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October 24, 2012

Second Independent Medical Examination - Evidence

What evidence is necessary on a motion to compel the plaintiff to attend a second independent medical examination?

In Nasir v. Kochmanski, 2012 ONSC 4088 (S.C.J.), the plaintiff was a minor who was injured in a motor vehicle accident.  The claim alleged the plaintiff was struck while a pedestrian and sustained a head injury and various psychological impairments.  He had been assessed by a number of medical doctors and psychologists, both treating and arranged by plaintiff`s counsel.  He had been assessed by a paediatric neurologist on behalf of the defendant, although no report had been prepared.  The defendant sought to have the plaintiff assessed by a psychologist.  The proposed assessor wrote a letter to defence counsel outlining the assessment, its length, information she would require from the plaintiff`s parents, and test results from other assessments she required.

Justice Daley permitted the assessment.  The proposed assessment was outside the scope of expertise of the neurologist, according to the psychologist`s letter.  There was no evidence the assessment would delay trial or prejudice the plaintiff.  Since the plaintiff was very young, his evidence would be of limited evidentiary value, and the most probative and reliable evidence would have to come from experts.  Trial fairness favoured the second examination.

It should be noted that the evidence in support of the motion appears to come from a letter from the proposed assessor.  Justice Daley stated that it would have been preferable to have an affidavit or report from the neurologist outlining the need for a further examination, but accepted that there was enough evidence to support the motion.  There is some inconsistency in the case law as to the form of evidence needed on a motion for a further examination, and counsel should carefully consider whether it would be beneficial to have affidavit evidence. 


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