ICBC doctor a “very unhelpful medical witness”.

On December 23, 2015, the BC Supreme Court criticized a defence expert witness for crossing the line into advocacy. In Ferguson v. McLaughlin the plaintiff was injured in a 2009 collision caused by the defendant.  The defendant’s insurer hired a physician who presented evidence largely discounting the connection of the plaintiff’s complaints to the collision.  In rejecting this evidence Madam Justice Griffin made the following pointed comments: [63]         The defendant called the evidence of Dr. Duncan McPherson, an orthopaedic...

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$3 million “diminished capacity” award for brain injury.

On December 14, 2015, the BC Supreme Court assessed damages of $3 million dollars for a plaintiff who sustained a brain injury in a vehicle collision. In Grassick v. Swansburg the plaintiff, who was 16 at the time, was a pedestrian and struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant.  The plaintiff suffered a moderate to severe brain injury which impacted his cognition and was expected to have permanent repercussions. The Court found that the plaintiff was an ambitious and hard working young man who, but for the brain injury, would have had a successful career in his anticipated profession as a...

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Expert did not meet with, examine or interview plaintiff = NO WEIGHT.

On November 30, 2015, the BC Supreme Court rejected the opinion of a defence retained doctor who “did not meet with, examine or interview” the plaintiff but nonetheless authored a report opining on the plaintiff’s injuries. In Preston v. Kontzamanis Mr. Justice Parrett provided the following critical comments for medico-legal practices: [125]      The defendant provided and relied upon what purported to be an independent medical report (IME) by Dr. Boyle. [126]     Dr. Boyle readily acknowledged that he was not asked to and did not...

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Jury can know about all defence medical examinations.

On November 27, 2015, the BC Supreme Court confirmed that it is fair game for plaintiffs to testify that they attended a defence medical exam where no report was produced and the defence is not relying on opinion evidence from their expert. In Norris v. Burgess the plaintiff alleged injury as a result of two collisions.  The defendants denied any injury occurred.  In the course of the lawsuit the plaintiff attended a defence medical appointment with a psychiatrist.  The defendants “chose not to obtain a medical opinion from the psychiatrist” and did not call him as a witness.  In the course...

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“Inconsistent” jury award requires a new trial.

On November 26, 2015, a judge of the BC Supreme Court ordered a retrial in a personal injury lawsuit after a jury awarded special damages but denied the plaintiff damages for his non-pecuniary loss. In Harder v. Poettcker , 2015 BCSC 2180, the plaintiff requested a jury trial after suffering injuries in a motor vehicle accident.  The jury found the plaintiff 85% at fault for the crash and awarded a total $5,100 in damages (all based on out of pocket expenses) and then awarded nothing for non pecuniary damages.  After applying the split of fault this left an award of $765. The trial judge...

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