A motor vehicle accident, a bad drug side effect, a plane crash, defective medical devices... Paul Miller has fought cases like these and many
more – and won.
A partner in the law firm of Will Davidson LLP in Toronto, practicing solely in the area of personal injury, Paul has taken on high profile cases – such as the Air France crash at Pearson International Airport in 2005, that lead to a settlement in excess of $20 million DOLLARS.
He’s also taken on cases that might not make it to the evening news, but still deeply affect the personal lives of individuals, including a severe adverse reaction to pain medication, Ibuprofin.
More recently, Paul has been working on medical device litigation including defective cochlear ear implants and trans-vaginal mesh, where at one point, he was acting on behalf of more than 200 women adversely affected by
trans vaginal mesh.
He has been nominated by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of top 25 most influential lawyers in Canada for his work in the TVM litigation.
Will Davidson LLP is a boutique law firm with over 90 years experience specializing in personal injury and insurance litigation. Over the years the lawyers have built a proud history of acting as counsel to other lawyers
throughout Canada and receiving recognition amongst the legal industry for notable decisions on cases which have impacted the lives of many in Ontario.
With offices in Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Huntsville, Midland, Lindsay, Markham, Whitby and Orillia, Will Davidson LLP is well positioned to serve clients throughout Ontario.
Will Davidson LLP has recently released a firm video which allows prospective clients to meet some of the lawyers at the firm.
My Business Magazine asked Paul about his field of interest, his unique cases, how he defines success, and more......
MBM: Tell me about your legal focus, and what you’re currently working on.
Paul: I am a plaintiff personal injury lawyer. When I began fifteen years ago, it was a typical personal injury type of practice.
It became a little more unique when we became involved as co-counsel on the Air France crash.
It was one of the first forays into more exciting litigation, on a bigger scale, that made headlines.
About five years ago, I started in what I consider the mass tort area - cases that are brought on an individual basis, for large number of people.
It started with six individuals on defective cochlear implant cases.
There’s also representing women who have been injured due to implantation of trans vaginal mesh – a device used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. But it has had serious complications, including organ perforation.
I represented 240 clients, and fortunate enough to settle a number of them.
What’s unique for the firm is in these kinds of cases, traditionally, they would be class action.
We’re the first firm in Canada to take on a mass tort type case, instead of class action
We’re a small group of lawyers and we work on an individual basis, giving these women a real choice of how each case proceeds.
MBM: What forthcoming cases are really interesting for you?
Paul: One of the cases is with Zofran, a drug that was put on market to help people who were having extreme nausea from chemotherapy, doctors began prescribing it for off label use to treat extreme nause as a result of morning sickness.
There are allegations that if taken in the first trimester, it can cause
heart defects or cleft palates, and the litigation is just getting underway.
I’m talking to families who have had kids born with these issues, to see if
there is a causal connection.
MBM: Why did you choose to enter the legal profession?
Paul: It was the desire to be a sports agent. That’s why I went to law school.
I began as a sports agent, and had my own firm with a partner for five years.
We did two NHL contracts, and then I decided it wasn’t for me.
It just wasn’t the right thing I wanted to do with my life. The competition was intense, to break into the field is difficult, and 80 per cent of salaries are controlled by 20 per cent of agents.
MBM: So what made you decide on personal injury?
Paul: I happened to find a job at a small boutique personal injury firm.
Once I got into personal injury, I realized this was a way I could help people as much as I could.
In fact, I sit on the Board of Directors of a public interest law firm, based in the US, called Public Justice. We are in midst of creating an offshoot of that, in Canada. The basic element is this: we’ll seek lawyers willing to take on
cases no one is willing to take on; hard cases, giving people access to justice.
MBM: Such as, what kinds of cases?
Paul: Public Justice has an anti-bullying project, as one example of many.
They discovered a school in upstate New York, near Yonkers, that had anti-Semitic bullying. Kids were tackled, swastikas were drawn on kids heads, and worst part was that the school knew and did nothing.
So Public Justice came in and acted for these families, because no one was willing to the take their case on.
Unfortunately, we sometimes have to make business decisions.
But, since Public Justice is nonprofit, it can take on cases to seek justice for people, when there’s no other way for them to get justice.
So I’m trying to get that model here, working with them, to bring that type of public interest law firm in Canada.
MBM: Have you done other community-type work?
Paul: For the last four years, I’ve been Chairman of the Will Davidson LLP Golf Classic in support of the Toronto Rehab Foundation.
So many clients in personal injury law will end up in the Toronto Rehab Hospital, or know someone there. So I chose that charity, and when I approached them, they immediately accepted.
Dollars raised have gone up every year, and we’re proud of what we’ve done.
MBM: Tell me about how you define success.
Paul: Last Christmas I received an email from a client who I had just settled a mesh case for. The email said “you are the Santa Claus to my kids, for being able to give my kids Christmas this year.”...that’s how I define success.
I got teary-eyed that morning. When you get emails like that - a heartfelt thank you from a client - that’s success.
All I ever want to do is help people.
MBM: What is your mission, as a personal injury lawyer?
Paul: We will take on cases that no one else will take on. We have a case right now, a woman with a seven year old child, who took the over-the-counter medication, Ibuprofen, when her daughter had a flu.
She had a bad reaction to the drug, called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. A horrific skin reaction, turned into toxic epidural necrosis; that is, losing skin because it was burning from inside out.
I couldn’t let her not be represented. I talked to my partner, and he said to take the case. We have to make sure we provide someone with access to justice. That case is so important to me.
I met the seven year old girl, in an induced coma 21 days because of the pain in her skin.
She’s got permanent problems as a result; she survived it, but she will have a difficult time the rest of her life.
So I’ll take on cases where someone has been wronged.
I will fight for them.
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
He has spent time in the newsrooms of the Toronto Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, National Post and eye Weekly.
Paul Miller Personal Injury Lawyer
1400-220 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5J 2W4
Tel: (416) 643-3847