The Examination For Discovery Time Limit: When Multiple Cases are Tried Together
Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, addressing the time limit for examinations for discovery when two actions are set for trial at the same time. In short the Court held that the Rules permit up to 14 hours of Plaintiff examination in these circumstances without the need for a Court Order.
In last week’s case (Campbell v. McDougall) the Plaintiff was involved in two separate motor vehicle collisions. She sued for damages in both actions. In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff was examined for discovery which was discontinued after 3.5 hours due to the Plaintiff’s fatigue. The discovery was reset and continued for a full day for a total of 10.5 hours of examination.
The Defendant wished to have 2.5 further hours of examination. The Plaintiff opposed and a Court application was brought. It appears the the parties worked out many of their differences prior to the hearing of the application but ultimately the Court ordered that the Plaintiff attend a further 2.5 hours.
In doing so Master Bouck provided the following comments with respect to the discovery ‘cap’ of 7 hours set out in Rule 7-2(2):
 In the end, the plaintiff could be required to undergo up to 14 hours of an examination under Rule 7-2 without the defence having to obtain leave of the court.
 In this case, the defence has chosen to have one counsel conduct an examination, but effectively with respect to both actions.
 There is a sound basis for requesting the “additional” examination time, particularly with respect to the plaintiff’s new employment status. While it seems unlikely that the court would grant leave to exceed the specified hour allotment simply when some new information comes to light, the plaintiff’s earning abilities and capacity forms a significant part of the overall claim. A very large monetary amount for that loss will probably be advanced. An additional 2½ hours (and still less than the allowable 14 hours) examination time is not out of proportion to the amount involved in this proceeding.