By: Samfiru Tumarkin
Share This Post
Global News: Abused Teacher Wins Legal Fight
Abused Barrie teacher, Julie Austin, wins legal fight
By Global News
February 13, 2019
A Barrie teacher, who was cut off her long-term disability benefits following a brutal attack in the classroom, has settled her legal fight against the insurance company.
Through her disability lawyer James K. Fireman, partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, Julie Austin has secured $113,000 from Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) – and is fighting for additional compensation that she is owed.
Austin suffered a brain injury in 2014 during a brutal assault in the classroom by a student. Despite support from her doctor, her insurance provider cut off her long term disability payments. Following the denial of her benefits, Austin felt abandoned by the school board, her union, and OTIP.
Insurance company’s use of surveillance
OTIP tried unsuccessfully to rely on photographs of Austin, obtained through surveillance, to justify their denial of her long-term disability benefits. Fireman correctly argued that the surveillance only strengthened her claim for disability benefits. Fireman has secured a $113,000 settlement for Austin, and is fighting for more.
Global News’ Tom Hayes followed Austin’s unfortunate saga since her injury, and reported on the positive outcome of her case.