Howatt v. Chandler, 2016 NSSC 216
The Plaintiff, Paula Howatt, a resident of Kentville, Nova Scotia, was injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2010. After a painful failed rehabilitation attempt, in 2012 Ms. Howatt had an operation to fuse her C5-6/C6-7 vertebrae and insert a stabilizing metal plate. In the years following the operation, Ms. Howatt recovered significantly. However, she still experiences pain on a daily basis and concussion-type symptoms in some circumstances.
Ms. Howatt brought an action against Jennifer Chandler, the driver of the motor vehicle that caused the accident. During litigation, Ms. Chandler moved for the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to order Ms. Howatt to attend an independent medical evaluation in Ontario.
Ms. Howatt argued that the Court did not have the authority to order her attendance at an IME outside of Nova Scotia. In the alternative, she argued that even if the Court does have the authority, it should not do so in this scenario.
Justice Rosinski granted Ms. Chandler’s motion and ordered Ms. Howatt to attend the IME in Ontario. The Court has the authority to order a Plaintiff to travel outside its jurisdiction to undergo medical testing at the request of a Defendant. Justice Rosinski noted that a proper IME may require professional expertise or sophisticated equipment that is simply not available in Nova Scotia. Ms. Chandler’s request is reasonable because a direct flight between Halifax and Toronto is only two hours long, and Ms. Howatt travelled frequently in recent months.
You can read Howatt v. Chandler, 2016 NSSC 216, in its entirety here.