Special rules apply to a lawsuit when one or more of the parties are children or adults who are incapable of managing their property. The law refers to these people as parties under a disability.
Decisions about a lawsuit for parties under a disability are made by a Litigation Guardian. The Litigation Guardian is usually a family member or friend of the party under a disability. However, on occasion, Ontario government agencies known as the Office of the Children’s Lawyer or the Public Guardian and Trustee will act as Litigation Guardian to a party under a disability when there is no capable adult available to make decisions about the lawsuit on that person’s behalf.
A Litigation Guardian may negotiate a settlement on behalf of the party under a disability but the settlement is not binding until a Judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has approved it. The Court goes through this approval process to ensure that the interests of the child or incapable adult are being protected and that the funds recovered in the lawsuit are used appropriately. Settlement money obtained for a party under a disability is payable to the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice for safekeeping unless the Judge orders otherwise.
If you are caring for a child or an adult who is incapable of managing his or her property and they have a potential lawsuit as a result of an injury it is important to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to protect their rights.