Some big news and a big win for plaintiffs in personal injury cases! A recent announcement by the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General has advised that, effective January 1, 2020, a party will be permitted to claim up to $35,000 in Ontario Small Claims Court proceedings, and up to $200,000 in Rule 76 Simplified Procedure proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. This is all in an effort to lower costs and significantly reduce delays.
How Simplified Procedure rules will affect your personal injury case
Some things to keep in mind about the new Simplified Procedure rules:
- Jury trials will no longer be permitted in Rule 76 actions and, as mentioned above, the monetary jurisdiction will be increased to $200,000 from $100,000.00.
- Trials will be a maximum of 5 days.
- Costs cannot exceed $50,000 and disbursements cannot exceed $25,000, exclusive of HST.
- The time limit for oral discovery by any party is increased from two to three hours.
- Parties shall agree to a proposed trial management plan at least 30 days before the pre-trial conference is set.
The impact on plaintiffs
In our view, this is a big win for plaintiffs. We often hear from opposing council that juries are cheap and don’t pay plaintiffs injured in car accidents. With these new rules, opposing counsel won’t have much success with this argument. Why? Because there are no more jury trials! It is far less likely that a judge will let a personal injury case victim walk away with nothing after a trial. Judges know about the deductible and the threshold.
A win for the people of Ontario
It goes without saying that having more personal injury cases started under the Simplified Procedure rules can free up valuable court time and resources while making it easier, faster and more affordable for people in Ontario to resolve their personal injury claims.