents including surveillance and Facebook at the trial of a personal injury action.  The Plaintiff in Nemchin alleged to suffer from disabling PTSD arising from a motor vehicle crash, … Continued
  • Back to School Conference 2019

    PIA Law and the Toronto ABI Network co-host the Back to School 10th Anniversary Conference. This year’s conference is titled, “Mental Health: Navigating Life After Trauma”. In addition to the conference, the Awards of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation will be presented in collaboration with the Ontario Brain Injury Association. This conference will be of special interest to health … Continued
  • Kerry’s Head for the Hills Trail Race 2019

    On April 27, 2019, personal injury lawyer Deanna Gilbert braved the cold weather and muddy conditions and ran in the Head for the Hills 5K in support of Brain Injury Association of Niagara (BIAN). Thomson Rogers has been a proud sponsor of the 5K Cross Country Race since 2012. The annual event takes place in … Continued
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2019

    We are proud to announce that 16 Thomson Rogers partners have been selected for inclusion in the 13th Edition of The Best LawyersTM in Canada. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 87,000 industry … Continued
  • Entitlement to attendant care benefits upheld

    Law Times | by Michael McKiernan, quoting Deanna Gilbert | June 11, 2018

    A Divisional Court decision upholding a woman’s entitlement to attendant care benefits offers guidance on the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule’s controversial “incurred expense” provisions, according to the injured plaintiff’s lawyer. The decision in Helmer v. Belairdirect Insurance Company revolved around the May 6, 2016 motor vehicle accident that injured Belinda Helmer, the owner and operator … Continued
  • 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory Rankings

    Thomson Rogers is proud to announce that 10 of our lawyers have earned the distinction of being listed in The 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory. To be included in the directory is an acknowledgement of excellence in their respective fields by their colleagues. Please join us in congratulating the following lawyers listed in the 2018 edition … Continued
  • Children & Youth with Brain Injuries Practical Strategies Workshop

    Thomson Rogers, in collaboration with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and March of Dimes Canada, is proud to host the Children & Youth with Brain Injuries Practical Strategies Workshop from June 7-8, 2018, at the Lexington Hotel & Conference Centre in Sudbury, Ontario. Day 1: Practical skills workshop The focus of this workshop is: To recognize … Continued
  • New ODSP changes may give more flexibility

    Law Times | by Dale Smith, quoting Deanna Gilbert | November 27, 2017

    Ontario has recently made changes that will lift the cap on damage awards before they will affect the eligibility for Ontario Disability Support Program claims. Lawyers say this can help give more flexibility when negotiating damages that could include structured settlements and allow their clients to keep their benefits. Deanna Gilbert, a partner with Thomson … Continued
  • Damages Under The Family Law Act: An Updater

    Posted October 30, 2017

    In 2014, my Partner, Sloan H. Mandel, and I co-authored a paper entitled “Advancing Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Claims under the Family Law Act” (the “original paper”). The purpose of this paper is to provide personal injury lawyers with an update on some statutory changes and case law affecting Family Law Act [1] claims. A BRIEF … Continued
  • Thomson Rogers Takes the 2017 Summer Law Challenge – Canadian Blood Services

    Posted September 1, 2017

    On August 31, 2017, Thomson Rogers lawyers and staff proudly rolled up their sleeves and took part in the Canadian Blood Services 2017 Summer Law Challenge. Canadian Blood Services is looking to fill 25,000 appointments before Labour Day across Canada, to book an appointment, locate a clinic and to check eligibility, visit  Related Posts: … Continued
  • Mandamin v. Pafco: You cannot SOLELY dispute a CAT denial at the LAT

    Posted August 29, 2017

    In the decision of Mandamin v. Pafco Insurance Company, released on July 31, 2017, an Arbitrator at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (“FSCO”) held that the Licence Appeal Tribunal (“LAT”) does not have the jurisdiction under s. 280(1) of the Insurance Act to hear an Arbitration that solely involves a dispute over whether or … Continued
  • Law Times: Ruling on CPP a win for accident victims

    Law Times | by Michael McKiernan, quoting Deanna Gilbert | August 21, 2017

    A Supreme Court of Canada decision that ruled the Canada Pension Plan is not a policy of insurance is a win for accident victims across the country, says a Toronto lawyer. In Sabean v. Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Co., a unanimous seven-judge panel of the nation’s top court ruled the insurer could not deduct a … Continued
  • 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
  • Another Bad AC RE Retro Application Of Post-Feb. ’14 rule

    Posted August 9, 2017

    A couple of months ago, I reported on the FSCO decision of MVACF v. Barnes. This was a concerning appeal decision, wherein the Director’s Delegate concluded that irrespective of when the crash occurred, any attendant care provided after the February 2014 amendment to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) is subject to that amendment. The … Continued
  • BIST Summer Picnic 2017

    Posted July 28, 2017

    On July 24, 2017, the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) held its annual summer picnic at High Park. At the awards ceremony, BIST acknowledged PIA Law for its support as their Platinum Sponsor for 2017. Personal injury lawyers Deanna Gilbert of Thomson Rogers and Ryan Murray of Oatley Vigmond were pleased to accept on behalf … Continued
  • “Reasons” for an Examination Under Oath

    Aviva Insurance Company of Canada v. McKeown

    If requested by an accident benefits insurer, a person injured in a car accident “shall” submit to an examination under oath.  These examinations can take hours and cover all aspects of the accident, nature of the injuries, the types of benefits claimed, etc.  If a request for an examination under oath is made, the insurer … Continued
  • iPad Launch at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

    Posted June 8, 2017

    On June 7, 2017, Thomson Rogers’ Deanna Gilbert was happy to be at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital as they rolled out iPads which were donated by Thomson Rogers to an eager group of teenagers in the hospital’s Teen Lounge. Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital focused on improving the … Continued
  • CPP not “a policy of insurance” per OPCF-44R

    Posted June 8, 2017

    The Supreme Court of Canada has concluded that CPP disability benefits are not “a policy of insurance” for purposes of deductibility in family protection endorsements. In automobile insurance, there are a number of forms of payments and benefits that injured victims may receive as a result of their injuries. In some cases, those payments or … Continued
  • Expert Evidence and Diagnosis Not Required to Prove Damages for Mental Illness

    Posted June 5, 2017

    The Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision on June 2, 2017, in the matter of Saadati v. Moorhead. In short, the Court held that Plaintiffs claiming damages arising from a mental or psychological illness are not required to adduce expert psychiatric evidence to receive compensation for their damages, nor must they have been … Continued
    • Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Accidents: Tort & Accident Benefits Law to Know

      Presented at the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario | May 29, 2019

      I was consulted this year by the family of someone who had been walking in a pedestrian crossover when she was struck by a motor vehicle.  The family made a point of telling me that there was little information on-line for injured victims and their families to learn about the rights and/or legal issues applicable … Continued
    • Accident Benefits: Overview and Benefit Framework

      Presented at the Children & Youth with Brain Injuries: Practical Strategies Workshop | June 7, 2018

      On June 7, 2018, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and March of Dimes Canada, in collaboration with Thomson Rogers, hosted the Children & Youth with Brain Injuries: Practical Strategies Workshop. Deanna Gilbert, personal injury lawyer and a partner at Thomson Rogers, presented on “Accident Benefits: Overview & Benefit Framework“. Some of the topics covered in … Continued
    • Personal Injury Panel: Hot Topics in Personal Injury Law

      Toronto Lawyers Association | May 15, 2018

      Deanna Gilbert, a partner at Thomson Rogers, participated in a panel of distinguished plaintiff and defence counsel for a lively discussion and insights into recent developments in the law, including: The benefits and drawbacks of juries in civil cases and efforts to expand the right to challenge civil jurors for cause; The Court of Appeal’s decisions … Continued
    • Damages Under the Family Law Act: An Updater

      Posted October 30, 2017

      In 2014, my Partner, Sloan H. Mandel, and I co-authored a paper entitled “Advancing Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Claims under the Family Law Act” (the “original paper”). The purpose of this paper is to provide personal injury lawyers with an update on some statutory changes and case law affecting Family Law Act [1] claims. A BRIEF REFRESHER … Continued
    • Insurance Coverage for Medical Marijuana/Cannabis

      The use of marijuana and cannabis for medical purposes has become a “hot topic” as of late, particularly as the Canadian government sets to legalize recreational marijuana in July 2018.  As a personal injury lawyer, I have noticed more and more clients turning away from “conventional” opioid, anti-inflammatory, and anti-depressant prescription medication for the treatment … Continued
    • Attendant Care Benefits: The Importance of Documenting Economic Loss

      In April of 2017, the appeal decision of Delegate Rogers in MVACF v. Barnes was released. The decision will be troublesome for many families who provide attendant care to their injured love ones in a non-professional capacity. To understand the importance of the decision, the February 1, 2014 amendment to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule … Continued
    • Litigating Chronic Pain Cases: What Plaintiffs, Health Practitioners, and Personal Injury Lawyers Need To Know

      For a long time, “chronic pain” has been seen as an unfavourable term in personal injury litigation. Although there have been some positive strides in recent years, there still remains a perception for many that the disability is not real. But for many people, chronic pain syndrome is a very genuine, very disabling condition; and it is one … Continued
    • The New Catastrophic Impairment Definition: Brain Injury In Children

      PIA Law's Practical Strategies Conference - Paediatric Traumatic Brain injury: Protecting Our Kids | April 21, 2016

      The new definition of “catastrophic impairment”, which comes into force on June 1, 2016, contains a specific definition for children with brain injuries that is different from the adult definition.   This is a major change.   This new definition is set out in section 3.1(5) of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule – Effective September 1, 2010.  … 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
    • The New Catastrophic Definition: Paraplegia, Tetraplegia, and Severe Ambulatory Impairment

      The Oatley McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation | April 1, 2016

      Effective June 1, 2016, the definition of catastrophic impairment (“CAT”) will change, pursuant to section 3.1(1) of Ontario Regulation 251/15 made under the Insurance Act.  This paper will focus upon the first two subsections of the new CAT definition: (some forms of) paraplegia or tetraplegia [s. 3.1(1)(1)]; and (some forms of) severe impairment of ambulatory … Continued
    • Becoming an “Expert” Expert

      Acquired Brain Injury Provincial Conference | November 13, 2015

      Paper and accompanying presentation provide healthcare professionals with a deeper understanding of how their observations and opinions as experts may be used to advance a personal injury case. (more…)

    • The Tort Case: Thinking Strategically from Start to Finish

      OTLA - New Lawyers Division Conference| September 25, 2015

      For more details about the conference, please click on the New Lawyers Division Conference Agenda.

    • 5 Tips to Being a Great Expert Witness

      Personal Injury Alliance (PIA) conference "Practical Strategies for Experts: The Shifting Landscape" | October 23, 2014

      The importance of expert testimony in the successful prosecution of a personal injury case cannot be understated; however, the role of the expert is not to be a soldier for one party or the other. The role of the expert is to provide a fair, objective, and non-partisan opinion to assist the Court. The “battle”, if any, is … Continued
    • Advancing Pecuniary & Non-Pecuniary Claims Under the Family Law Act

      Presented at the Oatley McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation Seminar | March 26, 2014

      When a victim has been injured, the Family Law Act entitles certain family members to claim damages of their own. Sections 61 to 63 of the FLA are the key provisions. In some cases, FLA claims can be significant. This paper will provide an overview of some “main considerations” when advancing FLA claims; focus on … Continued
    • Ontario Insurer Liable for Benefits in the Virgin Islands

      Published in the Accident Benefit Reporter Updater, Issue 13 | August 2013

      In the winter of 2012, Mrs. Baughan, like many other Ontarians, sought to escape the Canadian winter. She booked a Carribean cruise with day excursions on various islands. The last thing on her mind was insurance coverage in the event of a car accident.

      View PDF of the article.

    • IE Consent Forms: Not So Simple As “Sure, Where Do I Sign?”

      presented at the Canadian Defence Lawyers Annual Accident Benefits Symposium | April 25, 2013

      Clashes arising over the use of Consent Forms in insurer examinations (“IEs”) are an increasing phenomenon. Often, neither the insurer nor the insured receives any prior warning from an IE examiner and/or assessment centre that a signed Consent Form will be required at the IE in order for it to proceed. A common scenario occurs … Continued
    • Managing Subrogated Claims in Personal Injury Actions and Subrogation Checklist

      Written for the Osgoode Certificate in Personal Injury Law & Practice | April 2013

      Black’s Law Dictionary defines subrogation as: “The substitution of one party for another whose debt the party pays, entitling the paying party to rights, remedies, or securities that would otherwise belong to the debtor.”1 In simpler terms, it is the right to reimbursement. In the context of a personal injury case, subrogation is the process … Continued
    • The Anticipated Changes to the Definition of “Catastrophic Impairment”

      Presented at the Brain Injury Association of Niagara 2012 Conference: Making the Invisible...More Visible | October 18, 2012

      Changes to the important “catastrophic impairment” definition are imminent. Changes will lead to uncertainty and delay. This presentation will: Review all of the recent developments Discuss the anticipated CAT changes and the concerns Provide an update on where we are heading . . . View PDF of PowerPoint Presentation.
    • Making the SABS Work for Your Trauma Patients & Preventing Caregiver Burnout

      Presented at York Central Hospital | June 21, 2012

      In this presentation, Deanna Gilbert and Adam Halioua provide a basic overview of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) and cover post-2010 changes.

      View PDF of PowerPoint Presentation.

    • Guardianship: What Are My Rights?

      Presented at the Brain Injury Association of Niagara (BIAN) Conference "A Hero's Journey: Trauma, Transitions, and Thriving" | October 21, 2010

      The presentation provides an overview of the following:

      • Legal Tests for Guardianship
      • Family, Friends & Health Care Providers: What Should We Look For?
      • Capacity Assessment
      • Application Process
      • Guardian: What is my Role?
      • Joe: What are my Rights?

      View PDF of PowerPoint Presentation.