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Communicating with Treating Healthcare Practitioners

Defence counsel are not permitted to communicate with a plaintiff’s treating healthcare practitioners, without the plaintiff’s consent. This includes preparing a treating healthcare practitioner for trial.

In Roy v. Primmum Insurance Company, 2019 ONSC 6361, which involved an accident benefits trial, the court considered whether defence counsel could prepare the plaintiffs’ treating occupational therapists for trial when the same occupational therapists were also retained by the insurer to conduct insurer’s medical examinations.

Justice Gomery held that this is not permissible.  She stated that “our law protects the confidentiality of the relationship between individuals and treating health professionals, even where this relationship limits a defendant in a lawsuit from engaging in otherwise standard witness preparation”.