More on the Responding Report "IME" Limitation
Adding to this growing database of caselaw considering the relationship of Rule 7-6 and Rule 11-6(4), reasons for judgement were recently released by the BC Supreme Court, Chilliwack Registry, demonstrating that “responding” independent medical exams will not be granted as a matter of course.
In the recent case (Godfrey v. Black) the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision. She sued for damages. Her pleadings specifically identified an alleged TMJ Injury. In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff was examined for discovery with respect to her TMJ pain. She also served an expert report addressing this injury in compliance with the time-lines set out in the Rules of Court.
The Defendant brought an application for the Plaintiff to be assessed by a TMJ specialist of their choosing. Their application was brought after expiry of the 84 day expert report service deadline They argued an exam was necessary in order to obtain a responding report under Rule 11-6(4). Master Caldwell disagreed and dismissed the motion finding no sufficient evidence was tendered to explain the need for a physical exam. In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:
 I am told that the pleadings, when they were issued, specifically identified among other things injury to the temporomandibular joint (“TMJ”). That, it is said, and I agree, put the defence on specific notice that there was an issue relating to the jaw and the TMJ…
 There is no evidence before me to indicate why this particular dental expert believes it necessary for him to do a physical examination of the patient. In fact, the instruction letter from counsel specifically asks for among other things a critique of the report of the first dentist. Many of those bullets which appear in the letter which I will not make further reference to appear able to be done on the basis of a criticism of methodology or findings as opposed to requiring an independent examination of the person of the plaintiff…
 I have been referred to several cases, but the one which I find the most helpful is the case of Wright v. Brauer, 2010 BCSC 1282 a decision of Mr. Justice Savage in similar circumstances where he was dealing with a trial date in the near future and an examination such as this where there was no medical evidence as to why a physical examination was necessary in order to provide a truly rebuttal or critical report…
 In my view, the same reasoning applies in this case…
 This application comes late in the day, a year after the defence was well aware that TMJ was an issue that should be looked into. Had they wished to get a full report, they were well able to make that application or the request earlier. I am not satisfied on the material that there is a basis for me to infer from the submissions of counsel or the material filed that an independent medical examination of the person of the plaintiff is required in order for this dentist to provide a truly rebuttal report.
These reasons are unpublished but as always I’m happy to share a copy with anyone who contacts me and requests these.
bc injury law, Godfrey v. Black, independent medical exams, Master Caldwell, responding reports, Rule 11, Rule 11-6, Rule 11-6(4), Rule 7, Rule 7-6, Rule 7-6(1)
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