Tag: psychiatrist

Show Me The Money! ICBC and High Billing Physicians

One of the benefits of having a crown corporation monopoly insurer (ICBC) in BC is that they must file annual reports accessible to members of the public. These annual reports can be found on-line and contain volumes of information regarding ICBC and their financial status.
One of the most interesting facts published annually by ICBC is the amount of money they pay ‘expert physicians’ who do work on ICBC’s behalf. This information is known to most ICBC claims lawyers and I thought some of my readers would be interested in this data as well.
As of the writing of this post the 2007 annual report is not available but the 2006 report is. Below is a list of some of the physicians who billed significant amounts to ICBC for their services in 2006. I will be sure to publish the highlight physician billings from ICBC’s 2007 report once available.
Dr. Kevein Favero (Orthopedic Surgeon, Langley, BC): $245,483
Dr. N. K. Reebye (Physical Medecine and Rebabilitation, New Westminster): $275,336
Dr. Peter M. Rees (Neurologist, Burnaby): $225,330
Dr. J. F Schweigel (Orthopedic Surgeon) : $796,012
Dr. D. M. Laidlow: (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Westbank) $101,539
Dr. Robert W. McGraw: (Orthopedic Surgoen, Vancouver) $253,240
Dr. T O’Farrell: (Orthopedic Surgoen, Kelowna) $111,162
Dr. James Warren: (Orthopedic Surgoen, Victoria) $87,207
Dr. O. M. Sovio: (Orthopedic Surgeon, Abbotsford) $203,892
Dr. H. Davis: (Psychiatrist, Vancouver) $113,950
Dr. Marc Boyle (Orthopaedic Surgeon, North Vancouver) $287,860
Dr. Paul Bishop (Vancouver, BC) $321,137
Dr. Mark Crossman (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vancouver) $111,441
Dr. I. G. Dommisse (Orhopaedic Surgoen, New Westminster) $194,612
Dr. H. E. Hawk (Orthopedic Surgeon, Vancouver) $336,650

Expert Witness Crosses the Line

Expert witnesses play a vital role at the trial of ICBC injury claims. Often judges or juries require the input of a qualified expert to help make sense of technical facts. No where is this more obvious than in ICBC injury claims where doctors give the court opinion evidence with respect to injuries, their causes, their treatment and prognosis.
Expert witnesses, doctors included, have a fundamental duty to be neutral and independent. It has been held that “expert evidence presented to the court should be, and should be seen to be, independent product of the expert uninfluenced as to form or content by the exigencies of litigation. An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the court by way of objective unbiased opinion in relation to matters withing his expertise.”
Experts owe the same duty to the court whether they are testifying on behalf of the Plaintiff, the Defendant or if they have judicially appointed. However, in some cases, experts hired by one side of a lawsuit forget or ignore their duty and engage in active advocacy. In other words, they go out of their way to fight for one side in the lawsuit. This is indeed a shameful development which does nothing but cloud the issues in a lawsuit.
When experts cross the line, they run the risk of having their opinions totally disregarded or declared inadmissible. A great illustration of this can be found in the recent judgment of The Honourable Madam Justice Martinson in which she declared that the report of a psychiatrist hired by the Defendants in a lawsuit was inadmissible.
She concluded that the expert stepped into the shoes of the jury while advocating for the Defendant. He “stepped outside of his area of expertise, commented on matters of general knowledge that the jury can determine, provided many opinions on credibility and made editorial comments, did not seperate his opinions from the fracts and assumptions he relied on, and engaged in advocacy“.
The judge went on to exclude the psychiatrists report from trial on the basis that he crossed the line and engaged in advocacy. In ruling the psychiatrist’s evidence inadmissible Madam Justice Martinson concluded that the doctor had a “lack of understanding of his role as an expert witness“.
Has ICBC sent you to a doctor that was not impartial and ‘crossed the line”? If so you can contact the author of this article for a free legal consultation.

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If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

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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