Steve Rastin

Solving Coverage Issues
September 19 2019 |Ontario Trial Lawyers Association 2019 LTD Conference | By Steve Rastin

The primary question in any disability case is whether the claimant is covered under the policy so as to be entitled to receive benefits. This statement may seem obvious, but I am frequently advised by mediators that they continue to participate in mediations where ... Read more

Insurance Fraud In Canada: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
April 30 2019 | ACFI 20th Annual Fraud Conference- “Best Practices” | By Steve Rastin & Catherine Mahony

A brief visit to the Insurance Bureau of Canada website reveals a world fraught with danger, and a country being entirely overtaken by rampant insurance fraud. According to the site... Read more

Interplay between TORT and LTD: What Collateral Benefits does the LTD carrier get to Claim
May 2019 | The Litigator | By Steve Rastin

There is a general feeling amongst Canadians that there is value in purchasing the "peace of mind" that comes from having protection to cover the negative economic consequences of accident or illness. As such, many Canadians purchase... Read more

In Search of Deep Pockets: Suing the Broker: Broker's Negligence from a Plaintiff's Perspective
February 24, 2017 | Accident Benefits 2017 Conference: What's New, What's Important | By Steve Rastin & Catherine Mahony

Given the changes made to the insurance scheme in Ontario in 2016 and the resulting vast reduction in damages available to be recovered from an insurer, the nature of the practice of insurance law has been altered in response... Read more

My Journey to the Cloud: Moving Beyond In-House Computer Servers
June 2013 | The Litigator | By Steve Rastin

The last several years have revealed a fundamental change in personal injury practice including increasingly aggressive competition for files, more widespread advertising, legislative changes that continue to pose challenges, and increased client customer-service demands. It is only natural, in such circumstances, for forward-thinking lawyers to consider how to... Read more

Improvident and Bad Faith Settlements
April 2012 | OTLA Law Clerks Conference | By Steven Rastin & Anita Wong

The word "improvident" is defined as "neglecting to provide for future needs" as well "lacking foresight, incautious, unwary..." . Prior to Bill 59, the term "improvident settlement" was used in the context of accident benefits settlements and obviously was something to be avoided at all costs. Yes, you could lump out an... Read more

Meds, Lies and Videotape: Are Defendants Allowed Multiple Examinations Under the Rules and the Contract and Can You Videotape Them?
OTLA 2011 LTD Conference | By Steven Rastin

Canadians are privileged to live in a country with one of the best health care programs in the world. We have highly-trained doctors, modern hospitals, and cutting-edge diagnostic tools. However, for all that, many of us are profoundly uncomfortable about making an appointment to... Read more

Dawn of a New Era of Ontario Human Rights Complaints: Transitioning From a Commission-Based to a Tribunal-Based Complaints Procedure
December 2009 | The Litigator | By M. Steven Rastin

We are in the middle of a fundamental shift with respect to the treatment of Human Rights Complaints in the Province of Ontario. The Ontario Human Rights Code is a sort of quasi-constitutional provincial law which exists to recognize the... Read more

Building a Future for Success 10 Tips
October 16, 2009 | OTLA 2009 Fall Conference | By Steve Rastin

Know your own "Big Picture" - Have a five year plan; What do you want from a career in law?; Do you really want law?… Read more

The Use of Experts in LTD Litigation
October 2008 | The Litigator | By Steven Rastin

Lawyers that focus on motor vehicle litigation in Ontario will be accustomed to our current no fault system where the accident victim is subjected to an endless stream of medical assessments from the treating doctors, the tort defendant, the... Read more

Long Term Disability Litigation: Ten Practical Tips
OTLA 2007 LTD Conference | By Steve Rastin

This paper is not meant to be an academic treatise, but rather a practical guide for litigators who may be considering devoting a larger part of their practices to long-term disability litigation. For many plaintiffs' counsel, LTD lawsuits have been an... Read more

Proving Catastrophic Impairment Pursuant to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule: Key Considerations
September 2007 | Litigating Catastrophic Disability and Damages | By Steven Rastin & Tracy Romanowski

In Mercier v. Royal & Sunaffiance Insurance Co. of Canada, Justice J.W. Quinn thoughtfully opined: The primary issue before the court involves deciding whether the stoppage was justified; and this requires venturing into the Byzantine world of the SABS. Woe be to the... Read more

Navigating the Minefield: Meshing Tort, LTD and Employment Law Considerations
Summer, 2006 | The Litigator | By Steven Rastin

How many plaintiffs' lawyers have been faced with this situation? A potential client comes in to see you. She tells you how she was returning home from work after working the midnight shift at a local factory when she was broadsided by an impaired driver who had... Read more

LTD - The Year in Review
OTLA 2005 Fall Conference | By Steve Rastin

As the Ontario workforce ages, there is a significant likelihood that the number of workers finding themselves disabled and claiming LTD benefits will increase. Recent proposals to raise or eliminate the mandatory age requirement may also… Read more

The Emergence of Bad Faith Litigation in Canada
May 18, 2004 | Ontario Bar Association Continuing Legal Education | By Steven Rastin

In Canada, we are still struggling to develop a clear definition of the doctrine of bad faith. Debate continues as to whether bad faith damages flow from breach of contract or in tort. The distinction may be significant when it comes to... Read more

BRAIN INJURED CLIENTS Impact of the Tort & Accident Benefits File
May 2003 | By M. Steven Rastin, Lee-Ann M. Fournier, Tracy M. McColligan

You receive a new file and your client may have a head injury. Family members are stating that the injured person is "forgetful", "not themselves", keeps losing their train of thought", "can't remember phone numbers anymore", or... Read more

Fall, 2002 | The Litigator| By M. Steven Rastin

Every day people walk into our offices and request our assistance in responding to what they feel are injustices and unfair practices that have been inflicted upon them. More often than not, some element of our new client's problem will involve... Read more

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cost Protection/Litigation Financing
By M. Steven Rastin

In our current litigation environment, the ability to take cases to trial is a critical skill. Make no mistake, Ontario insurance companies are keeping track of whether you have the skills and resources to litigate a file to the bitter end... Read more

Keays v. Honda Canada: Bad Faith, Disability and Employment Law Converge
By Steven Rastin

The focus of bad faith litigation in Canada is First Party insurance. However, the modern development of punitive, aggravated, and bad faith litigation in Canada is not rooted in insurance cases, but rather in employment law... Read more

DEVELOPING DAMAGES: It’s More than Just Punitive Damages
By M. Steven Rastin

Bad faith damages continue to struggle to gain a foothold in Canadian courtrooms. Due largely to the groundbreaking decision of Whiten v. Pilot, victims of insurance companies that unreasonably withhold benefits have an... Read more

LTD – The Year In Review: Twelve Things You Ought to Know
By Steve Rastin & Lee-Ann Fournier

As the Ontario workforce ages, there is a significant likelihood that the number of workers finding themselves disabled and claiming LTD benefits will increase. Recent proposals to raise or eliminate the mandatory retirement age may also contribute to... Read more

Collateral Benefits: Protected and Unprotected Defendants
By M. Steven Rastin

The fundamental goal of the tort law system is to ensure that the negligent defendant pays his dues and restores the plaintiff to the position she would have been in absent the tortfeasor's negligence. Put another way, an action for damages is not intended to create a windfall for... Read more

Every Breath You Take: Musings on Surveillance in a Post-Snowden World
By Steve Rastin & Catherine Mahony

It cannot be denied that in this increasingly technologically connected world, each of us experiences "modern day surveillance" on a daily basis. Every time we leave our homes we can be assured that our presence is being recorded on a variety of traffic cameras, cameras attached to... Read more

The Employment Factor: How Motor Vehicle Accident Damages are Influenced and Impacted by Employment Benefits
By Steve Rastin & Catherine Mahony

The fundamental goal of the tort law system is to ensure that a plaintiff be restored to the position s/he would have been in absent the tortfeasor’s negligence. However, the system is also designed to prevent a windfall accruing to the injured plaintiff; in the process of restoring an injured party to... Read more

Top 10 Cases that Will Help your Arbitration
By Steven Rastin, Rastin & Associates

Given the ever-increasing complexity and widening range of cases currently proceeding to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, it is simply impossible to identify 10 key cases that will assist in every arbitration. Obviously, the sort of cases that you need to consider at... Read more

Discovery in Claims Litigation – Examining the Insurer's Representation
By M. Steven Rastin

This paper is not meant to be an academic treatise, but rather a practical guide for how lawyers should approach the examination of insurer representative in LTD litigation. For many plaintiffs' counsel, LTD lawsuits have been an off-shoot of acting for victims of motor vehicle accidents. However, as... Read more

War in the Trenches: Interface Issues between LTD and Employment Law
By M. Steven Rastin

It is a sad reality that the vast majority of clients who come to you for assistance in pursuing a claim for long-term disability benefits will also, at some point, also need your assistance regarding employment-related problems. The fact is that in Ontario most LTD coverage is provided as part of a group benefits plan. It stands to reason that... Read more

Who is Faith and Why is She Accused of Being So Bad? An Overview of Bad Faith Damages in Insurance Claims
By Steve Rastin & Catherine Mahony

Bad faith damages in relation to insurance claims have existed in Canadian law for a long time, with the ability to sue for such damages affirmed in the 2002 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Whiten v Pilot Insurance Co.. There are several landmark cases where such... Read more

The Dangers Lurking In Playgrounds & Parks: Guidance on How to Anticipate and Avoid Claims in Outdoor Recreational Spaces
By Steve Rastin

Any consideration of Municipal and/or Government liability should rightly view areas relating to road and sidewalk maintenance as well as Building Code compliance as topics of primary concern. Another area of potential liability that warrants consideration, however, is the potential liability risk related to outdoor recreational spaces such as... Read more

Effectively Navigating Injuries and Disabilities: What Benefits are Available to Employees who have been victims of a Motor Vehicle Accident?
By Steve Rastin

What happens when an injured employee approaches you for advice on how to proceed with benefits? How does the person decide whether to proceed by way of tort claim and accident benefits and/or long term disability and short term disability and/or WSIB? In order to help the injured employee decide, you must... Read more

Beyond Fidler Examining the SCC Decision and its Impact
By Steve Rastin

During the summer of 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada released the long awaited judgment in Fidler v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. In Fidler, the Court affirmed the trial Judge’s $20,000 award for aggravated damages, but at the same time... Read more

Human Rights Issues in the Manufacturing Sector
Presented to Atlas Block | By Steve Rastin

In Ontario, employers are governed by the Ontario Human Rights Code. The preamble of the Ontario Code establishes that its goal is "to recognize the dignity and worth of every person and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination that is contrary to the law"… Read more