Category: Standard of Care

How Long is Too Long? The 30 Minute C-Section Rule: Ediger (Guardian Ad Litem) v. Johnston

by John McKiggan

This article is an excerpt from a paper I presented at the national Birth Trauma Litigation conference in Toronto. The paper considers the implications of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Ediger (Guardian Ad Litem) v. Johnston.

Eidger involved (among other things) allegations that the defendant failed to meet the appropriate standard of care in not performing a timely C- section.

The arguments in Ediger with respect to the standard of care required for emergency caesarean section are similar to those made more than ten years ago in Commisso v. North York Branson Hospital.

Clinical Practice Guidelines as Standard of Care in Birth Injury Claims

by John McKiggan

Wikipedia defines a Clinical Practice Guideline as:
“… a document with the aim of guiding decisions and criteria regarding diagnosis, management, and treatment in specific areas of healthcare.”
Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG’s) are frequently referenced in medical malpractice claims and frequently there is a debate as to whether CPG’s establish the standard of care a prudent physician is required to meet in a particular circumstance.

Birth Injury Claims

Anyone who practices obstetric malpractice will be familiar with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) policy statement on Attendance at Labour and Delivery and their various guidelines for obstetrical care and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines for perinatal care.

Standard of Care in Obstetric Malpractice Cases: Birth Injury Claims in Canada

by John McKiggan

Birth Trauma Claims

I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Birth Trauma litigation conference in Toronto this year. The conference was fascinating and I learned a lot from the other lawyers, physicians and nurses who presented at the conference.

I was asked to speak on the topic of Standard of Care in Obstetric Malpractice Cases.

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.

Why I Wouldn’t Want Dr. Oz to Operate on Me

by John McKiggan

Pat Malone is a friend of mine and an excellent malpractice lawyer in Washington D.C. He’s also a great source of information about issues pertaining to medical malpractice. That’s why I frequently read his blog and just came across once of his recent posts Should Mehmet Oz Operate on You?

Who is Dr. Oz?

You would have to be living under a rock (or not own a television) not to know that Dr. Oz is an American surgeon who was featured on the Oprah show and now has his own television series – The Dr. Oz Show. His daily program focuses on medical issues.

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.

Standard of Care for Nursing Students in Nova Scotia medical malpractice claims – McIntosh v. Isaac Walton Killam-Grace Health Centre

by John McKiggan

Justice Muise of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia recently released his reasons in McIntosh v. Isaac Walton Killam – Grace Health Centre.

The Facts

Ms. McIntoshs’ baby was delivered at the IWK by C-section after a period of pushing in an attempt to deliver vaginally. Ten days after the delivery she became aware of pain in her left hip. She had not had any prior problems with her hip before her delivery.

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.

Court of Appeal Overturns Award to Brain Injured Baby – Ediger v. Johnston

by John McKiggan

The British Columbia Court of Appeal released its reasons last week in the case of Ediger v. Johnston.

The Facts

Cassidy Ediger suffered an acute and severe hypoxia-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) about 20 minutes before her birth. Her injury was caused by a compression of her umbilical cord which cut off oxygen from the placenta to her brain. The asphyxia caused a deceleration in her fetal heart rate which lasted until Cassidy was delivered by emergency caesarean section.

“Respectable Minority” Principle a Trap for Malpractice Victims – Cleveland v. Whelan

by John McKiggan

First Hurdle

The first thing a medical malpractice victim needs to prove in order to win their case is to establish the “standard of care”.

The Supreme Court of Canada stated that:
“A doctor’s behaviour must be assessed in light of the conduct of other ordinary specialists, who possess a reasonable amount of knowledge, competence and skill expected of professionals in Canada, in that field. A specialist such as the respondent, who holds himself out as possessing a special degree of skill and knowledge, must exercise the degree of skill of an average specialist in his field.”
That well known quote from the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Ter Neuzen v. Korn is referred to in every single medical malpractice trial.