Applications For Responsive Reports Ought to be "Extremely Rare"

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, criticizing the volume of applications the Court is seeing with Defendants arguing that they need to subject plaintiff’s to physical examinations in order to obtain ‘responsive’ expert opinion evidence.
In today’s case (Falbo v. Ryan) the Plaintiff was injured in a collision and sued for damages.  In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff attended several defence medical appointments, specifically with a physiatrist, a psychiatrist, a dental expert, and a rheumatologist.  The Plaintiff then served two functional capacity reports outlining vocational limitations.  The Defendant argued they needed a further evaluation to obtain a ‘responsive’ report.  In dismissing the application Master Harper provided the following reasons :

[10]        There are numerous cases that have dealt with these types of applications.  The plaintiff in fact produced a binder of 21 case authorities.  One of the cases that I find most persuasive in this matter is Timar v. Barson, 2015 BCSC 340.  In that case, Mr. Justice Smith said that IMEs for responsive reports should be rare.  I agree.

[11]        In my view, the defendants cannot reasonably claim to be surprised by the subject matter of the report, and further, it is my view that it is not necessary in order to provide a responsive report for the plaintiff to be subjected to a physical examination.  These types of orders are discretionary.  They ought to be rare.  There is, unfortunately in my view, what seems to be an acceleration of these types of applications.  They should be extremely rare, and in my view the defendants do not require a physical examination of the plaintiff in order to properly respond to Ms. Craig’s two functional capacity evaluations.

bc injury law, Falbo v. Ryan, Master Harper, responsive opinion evidence

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ERIK
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When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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