Settlement after 21 years not enough: Claimant
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Almost 21 years after his bicycle crashed into a car, Frank Lico finally saw some justice.
But he wants more.
The 61-year-old disabled man from Hamilton, who was struck while riding his bike in August 1991, isn't happy with last week's court approval of a $270,420 insurance settlement between the provincial Public Guardian and Trustee, acting on his behalf, and a group of insurance companies.
It followed a legal odyssey that would make most hardened litigators wilt. The case had never reached trial. The presiding judge described the history of proceedings as "agonizing."
It doesn't faze Lico, who objected to the Public Guardian's proposal and says the money in the settlement isn't nearly enough. After legal costs, it's about $200,000 or less than $10,000 annually over the last two decades, he says.
Lico, who lives in a two-bedroom apartment and receives about $1,900 in monthly income from governments and his estranged wife, refuses to say how much would satisfy him. All Lico knows is that he wants to appeal the decision and is looking for another lawyer. He has gone through five litigators. "I just want what's fair," he said in an interview. "They've dragged this out to try to frustrate me so I would quit. They never wanted this to get to a trial and jury."
The Ontario Public Guardian, which acts on behalf of people judged to be "incapable," was appointed by the court in 2008, two years after Lico asked for help because he was unable to reduce medication and have a clear mind for legal proceedings.
The Public Guardian has no plans to appeal the settlement. But Lico remains undaunted about the possibility of not having any appeal rights. If that option is not open to him, Lico said he would complain to the Ontario Judicial Council about conduct of judges in the case.
"When you suffered a wrong, you don't want it to happen to anyone else so you keep fighting it, I'm going to get them (the insurers) and get them good," said Lico, who walks in pain and uses a motor scooter.