Skip to main content

Court Addresses Location of Defence Medical Examination

The court’s decision in Harris v. Mast Landscaping Limited, 2021 ONSC 3937, dealt with a dispute over the location of a defence medical examination.

The defendants requested the plaintiff to attend a defence medical examination with a neurologist in Toronto. The plaintiff lives around one hour away from Toronto. The plaintiff does not oppose attending a defence medical examination with a neurologist, but she submitted that the assessment has to take place within a 30 minute drive of her residence.

The proposed defence expert indicated that he was not able to conduct the assessment at a location closer to the plaintiff, but he did not explain why.

The plaintiff provided evidence that she is very sensitive to light, movement, and motion, and has been unable to travel in a car for periods longer than 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Longer car rides cause her to become very dizzy and violently ill. She submitted evidence of medical professionals who stated that she cannot be in a car for a long period.

The defendants did not provide evidence on why other neurologists could not be retained or why the examination could not proceed virtually.

Master McAfee noted that, while the defendants have the right to choose their medical expert, that choice is not unfettered, particularly if the well-being of the plaintiff might be compromised. The place of examination should be determined by what is convenient and just.

Master McAfee dismissed the defendants’ motion for the plaintiff to attend the proposed defence medical examination in Toronto, with leave to the defendants to arrange another defence medical examination at a location within a 30 minute drive from the plaintiff’s residence.