Ontario Superior Court dismisses medical malpractice lawsuit due to lack of expert evidence

Plaintiff failed to support his allegations of battery and failure to obtain consent

Ontario Superior Court dismisses medical malpractice lawsuit due to lack of expert evidence

In a recent ruling, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and Dr. Omar Ghaffar due to the plaintiff's lack of supporting expert evidence.

In Whitehead v. Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, 2024 ONSC 2566, the plaintiff had been both an inpatient and outpatient at Ontario Shores since 2014. He alleged various instances of medical malpractice against the hospital and Dr. Ghaffar. The plaintiff’s claims included assault, battery, negligence, breach of contract, and failure to obtain informed consent. He sought substantial damages totalling $6.5 million.

Despite the severity of his claims, the plaintiff did not provide expert evidence or affidavits to support his allegations. The court highlighted that in medical malpractice cases, especially those that are not clear-cut, the absence of expert evidence is often fatal to the plaintiff’s case.

Ontario Shores and Dr. Ghaffar submitted extensive evidence, including medical records and affidavits from two medical experts. The experts reviewed the case materials and concluded that the care provided to Whitehead met the applicable standards.

The experts stated that the use of restraint measures was necessary and appropriate given the plaintiff’s aggressive behaviour. They further affirmed that Dr. Ghaffar had exercised a high level of clinical and professional skill in treating the plaintiff and that informed consent was properly obtained for all treatments administered.

The Superior Court found that the defendants had successfully demonstrated no genuine issue requiring a trial. The court emphasized that the plaintiff failed to counter the defendants' evidence or provide specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial, as required under Rule 20.02(2) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Given the expert testimonies and the extensive medical records provided by the defendants, the court ruled that the plaintiff’s claims had no real chance of success. The court also noted that granting summary judgment in this case was timely, affordable, and proportionate, given the comprehensive evidence presented and the plaintiff’s clear intention not to procure expert evidence.

As a result, the court granted the motions for summary judgment, dismissing the plaintiff’s action in its entirety.

Recent articles & video

There are tools to fight 'deep fakes' but there are limitations, OBA webinar attendees told

Alberta Court of Appeal to reconsider decision on disciplinary costs for regulatory bodies

BC Supreme Court awards damages despite credibility and pre-existing condition concerns

Ontario Superior Court requires father to undergo counseling before resuming parenting time

Ontario Court of Appeal increases fine for Dairy Queen in workplace injury case

BC Supreme Court denies application to sue on behalf of father's estate

Most Read Articles

Support orders not automatically spent if ‘child of marriage’ hits age of majority: BC appeal court

US federal judge upholds law suspending 97-year-old appeals judge

BC Supreme Court partially varies will to ensure fair estate distribution

Ontario Superior Court approves settlement in mortgage renewal class action