The Courthouse in Durham Region for Trials of Civil Lawsuits (such as car accident injury, personal injury, slip and fall, Long-Term Disability Denial) is located at 150 Bond Street East in Oshawa. That Courthouse hears most lawsuits involving litigants from Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Bowmanville, etc.
For many years, Oshawa has had a system where they hear the majority of Civil Trials twice per year (typically in May and November). Car Accident, Slip and Fall and other Personal Injury Trials are usually decided by a jury in those cases, because insurance companies usually require it to be done that way.
Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the Court has tended to want to only conduct non-jury civil trials. As a result of that, the Court has been granting a number of motions by personal injury lawyers to strike juries so that trials can proceed without inordinate delay.
The just released notice to the profession from the Court confirms that civil trials on the November list will again be conducted without a jury: Click Here for Link to the Notice
I recently had two decisions where the Court Ordered that the juries be struck in our cases to allow them to move towards trial:
(1) Sivagnanasuntharam v. Wong 2021 ONSC 2100 - Link to Decision ; and
(2) Sweetman v. Kowalczyk 2021 ONSC 2131- Link to Decision
While I believe that juries play an important role in cases involving matters of public interest, there is an argument that their cost, delay and uncertainty, do not merit their use in every garden variety case out there.
In the two above noted decisions, the cases had been pre-tried once or more than once without success. My personal belief is that once the juries were struck, the pre-trial judge's comments had greater weight and assisted in resolving the matters just short of trial. The reason is because we were no longer facing a decision by a difficult to predict jury of lay people - but, instead, a decision by a Judge from the same region that we had already heard an opinion from another Judge in that region during the pre-trial.