Personal-injury award of $16.9-million said to be a record

    TORONTO, May 12 /CNW/ - Lerners LLP has obtained what is believed to be
the highest personal-injury award ever made in a Canadian court. In an April
20th decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld an earlier jury verdict that
had awarded damages of $16.9 million, plus interest, to a Toronto man who
suffered serious injuries in an automobile accident when his car collided with
a leased furniture truck.
    Nancy Ralph, now a partner at Lerners, was the counsel who represented
Robert Marcoccia at a trial last year. Earl A. Cherniak and Kirk F. Stevens of
Lerners were the appeal counsel for the plaintiff at the Ontario Court of
    "This is a significant judgment," said Nancy Ralph. "It means that the
Court of Appeal has upheld the principle that an individual is entitled to
full compensation for the actual cost of the care that he needs for the rest
of his life. This result raises the bar for future care costs for personal
injury cases."
    The accident, which occurred on June 8, 2000, left Mr. Marcoccia with
serious and permanent impairments due to brain injury. He suffers from
diminished executive functioning, and has had to endure physical,
psychological, behavioural, and emotional impairments that leave him unable to
live with normal adult independence and requiring supported living. The other
vehicle was a truck leased to Purba Furniture Ltd. and driven by Bhupinder
Singh Gill. The truck was owned by Ford Credit Canada Limited.
    Damages awarded to the plaintiff by the jury included almost $14 million
for his future care, $1.4 million for his future loss of income, over $700,000
for future corporate guardian costs, $400,000 for future legal fees of the
guardianship, and over $300,000 in general damages. Other damages were for
past loss of income and future co-guardianship costs.
    Ms. Ralph, who joined Lerners as a partner last September, was also the
counsel in a case that was previously believed to be Canada's highest
personal-injury award. Sandhu v. Wellington involved a two-year-old boy who
suffered a severe brain injury after falling from a fifth-storey window. A
jury awarded $13 million, and the verdict was upheld by the Ontario Court of

    About Lerners

    Lerners' lawyers represent a wide range of individual and institutional
clients, from victims of accidents to corporations embroiled in complex
disputes. The firm is devoted largely to representing clients involved in
disputes and appeals. Its lawyers, many of whom have been involved in landmark
cases, practise in the following areas: Commercial Dispute Resolution, Medical
Liability, Professional Defence, Insurance Law, Personal Injury Law, and
Public Law. Lerners, which has Canada's largest litigation group with over 100
lawyers, has offices in Toronto and London, Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Mary Ann Freedman, Freedman & Associates Inc., Phone: (416) 868-1500, Email:

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