Court Can Require You to Sign Authorization Prepared by an Examining Doctor

In the recently published decision of Kalaora v. Gordon, 2011 BCSC 1360, Madame Justice Hyslop held that the court can order a litigant to sign a consent or authorization required by an examining doctor. In this case, the defendant had scheduled a psychological examination of the plaintiff in the course of a motor vehicle accident action. The plaintiff agreed to see the doctor but refused to sign any authorizations. As a result the examining doctor could not complete his examination and a cancellation fee of $3,000 was levied on the defendant. In the ensuing application to court, the defendant sought an order that the plaintiff sign the authorization required by the doctor and pay the cancellation fee.

Plaintiff Refuses to Sign Any Authorizations in Injury Case

The plaintiff’s lawyer argued that the court should not force the plaintiff to give his consent to be examined, given that he was forced to attend the examination in the first place. Furthermore, the plaintiff’s lawyer argued that the defendant’s lawyers knew well in advance of the examination that the plaintiff would not sign the authorization and incurred the cancellation fee unnecessarily.
In coming to her decision Justice Hyslop made the following remarks:

[74] Much of civil litigation is based on the principle that the parties be on an equal footing or … a “level playing field.” This principle is often expressed in adjudicating pre-trial applications which litigants wish to take. At the same time, the basis of any order is relevance, when a question is to be answered at an examination for discovery, an order for a medical examination, or a document to be produced.
[80] … Rule 13-1(19) together with Rule 7-6(1), (the medical examination rule) read together, permit the court to order that the plaintiff sign an authorization.

Cancellation Fees in Injury Case

The court did not order the plaintiff to pay the cancellation fees. It found that the defendant had “clear warning” that the plaintiff would not provide his consent. Given that the defendant lost on the issue of the cancellations fees, the court awarded the defendant with three-quarters of its party and party costs for the application.
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