Making the Doctor Come To You! Defence Medical Exams and Court Ordered Conditions

The BC Supreme Court has the discretion to impose appropriate terms and conditions when forcing a Plaintiff to undergo a Defence Medical Exam in the course of an injury lawsuit.  Unreported reasons for judgement were recently released and shared by Plaintiff lawyer Thomas Harding discussing this and imposing a variety of interesting conditions connected to such an order.
In the recent case (Carta v. Browne) the Plaintiff sued for damages as a result of as 2009 collision.  Prior to this the Plaintiff was injured in a 2002 collision which resulted in him being rendered paraplegic confining him to a wheelchair.
The claimed damages from the 2009 collision included psychiatric injuries.  The Defendant requested a Defence Medical Exam with a psychiatrist in Vancouver.  The Plaintiff objected both to the date proposed and to the location of the examination as the Plaintiff lived in Kelowna and travel was difficult due to his pre-existing disability.
Master Muir agreed that while a psychiatric assessment was appropriate and that the Defendant could choose their expert the Plaintiff was entitled to reasonable accommodation with respect to the timing of the appointment and further that given the Plaintiff’s travel difficulties he was entitled to having the appointment take place in Kelowna.  The Court went on to impose a variety of further conditions providing the following reasons:
[8] …I am satisfied that there are considerations that go beyond simple convenience that dictate that this examination should not be conducted in Vancouver but should be conducted in Kelowna and that it not be conducted on July 30th, which is a time that is more than inconvenient for the plaintiff; it interferes with a scheduled festival that he is planning to attend as a part of a developing business.  Therefore if the defendants are going to insist that the examination be conducted by Dr. Riar, it is my order that Dr. Riar attend in Kelowna at a time convenient to all parties, and I will order that certain conditions be complied with.
[9]  The first condition sought is that the defendants set out exactly what examinations DR. Riar wishes to conduct.  The defendants have indicated that this is a psychiatric examination, that the examination is not to be an invasive one but will consist of conversations between the plaintiff, and I trust that Dr. Riar, being a professional, will confine himself accordingly.  It is of course ordered that ICBC is to pay the reasonable costs of attendance of the plaintiff at the examination.
[10]  I do order that the plaintiff is at liberty to be accompanied by a person of his choice.  This person is to be merely an observer and not participate in or interfere with the exaninaiton in any manner whatsoever.  Dr. Riar will not attempt to get any information from the companion…
[12]  And I so order here that the examination is to be commenced within 30 minutees of the scheduled start time, after which, if the examination has not proceeded, the plaintiff is entitled to depart, and his attendance will be credited as having satisfied the order…
[15]  With respect to item (i) of the response of the plaintiff here, the plaintiff is seeking that there be no surveillance of him during any part of the defence medical examination or during his arrival or departure from there.  In my view this is in the nature of being required to attend court, and it is my view that any such surveillance would be unseemly, and I therefore grant the order.
To my knowledge these reasons for judgement are not publicly available but, as always, I’m happy to provide a copy to anyone who contacts me and requests one.

Carta v. Browne, Defence Medical Exam Conditions, Master Muir, Rule 7, Rule 7-6, Rule 7-6(1)

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

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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