Recent Blog Posts

A Step in the Right Direction

Robert LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | April 25, 2012 | Posted in Commentary

As referenced in the Toronto Star article: Many insurers reject requests - will yours? insurers continue to take a hard line approach in their handling of treatment plans submitted for the funding of medical/rehabilitation benefits for injured motorists in Ontario. The establishment of a review committee to examine the cause of the 31% percent increase in denials of submitted treatment plans should be a very positive step in shedding some light on the reasons behind such a significant change in behavior by auto insurers.

The MacQueen V Echelon decision referenced in this article highlights the danger to insurers of mass rejection of legitimate funding requests as well as the potential damage caused to the injured person due to delayed or denied access to treatment.

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Many insurers reject requests - will yours?

Ellen Roseman, Toronto Star | April 25, 2012 | Posted in Articles

Suppose you're driving your car with three passengers and you hit a deer. No one is hurt, except the animal. Your insurance company quickly pays $24,000 to cover repairs to your damaged car. It's happy to protect you from financial harm after an accident.

Now suppose you and your passengers are all injured after hitting the deer. This time, the insurance company is slower to respond. It may turn down your requests to be repaid for rehabilitation treatments not covered by the health care system (such as physiotherapy or psychological counselling). It may treat you as fakers, exaggerating your injuries.

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Treatment Financing Crisis in Ontario

Robert LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | April 16, 2012 | Posted in Commentary

The past 18 months have witnessed a dramatic decrease in benefit coverage for most accident victims in Ontario under the new provincial Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, compounded by an unprecedented number of treatment plan denials by insurers. Prior to the September 2011 changes, there were approximately 24,000 meditations scheduled to resolve benefit eligibility disputes. That figure has grown to over 36,000 currently and is increasing by over 1000 per month.

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Case Commentary: Cornie v. Security National (2012 ONSC 905)

Robert LaBrecque, BridgePoint Financial Services | February 24, 2012 | Posted in Commentary

The recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision, Cornie v. Security National speaks directly to the extended delays being experienced by injured individuals who are attempting to resolve disputes with their insurers over the funding of med/rehab services through the FSCO mediation process. This decision provides that a delay of more than 60 days will be viewed as a "failed" mediation enabling claimants to proceed to arbitration.

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Insurance benefits backlog a nightmare for accident victims

Josh Rubin, Toronto Star | February 1, 2012 | Posted in Articles

Getting hurt in a car crash is bad enough, but for many people in Ontario, it's only the beginning of a lengthy nightmare. People turned down for accident benefits by insurance face a wait of as long as two years before their appeals wind their way through the system administered by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

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You can invest in stocks, bonds, real estate and now... lawsuits

Francine Kopun, Toronto Star | January 12, 2012 | Posted in Articles

Bored with stocks, bonds and real estate? Funding lawsuits is gaining ground as an investment. Plaintiffs with a strong legal case they can't afford to bring to court can get backing from investment firms that pay the legal bills in exchange for a share of the settlement, which can be substantial.

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Will 2012 be watershed year or business as usual?

Mitch Kowalski, Financial Post | January 5, 2012 | Posted in Articles

All over Canada, the legal profession faces challenges it has never faced in the past – and the challenges will only become more numerous. Richard Susskind was right on point when he wrote, "Law does not exist to provide a livelihood for lawyers any more than illness exists to provide a livelihood for doctors. Successful legal business may be a by-product of law... but it is not the purpose."

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Car injury claims increasingly denied

Mike Crawley, CBC News | December 30, 2011 | Posted in Articles

A Hamilton speech therapist says car insurance companies are increasingly rejecting her recommended treatments for people who've been hurt in accidents. Deidre Sperry helps her clients recover from brain injuries. Those who have been hurt in car accidents represent 95 per cent of her client base. Car insurance companies rejected five of Sperry's recommended treatment plans this year. She said that is more rejections than in her previous 11 years of practice combined.

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Ontario auto insurance changes affecting rehab coverage

Mike Crawley, CBC News | December 29, 2011 | Posted in Articles

Ontarians injured in car accidents are finding out that in many cases, the rehab prescribed by their health providers will not be covered by their insurance. Dr. Donna Ouchterlony, the director of the brain injury clinic at Toronto's St Michael's Hospital, says insurance companies are declining more and more treatment plans. "They no longer have to have a doctor review [in order] to refuse [treatment]," she said. "The impact is profound."

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Settlement Loan Considerations

Stephen Pauwels, BridgePoint Financial Services | November 23, 2011 | Posted in Commentary

We have put together a helpful checklist to determine if a settlement loan is right for you. Have other financing options been explored? Have you discussed your situation with your lawyer? Have you determined your true financial needs before applying?

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The Loan Arrangers

Ava Chisling, Canadian Lawyer Magazine | November 22, 2011 | Posted in Articles

Former law clerks with decades of experience in both defendant and plaintiff law firms, they evaluate liability and come up with an estimate of value and a projected time frame for a resolution of the claim. Pauwels says BridgePoint is the only company in Canada that uses this assessment system and other lenders rely on the lawyers involved to determine the value of their own cases, and like homeowners who overestimate the price of their own houses, lawyers often overestimate the amount their case will be worth at settlement or at trial.

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Devastating accident leaves cyclist struggling with insurance payout

Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew, Toronto Star | October 18, 2011 | Posted in Articles

On Nov. 29, 2010, Charlene Groh was hit by an SUV while riding her bike near her home at Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Parkside Drive. For the first eight hours, doctors were not sure if she would live. She spent the next four months in the hospital, and was unable to walk for three of those months

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Accident victims still waiting

Alan Shanoff, Toronto Sun | September 16, 2011 | Posted in Articles

Being able to obtain insurance benefits on a timely basis is no easy task. If justice delayed is justice denied, then Ontario car accident victims are certainly getting the short end of the stick. Under Ontario's no-fault car insurance system, those injured in car accidents are entitled to certain statutory accident benefits for things like partial income replacement, attendant care, and rehabilitation services. The extent of the benefits is dependent on the extent of the injuries suffered, defined as minor, non-catastrophic and catastrophic. But being able to obtain accident benefits on a timely basis is no easy task.

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Giuliani v. Region of Halton, 2011 ONSC 5119

Milton, Ontario | August 31, 2011 | Posted in Court Decisions

On August 31, 2011, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected the recovery of interest on a third party litigation loan financing the cost of disbursements in Giuliani, a personal injury action. Although at first blush it appears this decision is inconsistent with recent Canadian case law allowing interest to be recovered on third party financing for disbursements and treatment costs, one could argue that the Giuliani decision is: (i) correct on its facts; and (ii) consistent with Bourgoin (Bourgoin v. Ouellette, [2009] N.B.R. (2d) TBEd. FE.013), Herbert (Herbert v. City of Brantford, 2010 ONSC C04-12047), and other court decisions allowing recovery for interest costs where third party financing arrangements are reasonable and facilitate access to justice.

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Herbert v. The City of Brantford (2011 ONSC 4066 (CanLII))

Brantford, Ontario | June 28, 2011 | Posted in Court Decisions

The Ontario Superior Court costs decision in Herbert v. The City of Brantford established that interest charged by experts on their outstanding reports was a recoverable cost, however Justice Whitten left it up to counsel to determine an "appropriate" rate of interest to be incurred. Defence counsel argued for post judgment interest while plaintiff's counsel argued that the actual rates charged by the various experts (ranging from 1.0% to 2.0% per month) were appropriate. The issue reverted back to Mr. Justice Whitten who rejected the defendant's argument and allowed the plaintiff to recover the full amount charged by its experts.

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The Recoverability Of Financing Costs In Personal Injury Litigation: Using Third Party Financing As A Shield... And A Sword.

John Rossos, BridgePoint Financial Services | May 15, 2011 | Posted in Commentary

In Canada, third party financing for litigation is a new concept that is increasingly being accepted as a means to facilitate access to justice where there is a substantial imbalance, or Funding Gap, in economic resources between the parties. The global credit crisis of 2008 and the recent amendments to the Insurance Act (Ontario)2 reducing coverage for general medical and rehabilitation expenses from $100,000 to $50,000 for standard motor vehicle accident benefits have aggravated this issue.

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LaBrecque appears on Brain Waves AM 980 London

London, Ontario | February 20, 2011 | Posted in News Updates

Robert LaBrecque appeared as a guest on "Brain Waves" A.M. 980 London to discuss Treatment Financing.

Herbert v. The City of Brantford (2010 ONSC C04-12047 (CanLII))

Brantford, Ontario | November 23, 2010 | Posted in Court Decisions

This Ontario Superior Court decision held that interest charged by various experts on their accounts was recoverable as an assessable cost against the defendant. This decision builds upon those of Bourgouin and McCreight in recognizing that the onerous costs borne by plaintiffs and their counsel in pursuing a claim could deter access to justice where the costs incurred - including financing charges - are not recoverable.

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BridgePoint reduces interest rates

Toronto, Ontario | September 17, 2010 | Posted in News Updates

BridgePoint announces the implementation of an across the board standard interest rate reduction for all new Settlement Loans from 26.0% to 24.0% and a reduction in its Treatment Financing rates from 22.0% to 20.0%. This reflects our continued commitment to offering the most responsible, affordable financing terms available to the Canadian litigation market. Click to view terms for Settlement Loans and Treatment Financing.

BridgePoint produces corporate brochure

Toronto, Ontario | August 21, 2010 | Posted in News Updates

Our new promotional brochure describing all of our primary financial services for lawyers, plaintiff and experts is available. Download a PDF, or contact us to request a hard copy.

Rossos speaks at the RAND Institute

Washington DC | May 20-21, 2010 | Posted in News Updates

John Rossos spoke at the RAND Institute for Civil Justice for Law, Finance, and the Capital Markets Conference in Washington. BridgePoint was also a sponsor of this event.

Milne v. Clarke, [2010] BCSC 317

Vancouver, British Columbia | March 19, 2010 | Posted in Court Decisions

The British Columbia Supreme Court provided wide discretion to allow counsel to recover the financing cost incurred for disbursements due to the failure or inability of a party to pay for the cost of the service.

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ATCO Class Action

Calgary, Alberta | June 9, 2009 | Posted in News Updates

Final court approval has been provided for the ATCO class action.

BridgePoint receives court approval for third party financing arrangement

Calgary, Alberta | May 7, 2009 | Posted in News Updates

We are pleased to announce that BridgePoint Financial Services has received court approval for a third party financing arrangement involving the representative plaintiff for a class action filed in the Province of Alberta. This is the first time a Canadian court has approved a private arrangement of this nature. Of equal importance the process was ex parte, the financing agreement will be sealed, and the order will be made public and may be utilized as a precedent in other actions that we are currently evaluating and/or engaged in.

Pauwels speaks at Reach Canada

Ottawa, Ontario | April 23, 2009 | Posted in News Updates

Stephen Pauwels spoke about The Effects of the Litigation Process on Personal Finance at Reach Canada's Financial Series of Seminar's focusing on Personal Injury Law on April 23, 2009 in Ottawa.

Rossos speaks at litigation financing conference in UK

London, UK | April 16, 2009" | Posted in News Updates

John Rossos addressed a litigation finance conference sponsored by Norton Rose LLP in London, U.K. to discuss the challenges of financing class and mass tort actions.

BridgePoint finalizes a strategic partnership with Medisys Corporate Health

Toronto, Ontario | March 22, 2009 | Posted in News Updates

BridgePoint finalizes a strategic partnership with Medisys Corporate Health to offer financing for medical assessment services. Medisys is one of the largest providers of private health care services in Canada. This partnership offers similar benefits as those offered through BridgePoint's relationship with Viewpoint Medical Assessment Services in western Canada.

Bourgouin v. Ouellette, [2009] CanLII 27242

Edmundston, New Brunswick | February 6, 2009 | Posted in Court Decisions

The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench held that interest charged on a disbursement loan was recoverable by the plaintiff where the funding arrangement is directly between the plaintiff and a third party financier. The court referred to the Rules of Civil Procedure but seemed to rely on the broader social policy objective of access to justice to allow full recovery of the expense.

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McCreight v. Currie, 2008 BCSC 1751

Kelowna, British Columbia | December 19, 2008 | Posted in Court Decisions

This decision was cited in Milne v.Clark (above) where the British Columbia Supreme Court allowed a plaintiff to recover the cost of financing that she incurred for obtaining an MRI.

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The Challenges of Financing Contingency Fee-Based Legal Practices

Stephen Pauwels, BridgePoint Financial Services | October 15, 2008 | Posted in Commentary

Contingency fee-based law firms are capital-intensive businesses which face unique challenges in sourcing the financing required to operate efficiently. This article explores some of the causes and implications of this situation from a practice management perspective and evaluates various alternatives available to law firms facing financing constraints.

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Sorokin v The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, (2008) 92 O.R. (3d) 314

Barrie, Ontario | May 5, 2008 | Posted in Court Decisions

This decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that interest is a benefit and not a penalty under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule of the Insurance Act (Ontario). This lends authoritative support for the proposition that costs incurred to finance the cost of benefits that have been improperly terminated/denied or exhausted are recoverable against the first party or tort insurer.

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