While the BC Supreme Court Rules give defendants in personal injury lawsuits the power to, in appropriate circumstances, force a plaintiff to attend an ‘independent’ medical exam, a plaintiff is entitled to reasonable accommodation with respect to the scheduling of these. Reasons for judgement were recently released by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, demonstrating this point.
In the recent case (Welder v. Johnston) the plaintiff sustained injuries in a motor vehicle collision. In the course of the lawsuit the Defendant sought to have the plaintiff examined by a vocational specialist to address the wage loss aspects of the plaintiff’s claim. The plaintiff agreed to be assessed by the Defendant’s expert but the date selected conflicted with a family reunion the plaintiff planned on attending. The defendant brought an application to force the date but this was dismissed with the court finding a plaintiff is entitled to reasonable accommodation. In dismissing the application the Court provided the following comments to defence counsel:
The 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.