MIG Update – March 15, 2021

Torn Meniscus & Causation

In this week’s edition we discuss two cases involving torn medial meniscus, with causation a determining factor. In one case, the meniscus tear was found to be outside of the MIG, with the tear not warranting MIG removal in the second.

Factor: Torn Meniscus & Causation

In Saheb v Zenith Insurance (20-000497), Saheb sought removal from the MIG on the basis of a medical meniscus tear. The Respondent submitted that Saheb’s right knee injury was not caused by the accident, and that even if it was accident-related, a torn meniscus falls within the definition of a “sprain” in s.3 of the Schedule.

‘MIG escape’ – The Tribunal held:

  • A torn meniscus falls outside the definition of a “sprain”
  • The Respondent submitted that an orthopaedic surgeon found the torn meniscus to be arthritic in nature. However, the Tribunal noted that the assessor did discuss the presence of significant arthritic symptoms, but did not expressly find that the tear to the meniscus was degenerative in nature
  • The report does reference the accident as relevant to Saheb’s primary complaint
  • The causation issue was dismissed as x-ray ruled out osteoarthritic changes

In A.S. v. Royal Sun Alliance (19-001367), A.S., sought removal from the MIG, claiming that he sustained medial meniscus tears in both knees as a result of the accident as shown in MRI dated two year post-accident. The Respondent raised the issue of causation, as the family doctor’s CNR dated one month post-accident showed that A.S.’s lower extremities were found to be unremarkable.

‘MIG hold’ – The Tribunal held:

  • The evidence does not establish on a balance of probabilities that A.S. would not have suffered the knee injuries “but for” the accident.
  • In the first IE conducted four months post-accident, A.S. did not mention any knee injury or related symptoms
  • It was not until seven months after the accident when A.S. mentioned left knee pain to his family doctor, who noted A.S. had left knee pain “for 3 weeks” and the pain was “new onset” with “no history of trauma”
  • The complaint of right knee pain to the family doctor was 1.5 year post-accident

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