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Mar 21, 2018

LAT Decision for J.N. v. Travelers Insurance

By: Adrian Carranza
March 21, 2018

J.N. was a fit young man with a promising career in healthcare, working two jobs as a PSW and also training to become a registered nurse. Things were looking pretty good for J.N. in the summer of 2014. But he had no idea his life would be thrown upside down that summer when he was unexpectedly struck by a car while crossing the street.

The accident left J.N. with injuries to his back, shoulder and neck. His life plans were suddenly on hold.  J.N. followed his doctor’s advice dutifully, taking medication and going for physiotherapy. His back pain improved and when his physiotherapy ended, he started an exercise and fitness program with a personal trainer as recommended by his treating doctor and the insurance doctor.  

One day, while doing back strengthening exercises with his trainer, J.N. reinjured his back suffering a disc herniation. His back pain worsened and he had increased difficulties with lifting, carrying, as well as returning to work. J.N. turned to the insurance company for help, but they refused to pay him income replacement benefits arguing the disc herniation was a new injury and not related to the car accident.

J.N.’s lawyer, Moira Gracey, a partner at Carranza LLP, intervened by stating that the herniation was a direct result of the rehabilitation that was not only recommended by J.N.’s family doctor, but also by the insurance company’s doctor. Moira requested that Travelers pay J.N.’s benefits, and when they refused to pay, she applied for a hearing before the License and Appeals Tribunal (LAT).  

At the hearing Moira argued that the chain of causation between the car accident and the disc herniation was not broken, as J.N. reinjured his back while following the treatment necessary as a result of the car accident. She added that had it not been for the car accident and resulting back pain, J.N. would not have been doing the back strengthening exercises and would not have sustained the disc herniation. Travelers Insurance maintained that the disc herniation was not the result of the car accident, and therefore J.N. was not entitled to further income replacement benefits.

On February 9, 2018, the Licence Appeal Tribunal released its decision. The adjudicator accepted Moira Gracey’s reasoning of causation and found a causal connection between the car accident and J.N.’s disc herniation. The adjudicator ruled that J.N. was entitled to receive income replacement benefits to the date of the hearing and ongoing.

Congratulations to J.N. and Moira Gracey on this important victory. We at Carranza are proud of the tireless work and effort put forth by Ms. Gracey to represent her clients with the utmost professionalism and dedication. 

Congratulations Moira on another great victory!


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