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Judge hamilton

Under current law, where injuries sustained by a plaintiff are the result of negligence of a company – as was found with Southside Painting – the victim is entitled to sue for damages. Therefore, what needs to be determined from this hearing, is the amount of damage that was suffered by the plaintiff as a result of this negligence.

Ladies and gentlemen, your purpose as members of the jury is to make a decision concerning the extent of damages suffered by the plaintiff, Ms Tate.

The first part of the trial found that the plaintiff was a victim of negligence by the defendant company Southside Painting. Due to Southside Painting’s failure to ensure that adequate safety standards were in place concerning the transport of tools and equipment on their vehicles, the plaintiff was struck by an unsecured ladder.

Beginning with the plaintiff’s case, you will now hear an opening statement from the plaintiff’s lawyer, Mr Baker, followed by the presentation of the plaintiff’s witness. Mr McLeod, counsel for the defendant, may elect to cross-examine these witnesses.

As a consequence of this incident, the plaintiff suffered injuries to her throat and vocal cords, resulting in both pain and suffering, and considerable time off from her job as a personal assistant.

Judge Hamilton


Mr baker prosecuting attorney

My name is Martin Baker and I will be representing Ms Tate in this matter. In the course of the hearing we will present evidence to you demonstrating the extent of damages suffered by my client. As with any business or trade, companies have a duty of care to ensure standards of safety to protect not only their employees, but members of the public as well.

The evidence we will present to you clearly demonstrates that as a result of Southside Painting’s negligence, my client has sustained considerable pain and suffering, and loss of income. After presenting our evidence we will ask you to compensate our client for damages, which in our estimation amount to no less than $250,000.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


(The plaintiff, Ms Tate, is sworn in by the bailiff) in this matter. In the course of the hearing we will present evidence to you demonstrating the extent of damages suffered by my client. As with any business or trade, companies have a duty of care to ensure standards of safety to protect not only their employees, but members of the public as well.


Mr baker prosecuting attorney1

Owing to the nature of Ms. Tate’s injuries, my client is unable to testify verbally. As such, she will type her responses on a computer provided by the court and the court reporter will read her responses out loud. Ms. Tate, please describe the nature of your employment and your subsequent earnings.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Ms tate plaintiff spoken by court reporter

I am a Personal Assistant for a financial company, where I have been employed for 18 months. Before becoming a personal assistant I worked as a secretary. My annual salary prior to the surgery was $68,000.

Ms Tate – plaintiff (spoken by court reporter)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney2

Could you describe the events which you experienced earlier this year on Thursday, the 28th of February?

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Ms tate plaintiff spoken by court reporter1

After finishing work around 6:15 pm that day, I left the building and began walking to the bus stop like I did every afternoon. While waiting for the traffic lights to change before crossing Miller Street, I was struck by a large object and collapsed onto the pavement. Upon waking, I realised I was in the hospital. I felt extreme pain in my throat, where I had been hit.

Ms Tate – plaintiff (spoken by court reporter)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney3

After waking in hospital did the doctor explain what had happened to you?

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Ms tate plaintiff spoken by court reporter2

The doctor explained that bystanders had witnessed the ladder flying off the back of a truck, it struck me in the neck. Thankfully, an ambulance was called almost right away.

Ms Tate – plaintiff (spoken by court reporter)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney4

What kind of treatment did you receive in the hospital? ladder flying off the back of a truck, it struck me in the neck. Thankfully, an ambulance was called almost right away.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Ms tait plaintiff spoken by court reporter

At the hospital I experienced extreme pain in my throat and neck, as well as some respiratory difficulties. My initial treatment was mostly supportive and involved securing my airway, fluid resuscitation, investigation of the extend of my injuries, and the administration of pain relieving drugs.

I was released from the hospital two and a half weeks later after tests determined that no other complications were likely. Following this, I was referred to a specialist, Dr Judith Willis, for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Ms Tait – plaintiff (spoken by court reporter)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney5

What kind of impact has this incident had on your life? neck, as well as some respiratory difficulties. My initial treatment was mostly supportive and involved securing my airway, fluid resuscitation, investigation of the extend of my injuries, and the administration of pain relieving drugs.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Ms tait plaintiff spoken by court reporter1

I have suffered a great deal, my throat is constantly in pain and I am only just beginning to speak again. My specialist has told me that I will not make a full recovery for about 12 to 18 months and until that time my voice will be hoarse and speaking will be painful. As a result, I am unable to work at my job which requires me to speak constantly throughout the day

Ms Tait – plaintiff (spoken by court reporter)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney6

I have no further questions. pain and I am only just beginning to speak again. My specialist has told me that I will not make a full recovery for about 12 to 18 months and until that time my voice will be hoarse and speaking will be painful. As a result, I am unable to work at my job which requires me to speak constantly throughout the day

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Judge hamilton1

Any questions for Ms Tate, Mr McLeod? pain and I am only just beginning to speak again. My specialist has told me that I will not make a full recovery for about 12 to 18 months and until that time my voice will be hoarse and speaking will be painful. As a result, I am unable to work at my job which requires me to speak constantly throughout the day

Judge Hamilton


Mr mcleod defense attorney
Mr McLeod – defense attorney pain and I am only just beginning to speak again. My specialist has told me that I will not make a full recovery for about 12 to 18 months and until that time my voice will be hoarse and speaking will be painful. As a result, I am unable to work at my job which requires me to speak constantly throughout the day

Ms Tate, you state that you have been a Personal Assistant for a considerable time?


Ms tate plaintiff spoken by court reporter3

Yes, for about 5 years. pain and I am only just beginning to speak again. My specialist has told me that I will not make a full recovery for about 12 to 18 months and until that time my voice will be hoarse and speaking will be painful. As a result, I am unable to work at my job which requires me to speak constantly throughout the day

Ms Tate – plaintiff (spoken by court reporter)


Mr mcleod defense attorney1
Mr. McLeod – defense attorney pain and I am only just beginning to speak again. My specialist has told me that I will not make a full recovery for about 12 to 18 months and until that time my voice will be hoarse and speaking will be painful. As a result, I am unable to work at my job which requires me to speak constantly throughout the day

Would it therefore not be possible to get employment in a similar business? Perhaps in an administrative area which involves less speaking?


Perhaps, but I saw my role in this company leading to better opportunities, possibly in management.

Ms Tate – plaintiff (spoken by court reporter)


No further questions. opportunities, possibly in management.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


(Dr Willis is sworn in by the bailiff) opportunities, possibly in management.


Mr baker prosecuting attorney7

Please state your name and occupation. opportunities, possibly in management.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist

I am Dr. Judith Willis. I am a registered Speech Therapist currently employed in a private practice in Toronto.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


Dr Willis, would you describe your academic background and training to the jury?

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist1

I graduated from McGill University, with first class honours in speech therapy. I then completed a Masters degree in speech language pathology, also at McGill University, and was awarded a university medal of excellence

I have been a registered speech therapist for ten years during which time I have mainly been involved in private practice. I am however an attending therapist for the Toronto General Hospital and I am regularly invited to present at academic conferences.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


Your honour, in the interest of expediting the proceedings we are willing to stipulate that Dr Willis qualifies as an expert in the field of medicine.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


Thank you, Mr McLeod. Dr Willis, are you familiar with Ms Tate’s case and the injuries sustained?

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist2

Yes, Ms. Tate was referred to me as a patient while she was in the hospital. During my career, I have dealt with a number of similar injuries involving the throat and vocal chords.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


What in your view would be an appropriate method for determining the extent of the injuries sustained by Ms. Tate, and the necessary recovery period?

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist3

In my opinion the most accurate way of determining the extent of throat injuries sustained by the patient is by conducting a Video Strobe Voice Evaluation.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


What exactly is this assessment and how is it performed? extent of throat injuries sustained by the patient is by conducting a Video Strobe Voice Evaluation.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist4

The evaluation is basically a test in which video images are taken of the patient’s voice box and then stored by computer. In Ms. Tate’s case, two methods were used to take the pictures of her voice box, looking through the mouth and looking through the nose.

Both methods entail placing a very small malleable tube in the mouth or nose, and down the patient’s throat. The patient is then asked to speak or make a vocal sound, while video recordings are recorded during this period. Both methods generally take less than five minutes.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


What happens to the video images? taken of the patient’s voice box and then stored by computer. In Ms. Tate’s case, two methods were used to take the pictures of her voice box, looking through the mouth and looking through the nose.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist5

The video is reviewed by a speech therapist with specialised training in the evaluation process, and a report containing the results and recommendations is produced.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney8

Were the results of Ms. Tate’s assessment reviewed by yourself, and if so, what were your conclusions?

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist6

They were. I concluded that Ms. Tate had suffered severe tissue injury associated with the impact of the ladder. The extent of the injuries indicated to me that Ms. Tate would need at least 14 or more months of recuperation before being able to resume normal, pain free speech.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney9

So Dr. Willis, is it your expert opinion that Ms. Tate will be unable to speak normally for at least 14 months.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Dr willis expert witness speech therapist7

That is correct. Prolonged speaking during that period will cause the patient pain and she will have a much hoarser than normal voice. For full recovery I recommend that she keeps speaking to a minimum for at least 14 months.

Dr Willis – expert witness (speech therapist)


Mr baker prosecuting attorney10

Thank you, Dr Willis. I have no further questions and we rest our case.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Mr mcleod defence attorney
Mr McLeod – defence attorney rest our case.

I have no questions for Dr Willis.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney



Mr mcleod defence attorney1
Mr McLeod – defence attorney rest our case.

My name is Peter McLeod and as you are aware I am representing the defendant, Southside Painting. In response to the testimony you have just heard from the plaintiff’s expert, we will present alternative evidence which proves the damages incurred by Ms. Tate were much less than what has been suggested. At the end of this presentation, I will recommend that you award a reasonable amount of damages to Ms. Tate of no greater than $40,000.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney



Mr mcleod defence attorney2
Mr McLeod – defence attorney rest our case.

Please state your occupation for the jury, Dr Taylor.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


Dr taylor expert witness ent specialist

I am employed as an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for a private practice in Toronto. I also receive referrals from Mount Sinai hospital.

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)


Mr mcleod defence attorney3
Mr McLeod – defence attorney private practice in Toronto. I also receive referrals from Mount Sinai hospital.

Please describe your education and experience.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


Dr taylor expert witness ent specialist1

I received my PhD at the University of Toronto. I have been employed as a registered Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in the private sector since 1990.

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)


Mr mcleod defence attorney4
Mr McLeod – defence attorney employed as a registered Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in the private sector since 1990.

Dr Taylor, are you familiar with the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, Ms Tate?

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


Dr taylor expert witness ent specialist2

Yes, I am. employed as a registered Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in the private sector since 1990.

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)


Mr mcleod defence attorney5
Mr McLeod – defence attorney employed as a registered Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in the private sector since 1990.

Could you tell us how you familiarised yourself with these injuries?


Dr taylor expert witness ent specialist3

I have specialised training in throat injuries. I also reviewed the Video Strobe Voice Evaluation images taken by Dr Judith Willis. In addition, I have examined Ms Tate’s throat.

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)


Mr mcleod defence attorney6
Mr McLeod – defence attorney reviewed the Video Strobe Voice Evaluation images taken by Dr Judith Willis. In addition, I have examined Ms Tate’s throat.

After reviewing Ms Tate’s injuries what conclusions did you draw in regards to the extent, and the subsequent required period of recovery?

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


Dr taylor expert witness ent specialist4

After examining Ms. Tate and her Video Strobe Voice Evaluation images, I have concluded that she sustained moderate damage to her throat and vocal chords. I agree with Dr Willis’ analysis in as much as prolonged speaking at present would cause the patient discomfort. However, I believe that with the proper treatment and care Ms. Tate would make a full voice recovery within four months.

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)


Mr mcleod defence attorney7
Mr McLeod – defence attorney Evaluation images, I have concluded that she sustained moderate damage to her throat and vocal chords. I agree with Dr Willis’ analysis in as much as prolonged speaking at present would cause the patient discomfort. However, I believe that with the proper treatment and care Ms. Tate would make a full voice recovery within four months.

Dr Taylor, is it then your expert opinion that Miss Tate will be able to speak normally throughout her working day as her job requires, within a four month period?

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


Dr taylor expert witness ent specialist5

Yes. I am convinced that with adequate treatment and support, Ms. Tate will be capable of returning to her current job within about fourmonths.

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)

Dr Taylor – expert witness (ENT specialist)


Mr mcleod defence attorney8
Mr McLeod – defence attorney support, Ms. Tate will be capable of returning to her current job within about four

I have no further questions for this witness, your honour.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


Judge hamilton2

Members of the jury, each side will now present their closing argument. I will then instruct you as to the legal rules you are required to apply in making your decision.

Judge Hamilton


Mr baker prosecuting attorney11

Ladies and gentlemen, the facts of this case and are simple. SouthsidePainting violated the law, a fact upon which a jury has already found them guilty. Their failure to ensure necessary standards of safety in terms of the transportation of equipment has resulted in severe physical injuries to my client.

In addition to this, we feel a further $180,000 is a commensurate amount for her loss of future income and for the pain and suffering she has endured. Therefore, I ask that you ensure companies such as Southside Painting are held responsible for their duty to maintain standards of safety, by awarding my client damages in the amount of no less than$250,000.

Dr Judith Willis, a highly respected and qualified Speech Therapist , has testified as to the necessary recuperation time needed by my client to resume working at her occupation as a personal assistant. Dr Willis also stated that Ms. Tate will be unable to work for at least 14 months, a loss to her in financial terms of $70,000 in salary.

Mr Baker – prosecuting attorney


Mr mcleod defence attorney9
Mr McLeod – defence attorney Southside

I also think this a relatively simple case. It has already been confirmed that the defendant was negligent. While we do not believe this was the case, we will not argue any further. What we do dispute, however, is the amount of compensation that the plaintiff is asking for.

Consequently, if Ms. Tate returned to work in four months time her loss of earnings would equal $20,500. Considering again, this time for recovery, we feel that an additional $19,500 is ample as compensation for any pain and suffering incurred.

I ask therefore, that you refuse to give Ms. Tate a windfall, and instead consider what is truly a fair amount. We subsequently ask that you award no more than $40,000 to the plaintiff.

Although the plaintiff has indeed suffered temporary injuries to her throat, the severity of these injuries do not warrant 14 months of recovery. You heard testimony from Dr Taylor, an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist, whose job necessitates expert knowledge in throat injuries. After examining the plaintiff, Dr Taylor concluded that four months was an appropriate time frame for full recovery.

Mr McLeod – defense attorney


J udge hamilton

You must now determine the amount of money that will reasonably and fairly compensate for the damage caused by the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff and defence have presented different estimates as to the amount of compensation warranted.

The law does not require that the plaintiff make exact proof, in dollars and cents, but the law does require that the amount of damages be proved by facts that pass the realm of conjecture, speculation or opinions not founded on facts. Bearing these rules in mind, I ask that you consider the evidence and reach your verdict.

These are estimates only – it is up to you, as members of the jury, to decide the exact amount of damages, if any, suffered by Ms. Tate as result of Southside’s inadequate safety standards.

Judge Hamilton


The End reasonably and fairly compensate for the damage caused by the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff and defence have presented different estimates as to the amount of compensation warranted.

Please close this window and return to the URPP website to answer the rest of the questionnaire.

The rest of the questionnaire should take about 10 minutes to complete

THANK YOU!


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