The Complex World of Structured Settlements

In this episode, Bill and Nigel chat with John Rousseau from McKellar Structured Settlements Inc. John helps navigate the complex world of structured settlements and explains in detail what you should know when considering a structured settlement.

Also, Nigel and Bill answer listener questions about the impact of being publicly slandered. Plus, Jane from Wheatley asks who decides when a snow plow needs to be sent out on a highway.

Guest Speaker(s): Sergeant Daivd Rektor, John Rousseau

Episode 6 Transcript

Episode 6 Q&A

Q: If I am slandered, and that slander affects my ability to volunteer in my community, is there is anything that I can do about that, even though it doesn’t have a direct financial impact on me?

A: The short answer to that question is yes. I should preface it by saying that I am not an expert in the law of slander, but obviously as a lawyer you read law on different areas, and basically like a motor vehicle accident, there are different types of damages a person can receive, and one of the damages when you’re injured in an accident is for pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Similarly, if somebody has slandered you then you can make a claim for damages for the effect that that has had on your reputation, and it’s the same type of damages and amount of money that’s paid not because of an economic loss but rather because your reputation in the community may have been affected adversely, and so you can certainly pursue a claim for damages, even though you do not suffer any specific economic loss if you have been slandered.

Q: When you get into the winter driving season, who decides when a snowplow needs to be sent out to maintain a street or a highway?

A: Essentially, each municipality is responsible for maintaining the roadways within that municipality. The province is responsible for maintaining things like provincial highways, the 401 being a good example. The government came out with something called the Minimum Standards Act, and that basically sets out what the minimum standards are for what a municipality is required to do in terms of clearing snow, sanding and salting.

Different standards are based upon the volume of traffic on the roadway, they’re based on the number of roadways that there may be in a municipality, and really the argument the municipalities make is the economic cost to them, but there are weather forecasts and municipalities do have warnings ahead of time the storms that are coming in, so they can’t simply use the excuse, well gee, we didn’t know there was going to be snow storm and that’s why we didn’t get out and sand and salt. I think the best answer to give is that it is certainly always worth making an inquiry of a lawyer if your car has gone off the roadway as a result of slippery conditions and you’ve sustained an injury. Certainly, if there’s been a significant injury, then I would definitely recommend you consult with a personal injury lawyer, and they can look at the issue of whether or not there’s any responsibility on the municipality for failing to properly sand, salt or plow the roadway. That’s especially important because there are shorter time limits to potentially pursue a claim against a municipality, so that contact needs to happen right away.

Now obviously if a person is seriously injured and they’re in the hospital and they don’t have the ability to make that contact, then you can get an extension of the time, but you should try to make that contact as soon as possible because otherwise you may be denied the right to bring a claim.

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