Sometimes plaintiffs will only agree to attend defence medical exams if they do not have to sign anything or complete any forms.
In Coll v. Robertson, 2020 ONSC 383, Justice Grace held that this is improper. His Honour said that, when plaintiffs attend defence medical exams, they must complete questionnaires and sign consents if requested by the medical expert.
Justice Grace disagreed with two previous decisions which determined otherwise. Regarding questionnaires, one of the previous decisions failed to consider section 105(5) of the Courts of Justice Act which indicates that the party examined shall answer the questions of the health practitioner relevant to the examination and the answers given are admissible in evidence.
Justice Grace rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the section should be read in a way to require an oral interview rather than a written questionnaire. No rationale for such a limitation was advanced. Justice Grace indicated that a written questionnaire can save time and cost. Further, a written record is more reliable.
If there are portions of a questionnaire that the plaintiff considers not relevant, a ruling can be sought from the court.
In terms of consents, Justice Grace indicated that it is entirely reasonable for a health practitioner to require a consent to be signed by a plaintiff prior to proceeding with a medical assessment.