Law Times

December 11, 2017

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BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times A n Ontario judge has ordered costs person- ally against a lawyer who brought an emergency application to stop a hospital from taking her client off life support, despite having no instructions from him or his family to do so. Ontario Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell awarded $15,000 in costs against lawyer Georgiana Masgras, finding she was "at the very least negligent or mistaken" in her preparation of the material she submitted in the matter. "She interfered in a dynamic and very personal family decision without any authority and sub- mitted misleading material to the court," Arrell wrote in Ferreira v. St. Mary's General Hospital. Masgras, who is a personal in- jury lawyer, was retained by Fer- nando Ferreira after he was in a car accident in Dec. 2016. On July 8 of this year, Ferreira suffered a severe heart attack, which resulted in him being placed on life sup- port at St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener, Ont. Less than a week later, Masgras successfully brought an ex parte application to enjoin the hospital from withdrawing her client's life support. But a few days later another judge set aside that original order based on new information that showed a number of claims in an affidavit part of Masgras' applica- tion were untrue or misleading. The affidavit said Ferreira's heart attack was related to the car accident, but it later became appar- ent that there was no evidence that the two were linked, the decision said. The affiant also claimed Fer- reira's family had not considered the matter carefully, but 25 family members carefully considered it at the hospital and knew he would not want prolonged life support. Arrell awarded $7,500 in costs each to the doctor involved, as well as the hospital, concluding the application was brought without instructions from Ferreira or his family. "It was also brought for relief that Mr. Ferreira's family did not want, and the believed, quite cor- rectly, Mr. Ferreira would not have wanted, had he been capable of knowing the complete picture of Region of Waterloo refuses records to lawyer BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times A n adjudicator has upheld a decision taken by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo not to dis- close certain records to a promin- ent lawyer about a complaint filed against him. Toronto lawyer Murray Klippenstein filed a freedom of in- formation request with the muni- cipality asking for records relat- ed to a complaint that was made against him to the Law Society of Upper Canada. The complaint, which was ul- timately dismissed, was filed in 2014 after a legal dispute regarding control of an affordable housing provider in Kitchener, Ont., called the Sand Hills Co-op. Klippenstein was retained as counsel by the co-op's board in 2013 to review and potentially challenge a decision by the muni- cipality to force out the board members. The lawyer asserted that the municipality was exceeding its legal authority and the removed board members then sought ju- dicial review of the municipality's decision to replace them. That ap- plication for judicial review would later be dismissed. Klippenstein said that counsel retained by the municipality for the proceeding employed "dirty legal tactics" to knock him off the case and asked that costs be assessed against him personally. Klippenstein later removed him- self from the matter. A new lawyer for the co-op then made the complaint to the LSUC but Klippenstein said the new law- yer had no independent basis for the complaint, and that it was "en- tirely based on what the region had told him." Klippenstein says the complaint was very general and provided no documentation. "[I]t seemed to me that a pro- fessional complaint might well be indirect payback arranged by municipal officials behind the REID TECHNIQUE Police should nix interrogation approach P7 FOCUS ON Criminal Law P8 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 28, No. 40 December 11, 2017 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M BORDER INFO Profound impact on people travelling P4 See It's, page 2 Murray Klippenstein filed a freedom of infor- mation request asking for records related to a complaint that was made against him to the Law Society of Upper Canada. See End, page 2 Life support case raises questions for lawyers Paula Trattner says lawyers who are going to bring applications with respect to life support need to have expertise in health law. 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