Medical Malpractice Claim Struck Out for Lack of Expert Evidence

by John McKiggan

One of the reasons why medical malpractice claims are so complicated, and so expensive, is because they require the testimony of medical experts, usually several medical experts to testify about both legal issues such as:

1. The standard of care;
2. Whether there was a breach of the standard of care;
3. Whether the breach resulted in the patient’s injuries;
4. What is the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries?

My book, The Consumer’s Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada, discusses the use of medical experts in medical malpractice claims and goes into detail to explain why you cannot win a medical malpractice case without solid medical experts on your side.

A recent case in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia simply proves my point.

In Vaughn v. Hayden, Justice McDougall of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court granted the defendant’s motion to strike out the plaintiff’s statement of claim.

Defendants Apply to Strike Out Claim
The defendants made a motion for Summary Judgment. Basically, the defendants asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim on the basis that there was not genuine issue for trial.

Defendant Doctor Had Expert Reports

The defendant provided the court with expert medical opinions from 2 doctors who testified that Dr Hayden, did not breach the standard of care and that any injuries that the plaintiff Mr. Vaughn may have suffered were not caused by negligence on the part of Dr. Hayden.

Plaintiff Didn’t Have Any Expert Evidence

The plaintiff filed his own affidavit opposing the motion.

Justice McDougall struck out the plaintiff’s claim and stated:

“Furthermore, it would be a rare medical malpractice case that would have any real chance of success without some kind of supporting expert evidence establishing the breach of the standard of care and the causal connection between the negligent treatment and the resulting harms suffered”

I have been representing victims of medical malpractice for 19 years. It has always been my practice to recommend that a plaintiff get a supporting medical-legal opinion from a recognized expert confirming that there are solid grounds for a medical malpractice claim before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

This case just proves my point. You can’t win a medical malpractice claim without expert evidence and you better know if the experts support your claim before you file a lawsuit.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries that you think may be due to medical malpractice you can buy a copy of my book: The Consumer’s Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada: Why 98% of Canadian Medical Malpractice Victims Never Receive a Penny in Compensation. on Amazon.

Or you can contact me through this blog or by calling toll free in Atlantic Canada 1-888-647-7201 and we will send you a copy, free, anywhere in the Maritimes.

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