Lengthy delays in medical malpractice cases are unlikely to improve before more judges are appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Toronto litigator Richard Shekter tells AdvocateDaily.com.
The National Post recently wrote about a report by retired judge Stephen Goudge, who found that medical malpractice cases drag on for as many as six years on average. And even those that end up being dismissed can still spend 42 months in the system before they’re thrown out.
“There are legitimate concerns about the length of time that it takes for plaintiffs to receive compensation after a civil claim of medical mistake is made,” Goudge writes. “In conducting this review, I have become even more acutely aware of the human and economic consequences of lengthy delay.”
Shekter, a partner with Shekter Dychtenberg LLP, explains that the complicated nature of med-mal cases means parties should expect a longer process than generally more straightforward motor vehicle personal injury litigation.
“For most motor vehicle cases, liability is almost a foregone conclusion and can be handled in a courtroom in a couple of days,” he says. “In med-mal, you’ve got issues that don’t arise to the same degree in those cases, including causation and whether there was a failure to maintain a standard of care. Damages, of course, are common to both.
“It gets incredibly complex and voluminous in terms of the witnesses, documentation and dollars involved,” Shekter adds.
To read more, click here.