Conduct money rates set Sept. 14, 2015.

The BC Supreme Court has determined the rates a defendant should pay when a plaintiff is compelled to travel to see a defense selected physician.

In Nieman v. Joyal the defendant wished to have the plaintiff examined by an occupational therapist int he course of an injury lawsuit but could not agree on various terms including appropriate conduct money. In finding 50 cents / km is reasonable Master McDiarmid provided the following reasons:

[28]        A careful reading of Rule 7‑6 reveals that it refers to an order that the person submit to examination by a medical practitioner, and then the court is permitted to make an order respecting any expenses connected with the examination. No specific reference is made to the Schedule 3.

[29]        It seems to me that there is no difference in principle between the reasonable expenses of a plaintiff attending his own doctor, such as was awarded at 50 cents a kilometre in several of the cases, including the ones of Justice Stewart and Justice Schultes, and a plaintiff attending an independent medical examination, especially where the plaintiff agrees to attend an independent medical examination located in a different city.

[30]        Accordingly, I order the following:

1)    the plaintiff is to attend to be examined by Gary Worthington‑White, an occupational therapist, on a date to be agreed upon by the parties, with liberty to apply if there are difficulties;

2)    the defendant must provide conduct money as follows: firstly, mileage for 730 kilometres at 50 cents a kilometre, which is $365; secondly, overnight accommodation for one night at $175; and third, meals in the amount of $75. I apprehend that there will be at least four;

I know that it is approximately three and a half hours’ driving time from Burnaby to Kamloops, and it seems to me that what is reasonable here is that if the appointment ends before 4:30 p.m., it is reasonable for the plaintiff to drive home. So this is the next part of the order:  If the appointment ends after 4:30 p.m. on the date it commences, the defendant must promptly reimburse the plaintiff for one additional night’s accommodation and $12 additional meal allowance;

3)    if there are parking expenses not included in the hotel accommodation, those are to be promptly reimbursed upon being provided with the invoicing;

4)    the plaintiff can submit actual meal expenses, including alcohol, less whatever he has received in his allowance, as costs and the registrar can determine the reasonableness on assessment; and

5)    any notes recording any history or observations and data, including test results, are to be provided by October 31, 2015, or at such other date as may be agreed upon by counsel, if the presently‑scheduled examination does not go ahead.

[31]        It does seem to me that the plaintiff has been largely successful here, and so the costs of this application are to the plaintiff in any event of the cause.