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Alf Kwinter, selected as one of Canada’s Best Lawyers
TORONTO, ON - A 28 year-old Ontario man has received a major settlement from the Province of Ontario after personal injury law firm Singer, Kwinter fought and won an epic 12 year battle for a just resolution to the 1999 tragedy which left John T. paralyzed. (The plaintiff's identity has been anonymized to protect him.)
In 1999, John T. was an athletic 17 year-old spending time with his friend's family on his first visit to Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron. An experienced swimmer, John was standing waist deep in the water when he leaned forward and dove, driving his head directly into a sandbar, hidden by rough water, instantly breaking his neck and rendering him a quadriplegic. The absence of warning signs and the unpredictable movement of the sandbars were critical factors in this devastating accident. Immediately after his accident John sought the help of a highly-respected personal injury law firm but was turned away after they saw no grounds for his case. He gave up and resigned himself to getting by with no remedy and a lifetime of financial strain.
Until he met Alf Kwinter.
Alf Kwinter, co-founder and senior partner at Singer, Kwinter comments: "When John first visited our office for an unrelated matter, I simply asked how his current situation had come about. Hearing his tragic story I was propelled to ask more questions which lead me to realize how strong his case was."
With John's agreement Singer, Kwinter chose to take the case. "We built John's case from nothing with tenacity and thorough research," says Kwinter. "We kept our eye on the goal of justice, driven by our belief that John deserved compensation." Singer, Kwinter's trademark relentless effort and astute "questions first" attitude has seen the award-winning firm not only win record-breaking cases, but in key instances change the law.
John and Singer, Kwinter went to trial against the Province of Ontario, armed with the leading expert on sandbars formation, a geomorphologist from the University of Toronto. After losing the first trial, Singer, Kwinter appealed and were awarded a re-trial after the appeal court found serious flaws in the first proceeding.
"We were not ready to accept that the Province had no liability," said Jason Singer, co-counsel. "We took advantage of our ability to appeal and fought on behalf of our client, finally settling 12 years later. We were not ready to let an ordinary citizen be beaten down by the Province. This truly is a David and Goliath story," he added.
Before the beginning of the second trial Singer, Kwinter obtained a substantial settlement for John T. While the exact amount cannot be disclosed, the settlement will look after John well for the rest of his days, replacing stress with comfort despite a tragic situation and a lifetime of high-cost professional care.
Alf Kwinter approaches the questions he asks in each case very meticulously. He sees it as the foundation for the success his firm has achieved. Alf's guiding principle? "When you take a single piece of string," he observes, "it's weak. But as you keep adding many individual strings they form a strong rope: a rope strong enough to haul a semi-truck. We ask the questions that make our cases as strong as possible."
And that has made all the difference: a life of dignity and security for John T.
About Singer, Kwinter:
Founded in 1974, Singer, Kwinter is a Toronto based personal injury law firm known for taking on groundbreaking and risky cases. Named One of Canada's Top 5 Personal Injury Law Firms by Canadian Lawyer magazine, the firm recently won the highest award in Canada ever for a chronic pain case. In the Kamin v. Kawartha Dairy case, the firm changed the law of slip and fall. Singer, Kwinter takes on cases across Ontario and is available for consultation on cases across Canada.
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Download published story from The Lawyers Weekly, June 22, 2012 [PDF]
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