Category: Causation

Doctors negligent, but family loses medical malpractice claim: Mangal v. William Osler Health Centre

by John McKiggan

This recent decision from the Ontario Supreme Court highlights the difficulties faced by families who want to pursue a medical malpractice claim for the loss of a loved one.

Sharon Mangal was admitted to the William Olser Hospital on February 16, 2004 to give birth to her second child through caesarean section. Although she ultimately gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Sharon did not survive the procedure.

Sudesh Mangal, Sharon’s husband, along with Vincent and Sarina Mangal, her children, sued the hospital and the doctors alleging their negligence caused Sharon’s death.

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies law for malpractice victims: Ediger v Johnston

by John McKiggan

The Supreme Court of Canada released an important decision for medical malpractice plaintiffs today.


In Ediger v. Johnston, the plaintiff “C” suffered from brain damage caused during her birth. C now lives with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy. She is tube-fed, confined to a wheel chair and is completely dependent on others for all of her daily needs. She has a significantly reduced life expectancy of 38 years.

Doctor negligent but patient loses med mal claim: Fowlow v. Gupta

by John McKiggan

As a medical malpractice lawyer I am often faced with explaining the difference between proof of negligence and proof of harm. Clients find it difficult to understand how a doctor may be found to be negligent; but still not be responsible for the patients injury or death.

Fowlow v. Gupta

A perfect example is the case of Fowlow v. Gupta which was recently decided by the Ontario Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Clarifies Law of Causation – Clements v Clements

by John McKiggan

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Clements v Clements. The decision offers some useful clarification regarding the law of causation.

The Facts

In the Clements case the Defendant, Mr. Clements, was driving his motorcycle with his wife, the Plaintiff, riding behind him as a passenger. The bike was overloaded by almost a hundred pounds, and there was a nail that punctured the rear tire of the motorcycle.

Loss of Chance or Negligence? Bennett v. Landecker

by John McKiggan

In any medical malpractice case the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the defendant caused the patient’s injury, disability or death.

In many cases the initial cause of the plaintiff’s injury was not brought about by the defendant doctor. Rather, the plaintiff presented with an illness or medical condition which is misdiagnosed and, as a result, the patient doesn’t get treatment that might have cured the illness or condition (or prevented further deterioration).

Loss of Chance

Informed Consent: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics in Cancer Claims – Gilberds v. Sobey

by John McKiggan

I read an interesting decision out of Alberta recently, Gilberds v. Sobey that deals with informed consent to medical treatment and whether statistical information should be given to patients to help them determine if they will undergo treatment.

The case is interesting (at least to those of us doing medical malpractice litigation) because it also touches on the issues of what medical malpractice claimants need to prove to win their claims and the standard of care in medical malpractice claims.

Justice Ross pointed out the importance of statistical evidence at paragraph 81 of her decision:
I agree with Ferrier J. that effective communication of treatment risks requires some information on the probability of a particular result: Matuzich v. Lieberman. The degree of probability of a risk is obviously relevant to reasonable patients considering whether they want to undergo treatment; indeed the degree of probability is one of the factors that qualifies a risk as material.
I go into more detail about the facts of the decision and it’s importance to medical malpractice claims on my Atlantic Canada Personal Injury Lawyer Blog.

Farmer Receives 1.5 Million Dollars for Emergency Room Negligence – Forsberg v. Naidoo

by John McKiggan

Misdiagnosis Leads to Amputation

A recent ruling from the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta confirms that prompt diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death (or in this case, life and limb).

Alberta farmer Wayne Forsberg has been awarded 1.5 million dollars in compensation as a result of medical negligence on the part of emergency room physician Dr. Dadi Naidoo.

Busy Doctors Do Not Have a Lower Standard of Care: Ontario Supreme Court

by John McKiggan

Reasons for judgement were released recently in the case of McLintock v. Alidina.

The plaintiff, Ann McLintock alleged negligence on the part of her family physician, Dr. Alidina, because Alidina hd failed to advise the plaintiff of the results of mammogram testing. McLintock had to undergo a course of 25 radiation treatments and surgical intervention as a result of the alleged delay.

Different Standards for Different Doctors?