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May 31, 2017 in News Accident Benefits Claims

Accident Benefits Claims: Consensus reports in accident benefits cases come under fire

Accident benefits dispute lawyers

"Consensus reporting", a practice defined as “having an expert summarize the reports of all the other experts in a personal injury case,” has come under harsh scrutiny following Platnick v. Bent, a libel suit launched by Dr. Howard Platnick, a Toronto physician, against Maia Bent, former president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA). Consensus reports have become a consistent thorn in the side of accident benefits lawyers, who worry about selective quoting to favour insurers.

The libel suit centred on warnings Bent posted to Listserve, an online forum available only to OTLA members, concerning Dr. Platnick’s use of consensus reports and questionable impartiality. The posts eventually leaked, leading to a reduction in Dr. Platnick’s business.

Superior Court of Ontario Justice Sean Dunphy rejected Platnick’s claim on the basis that “the portions of the email referring to the plaintiff appear to have been substantially true and correct or are fair and reasonable comment upon those facts.”

Beyond dismissing the case, Dunphy succinctly described precisely why accident benefits lawyers are so leery of consensus reporting.

“The reports are not an objective summary of the underlying medical reports themselves so much as a summary of the conclusions reached by Dr. Platnick himself, applying their expert observations to his own understanding of the operation of the SABS [Standard Accident Benefits Schedule] regulations and the criteria incorporated therein,” Dunphy wrote.

Personal injury lawyers have already responded with praise to the decision, Law Times reports.

“To some degree, [consensus reports] have become routine,” OTLA president Adam Wagman said. “Through important decisions like this, we can break the routine and shine a light on the problem that has existed for a long time.”

“As it stands, accident victims’ rights are eroding,” added Toronto lawyer Josh Nisker. “Historically, they’ve been reduced and still are being reduced. They don’t need, on top of restricted access, medical professionals engaging in this type of behaviour.”

To be clear, consensus reports may still be useful to accident benefits lawyers and their clients in certain situations. Justice Dunphy’s decision was, after all, a criticism first and foremost of Dr. Platnick’s standards. However, if they are to be used in the future, greater transparency must be incorporated into the process to ensure that insurance providers do not have undue influence over the matter.

If you or a member of your family has been injured and are seeking benefits, contact the accident benefits lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to learn how our team can help you access the compensation you need.

Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Sonia Leith

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Accident Benefit Dispute

 

Accident benefits, or "no-fault" benefits, are available to anyone involved in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we can help advance your accident benefit claim while providing you and your family with the guidance and resources necessary to focus on your recovery. Our accident benefits lawyers based in the Toronto region will act as your advocate and trusted advisor in all matters related to personal injury litigation.

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Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Sonia Leith

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Accident Benefit Dispute

 

Accident benefits, or "no-fault" benefits, are available to anyone involved in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we can help advance your accident benefit claim while providing you and your family with the guidance and resources necessary to focus on your recovery. Our accident benefits lawyers based in the Toronto region will act as your advocate and trusted advisor in all matters related to personal injury litigation.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


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At Neinstein we have been advocating for injured victims for over 50 years. Our committed and compassionate team will do everything necessary to help you and your family find solutions to the new challenges that arise from serious injuries.

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