MIG Update – December 6, 2021

Psych – Similar Findings Differing Conclusions

This week, a MIG hold and an escape where psychological validity testing factored in the determinations. Both Applicant and Respondent assessors had similar findings yet differing diagnoses in each case. What findings led the Tribunal to the ultimate conclusions?


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Psychological – Similar findings differing diagnosis

In MacGillivary v. The Co-operators (20-001851), Crystal MacGillivary was injured in an accident on January 23, 2018 and amongst other benefits sought removal from the MIG due to physical and psychological injuries.

MacGillivary claimed anxiety, sleep disturbance, nervousness, irritability, stress, concentration difficulties, fatigue, anger/frustration with physical limitations, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts, and driving/passenger anxiety as a result of the accident.

MIG Hold -The Tribunal found:

    • MacGillivary’s psychologist, Bruce Cook diagnosed her with generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder (single episode, severe), without psychotic symptoms and recommended 16 – 90 minute sessions.
    • Although she indicates to Mr. Cook that she suffered a psychological impairment, Mr. Cook notes MacGillivary. “may not have answered in a completely forthright manner; the nature of her responses might lead the evaluator to form a somewhat inaccurate impression.”
    • This was in line with the observation of Dr. Dancyger (Co-operators psych IE) who opined that the “test results could not be interpreted as the results suggested a lack of effort on C.M.’s part, an exaggeration of her complaints, or some underlying motivation for her complaints that were not disclosed or of which she may not be aware.” Thus, concluding no significant and diagnosable accident-related psychological disorder.
    • Additionally, the family physician’s records do not note any ongoing accident-related psychological complaints


In Danki v Aviva (19-013700), Sara Danki injured in an accident March 21, 2017 established entitlement to the cost of the psychological assessment and treatment based on Dr. Vitelli’s diagnoses of General Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Specific Phobia: Situational Type: Vehicular.

MIG Escape -The Tribunal found:

    • Upon testing, the March 12, 2019 report of Dr. Vitelli’s states Danski scored in the severe range for reported anxiety symptoms, moderate levels of depression, average for a pain patient on the somatization scale and persistent pain which is exacerbated as a result of sitting or standing for a long period of time, lying down, or bending.
    • Aviva’s IE report by Dr. Marino dated November 28, 2017 also confirmed objective testing revealing severe findings, yet he found no reliable or valid information to conclude that Danski presented with a psychological diagnosis that is directly attributable to the accident.
    • Both Dr. Vitelli and Dr. Marino conducted similar objective testing, which yielded similar results, so it was difficult to place more weight on the latter report that does not support the reasonableness and necessity of further investigation and treatment.

If you Have Read This Far…

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