Are personal injury lawyers in a conflict of interest?
Ernest Gittens of Gittens and Associates thinks so. Appearing last summer before the PUB hearing into auto insurance rates on behlf of the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association, he stated: “We are very reluctant to come forward in this setting because of the optics of lawyers making representation where their interests parallel those of the victims that are being dealt with here victims … yes, we have a vested interest in their success and in not changing the regime.”
Can the same be said of Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie?
As a lawyer, Crosbie has been involved in personal injury claims. On CBC’s “Here and Now” on Feb. 14, in calling for the removal of the tax on insurance premiums, he stated, “taking the tax off insurance premiums will do more than any scheme to limit the right of people to claim compensation when they are injured.”
He does not want to see a cap on claims for minor injuries.
Does he have any concerns with the optics or “vested interest” that Mr. Gittens referred to in his submission before the PUB?
Dennis Browne, Consumer Advocate for the PUB, has publicly stated that an insurance cap is no solution. Is it possible that he and or his law firm also have a “vested interest” in the status quo?
Newfoundland and Labrador drivers pay approximately $350 more per year for insurance than the other three Atlantic provinces.
They all have caps on claims for minor personal injury.
To simply say a cap will not reduce insurance rates is disingenuous.
If that were the case, why are the lawyers spending millions of dollars to make sure a cap is not introduced?