Doctors’ association accused of using aggressive ‘scorched earth’ approach to defending malpractice suits

National Post | News

Susan Ryan didn’t exactly have dollar signs dancing in her eyes when she sued her doctor for malpractice: the Toronto woman filed the case in small-claims court.

She thought it was a less-formal venue that favoured “the little guy;” her opponent had other things in mind. The defence lawyer has fought the suit doggedly, making two pre-trial motions, filing thick binders of material and commissioning reports from a pair of expert witnesses, in answer to her charge that the MD failed to diagnose severe arthritis for eight painful years.

Ms. Ryan, the administrator of a small children’s charity, managed last month to fend off a defence bid to have the suit thrown out of court, but any resolution remains far off.

“I hoped they might settle,” she said. “[But] they said explicitly they have no intention of ever settling.”

Ms. Ryan has come face-to-face with a power that virtually every…

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