Environmental Issues and Disability Rights
- July 9, 2014
Toronto, ON, July 9, 2014 – Noise and chemicals are two ways in which our public and private institutions have been endangering the health of workers, residents and travelers.
bakerlaw was counsel to the West Toronto Diamond Community Group (WTDCG) in their successful efforts to stop Metrolinx’s use of high impact pile drivers in their assault on the low income residents of the Junction area of Toronto. Ultimately, bakerlaw succeeded in assisting the WTDCG to compel Metrolinx to cease construction on its Grade Separation Project between Union Station and Pearson Airport until low impact pile drivers could be procured, after which the project proceeded with minimal damage.
The Canadian Transportation Agency has addressed a number of traveler allergy issues (see a recent decision online (link)). Beyond summary advice, bakerlaw was unable to be directly involved in the litigation because persons with allergies/chemical sensitivities were unable to collaborate on funding to retain legal counsel. Many unresolved issues remain in this area.
bakerlaw has, for many years, successfully represented employees who experience discrimination in the workplace due to their employer’s unwillingness to establish or adequately enforce a “No Scent Policy”. Recently, bakerlaw represented a client with multiple chemical sensitivities, irritable larynx syndrome, and occupational asthma who experienced discrimination which caused her to develop fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. While the settlement remains confidential, the case was noteworthy for the client’s precedent-setting claim for substantial pecuniary loss damages for the physical (as opposed to emotional or psychological) damages she sustained due to discrimination. The distinction is significant since previous general damage awards in human rights cases have hit a plateau at around $30,000-$40,000. Successful assertion on pecuniary loss claims means damage awards of hundreds of thousands of dollars are now achievable.