Court Rejects Defense Application Seeking Documents From Client

Posted on by Mussio Goodman

Mussio Goodman is pleased to report our success in Court after defense counsel sought medical records of our client just two weeks before trial.

In Singh v. Liske 2023 BCSC 1745, the Court agreed that our client should not be expected to produce additional medical records when trial is imminent.

Our client was 33 years old when she was rear-ended in two separate motor vehicle accidents in the Spring of 2017. As a result of the accidents, she was left with significant long-term injuries to her brain, neck, shoulder, lower back, extremities, and debilitating headaches. Psychologically, our client was left with multiple illnesses including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and various cognitive difficulties from her brain injury.

Just over two weeks before trial, defense counsel brought a court application seeking additional medical records of our client. Our firm took the position that it was now simply too late for these requests to be seriously entertained. Our lawyers argued that the lack of timeliness on behalf of defense counsel introduces unnecessary chaos when our client and firm are in the final stages of trial preparation.

Master Bilawich of the BC Supreme Court agreed, writing the following reasons:

[8] What has happened here is, unfortunately, what happens all too regularly in applications that come before me, is that the parties are effectively two weeks before trial, and a fairly substantial document application is being made seeking documents from non-parties, to be provided within five business days. For the same reasons set out in Chohan, Forstved, and Kaur, I agree with those decisions that at some point you are just simply too close to trial to be entertaining these sorts of applications. They are incredibly disruptive to trial preparation. They could potentially lead to disruption of the trial.

[9] This is really something that, as all experienced counsel know, ought to be pursued a whole lot earlier. Perhaps in this case there was hope that there would be a settlement at mediation. That has not occurred. But regardless of the timing for the mediation, this is something that ought to have been pursued earlier than it was. In my view, it is simply too late and too disruptive at this point to grant the orders that are being sought. For the same reasons that are set out in the Chohan, Forstved, and Kaur decisions, I dismiss the application.

While medical records are understandably relevant in personal injury proceedings, a plaintiff cannot be expected to produce extensive records on the eve of trial. This is especially true when the records need to be obtained from parties that are not directly involved in the litigation. Our clients can rest assured knowing that Mussio Goodman will shield them from these sorts of unreasonable demands by defense counsel.