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CASE DETAILS

Charge(s): Medical Driver's Licence Suspension
Location: Ontario
Our Client(s): Mr. T
Year: 2023
Lawyer/Paralegal: Jami Sanftleben
Jami Sanftleben - ParalegalLEARN MORE

Please Note: Past results not predictive of future results.

The Background

Mr. T, a resident of Ontario, had a thriving pet hotel business that depended on his ability to obtain and transport a large amount of water and distribute it to different parts of his property. This required him to hold a specific class of licence that allows towing of 10 tonnes of load. He had suffered a heart attack about three years prior, and his doctors had put in a Wi-Fi enabled pacemaker to ensure they could monitor his heart functions and know of any problems early.

Mr. T’s predicament arose when his pacemaker delivered an “appropriate shock,” as it is called, raising concerns about his ability to safely operate a vehicle. His doctor, aware of the incident due to the online report the device made, promptly suspended his driver’s licence due to the potential risks associated with driving with a severe medical condition. He was made aware of what to do to regain his driving privileges and filled out the forms the MTO demanded, he was only granted his G licence back, a disaster for his business. The MTO’s rationale was that he was in more danger and created a bigger hazard if he was towing a load of that size with this condition. He searched for firms that deal with this issue and called Aitken Robertson to assist.

The Goals

To have the Licence Appeal Tribunal recognize the unique aspect of Mr. T’s situation, where his pacemaker’s constant monitoring provided an additional layer of assurance regarding his health while driving, and to have the tribunal ultimately overturned the suspension of Mr. T’s advanced class driver’s licence.

The Strategy

In our appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal of Ontario, we argued that Mr. T’s pacemaker was not just a medical device but also an internet-connected device capable of providing real-time updates on his health status. We contended that this constant monitoring made him even more closely supervised than an average driver and that his health condition did not pose a significant impediment to operating a vehicle safely. Mr. T emphasized the critical role his driver’s licence played in his pet hotel business and the necessity of transporting water around his property. We highlighted his exemplary driving record as evidence that he has always driven with a commitment to safety, and would not drive if he thought it was not safe. We worked with his doctor to ensure he had taken precautionary actions to prevent another shock, and then reported this first to the MTO, then to the tribunal. Once I explained the process and law behind a medical suspension appeal to Mr. T’s practitioner, he was content to write a letter to the MTO saying that he supported Mr. T’s advanced licence.

The Results

Tribunal Decision

After careful consideration of the evidence and arguments that both we and the registrar presented, the Licence Appeal Tribunal of Ontario acknowledged that he did have a health condition related to his pacemaker. This was expected. However, the tribunal concluded that this condition was not likely to impede his ability to successfully operate a car safely. They recognized the unique aspect of Mr. T’s situation, where his pacemaker’s constant monitoring provided an additional layer of assurance regarding his health while driving. Consequently, the tribunal overturned the suspension of Mr. T’s advanced class driver’s licence.

Outcome

Mr. T was elated with the tribunal’s decision. He could now continue to operate his pet hotel business without disruption, ensuring the well-being of the animals in his care by maintaining a stable supply of water and other essentials. This case highlighted the evolving nature of medical technology and how it could enhance safety and monitoring for individuals like Mr. T, ultimately allowing him to maintain his livelihood and serve his community effectively. Mr. T’s successful appeal demonstrated the importance of considering the unique circumstances of each case when assessing a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. He and his family were elated when hearing the decision!

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