Medical malpractice occurs when professionals such as doctors, nurses, or institutions fail to meet medical standards, causing harm or injury to patients. This unfortunate phenomenon includes misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, erroneous surgeries and anesthesia, medication blunders, and birth traumas. These mishaps can result in substantial physical, emotional, and financial burdens for innocent patients and their families.
Successful medical malpractice cases in Canada are indispensable to accountability. They prevent future medical care inadequacies. After all, patients can expect a certain caliber of treatment from healthcare providers. When such expectations are not met, it is only fair that those affected receive just compensation for their losses. These cases deter professionals who might otherwise opt for shortcuts or take unreasonable risks in their practice. By answering for their actions, medical malpractice cases emphasize patient safety and elevate overall care quality.
To have a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, it is crucial to have solid evidence. This might include clinical documentation, expert opinions, and witness accounts. Collaborating with a seasoned and adept attorney specialising in medical malpractice cases is also beneficial in navigating the intricate legal system. This is while developing a compelling case. In addition, the plaintiff must be prepared for a long, arduous legal journey.
Let’s learn about ten successful medical malpractice cases in Canada.
Most successful medical malpractice cases in Canada
Here are the top Canadian medical malpractice cases and their payout amounts:
|Cheung v. Samra (2022)||$14.9 million|
|Dixon et al. v. Barwin (2021)||$13 million|
|Woods v. Jackiewicz (2020)||$11.2 million|
|Saulnier v. Tynski (2009)||$4.5 million|
|Ediger v. Johnston (2013)||$3.2 million|
|Crossman v. Boiley (2016)||$3 milion|
|Armstrong v. Ward (2021)||$1.3 million|
List of medical malpractice cases in Canada
- Cheung v. Samra (2022)
- Dixon et al. v. Barwin (2021)
- Woods v. Jackiewicz (2020)
- Saulnier v. Tynski (2009)
- Ediger v. Johnston (2013)
- Crossman v. Boiley (2016)
- Armstrong v. Ward (2021)
- Anderson v. QEII Health Sciences (2015)
- Baglot v. Fourie (2019)
- Robbins v. Bajwa (2020)
Cheung v. Samra (2022)
$14.9 million awarded in successful medical malpractice
In a groundbreaking decision, the Court of Appeal in Ontario has awarded a staggering $14.9 million to the plaintiffs in the Cheung v. Samra medical malpractice case. In this gripping legal tale, a jury concluded that the defendant doctors had fallen short of the expected standard of care while tending to expectant mothers.
Cheung v. Samara – Medical Malpractice
During the nerve-wracking 35th week of pregnancy, the unborn child was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction, a condition that only worsened as time passed. Despite the worrisome test results, the expecting mother was discharged from the hospital. She returned the next day amid a harrowing bout of vaginal bleeding.
A swift emergency C-section was performed as the fetus’ distress mounted. Tragically, this intervention arrived too late to prevent severe brain damage—a sorry outcome resulting from nearly 30 minutes without oxygen—which now leaves this once-promising infant dependent upon assistance for all life’s functions.
Cheung v. Samara – Case Verdict
Initially, the trial judge at the Superior Court of Justice called for a fresh trial. He pointed to the lack of causation particulars presented by the jury and an absence of explanation regarding the injury’s intricate physiological process. The Divisional Court majority concurred with this ruling; however, a single dissenting judge held otherwise. Ultimately, Ontario’s Court of Appeal stood with this lone dissenter and overruled requests for a new trial. It also awarded $14.9 million—the largest sum in legal history—to plaintiffs with heartfelt approval.
Appellate courts say trial judges handled jury verdicts improperly. In their meticulous examination, they found that defendant physicians indeed failed to offer expectant patients an appropriate standard of care—one leading directly to damages resting upon a balance of probabilities. The appeals court echoed that consistency could be teased out between causation-related responses and the verdict itself—a feat achieved by demonstrating that jurors opted to believe plaintiff statements while brushing off defense justifications.
Cheung v. Samara – Summary
This landmark ruling serves as an eye-opening reminder of the gravity physicians must exercise in upholding steadfast standards when caring for pregnant patients. Indeed, it is an alarming call for accountability in the face of negligence. This can wreak terrifying consequences upon unsuspecting patients and result in enormous tragedy.
Dixon et al. v. Barwin (2021)
$13 million awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Dixon et al. v. Barwin lawsuit is a successful medical malpractice case in Ontario, Canada. In a scandal that’s rocked the Ottawa fertility world, the infamous Dr. Norman Barwin is facing a colossal class-action lawsuit. He used unauthorized sperm, and sometimes his own, resulting in the conception of at least 91 “Barwin babies,” including his very own biological offspring.
Dixon v. Barwin – Medical Malpractice
Rebecca Dixon initiated the class-action suit in 2016 after DNA testing shockingly revealed Barwin as her father four years prior.
Tracy-Lee Prescott, another of Barwin’s biological progeny, has bravely disclosed her identity for the first time ever. Feeling a moral obligation, Prescott shared her story anonymously last year to spread awareness about Barwin in Quebec. Despite the massive media coverage surrounding Barwin’s babies across Canada, Prescott is deeply concerned that Quebec residents may remain oblivious. She fears there are others like her who have yet to discover their true parents.
Flashback to before 2018 – the Outaouais region was devoid of fertility clinics. Therefore, Western Quebec couples frequently sought artificial insemination treatments in Ottawa from Dr. Barwin. One elusive physician, choosing to stay anonymous, verified that they referred patients to Barwin in the 1980s. This is because their options were limited to local treatments rather than traveling to Montreal for insemination services.
According to the lawsuit, an astonishing 16 known “Barwin babies” are now accounted for – nine residing in Ontario, three settled in British Columbia, and four nestled in Quebec. Of these Barwin children, two Québécois have only recently learned their stunning paternity story.
Dixon v. Barwin – Case Verdict
Stripped of his medical credentials by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario in 2019, Barwin staunchly refuses to admit guilt as he faces the plaintiffs’ allegations.
In an intriguing subplot, $75,000 has been designated for establishing and maintaining a DNA database uniting Barwin’s patients, sperm donors, and resultant children. These offspring may finally unravel their genetic mysteries, connect with their true paternal figures, uncover medical histories and find long-lost half-siblings through this remarkable repository. The already fraught financial allocations for each claimant remain in flux as more class action qualifiers come forth.
Legal counsel for the affected families, Peter Cronyn, speculates that the claim period between 1973 and 2012 saw around 500 births via artificial insemination. These births were linked to our rogue physician Dr. Barwin. With this staggering revelation comes the potential that those impacted may exceed the recorded 226 claimants.
Woods v. Jackiewicz (2020)
$11.2 million awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Woods v. Jackiewicz lawsuit is a successful medical malpractice case in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. In a heart-wrenching legal battle, former obstetrician Dr Allan Jackiewicz was sued and held responsible for a birth injury that left young Kelsey Woods with devastating cerebral palsy. Her parents, Bernice Booth and Michael Woods, were awarded $11.5 million by the jury for enduring such unimaginable pain.
Woods v. Jackiewicz – Medical Malpractice
The harrowing journey began nearly a decade ago in Kitchener, Ontario. The family fought tooth and nail for justice during an emotionally-charged three-week trial. At the heart of the case was twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome – a complex condition where twins share both a placenta and an artery. Consequently, one twin receives insufficient blood flow and develops slowly.
Had there been an appropriate diagnosis, Kelsey could have avoided her tragic fate through an amniocentesis procedure. This would have reduced amniotic fluid volume and prolonged pregnancy for a “normal outcome.” Though no longer together, Booth and Woods continue to lovingly care for their quadriplegic daughter who relies entirely on them.
Kelsey’s twin, Karli, also sought justice as she was born with a significant hearing loss. The high-stakes trial hinged on whether treatments available in 1991 sufficed.
Woods v. Jackiewicz – Case Verdict
Both parties presented expert witnesses – Jackiewicz and his lawyers vehemently argued that he had been diligent in his care for Booth and had no negligence whatsoever. Meanwhile, unrelated to this particular case, Jackiewicz faced intense scrutiny in a disciplinary hearing that ultimately revealed his incompetence and failure to uphold professional standards.
Ultimately, the $11.5 million settlement will ensure Kelsey receives proper care for the rest of her life. It will also provide Booth’s family with $7.5 million after legal fees are paid off. This victorious moment brought tears to Booth and her family who tirelessly cared for Kelsey.
Their struggle underscores the immense challenges of winning a medical malpractice suit in Ontario, with exorbitant legal fees often standing in the way. Nevertheless, their story highlights the undeniable power of questioning medical choices and seeking justice when it matters most.
Saulnier v. Tynski (2009)
$4.5 million awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Saulnier v. Tynski is a successful medical malpractice case in Canada. In a landmark settlement between a Nova Scotia hospital and the family of young Jacob Saulnier, a child living with severe disabilities, both parties have reached an agreement of $4.5 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Saulnier v. Tynski – Medical Malpractice
In the shadow of a harrowing ordeal at Valley Regional Hospital, Jacob was born into a world forever marked by cerebral palsy. This medical plight ignited a decade-long legal dispute between his family and the hospital, its physician, and the Western Regional Health Board.
In their pursuit of justice, the family unveiled expert testimonies that painted a vivid picture of how Jacob’s life had been irrevocably altered by his injuries. These accounts delved deep into every facet of his existence – from intellectual and physical limitations to financial and social hindrances. They also shed light on the enormous current and future needs he’d face throughout his lifetime, demanding unwavering care and dedication.
Jacob’s parents, too, bore the brunt of their son’s tragic circumstances. Their lives veered off course as they embraced the magnitude of commitment required by raising a child with cerebral palsy. Their once ordinary family life is now superseded by unimaginable tribulations. Experts underscored that the entire family’s suffering warranted reparation for their irreplaceable loss.
Saulnier v. Tynski – Verdict
With the blessings of a Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice, the accord designates slightly over half of the total amount towards securing Jacob’s well-being, guaranteeing him regular disbursements for his entire life. Furthermore, each of Jacob’s parents will be granted $125,000 and be provided with a customized van tailored to accommodate their son’s unique requirements.
Serving as the Saulniers’ legal counsel, Ray Wagner highlighted the exceptional impact of this settlement and acknowledged that he had never borne witness to such an ample compensation in similar cases. The unwavering dedication shown by both legal factions ensured that young Jacob received the support he requires.
A spokesperson from the hospital expressed contentment as they navigated through this challenging juncture and arrived at a mutually satisfying resolution.
Ediger v. Johnston (2013)
$3.2 million awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Ediger v. Johnston lawsuit is a successful medical malpractice case in British Columbia, Canada. In a momentous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has reinstated substantial financial compensation for the Ediger family in their medical malpractice case. This is done by holding an obstetrician accountable for injuries inflicted on their daughter, Cassidy, during her birth. Now 15 years old, Cassidy endures spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy.
Ediger v. Johnston – Medical Malpractice
The court determined that Dr. William Johnston, an obstetrician present during Cassidy’s birth, displayed negligence by employing forceps to aid the delivery. This was done without sufficiently clarifying the dangers to the expectant mother. The court elaborated that while maneuvering with the forceps, Dr. Johnston may have inadvertently shifted Cassidy’s head. This resulted in her umbilical cord being compressed as a result of maternal contractions.
This blunder precipitated a state known as bradycardia, where a reduced heart rate could potentially deprive the brain of vital oxygen. Furthermore, Dr. Johnston neglected to secure immediate surgical backup for a potential emergency cesarean section delivery for Cassidy. The court emphasized, “He didn’t even inquire about an anaesthesiologist.” They declared that this deficiency fell short of acceptable care standards.
Cassidy’s world is framed by permanent spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy; speech escapes her, she needs to be tube-fed, and mobility is restricted to a wheelchair. With a 38-year life expectancy, Cassidy perseveres despite these hurdles.
Ediger v. Johnston – Case Verdict
Relentlessly seeking justice since the 1998 birthing-room incident, Cassidy’s parents have devoted themselves to this litigation. Lawyer Vincent Orchard, representing the Ediger family, anticipates that the final settlement will likely match or surpass the $3,224,000 initially awarded at trial.
Cassidy herself remains blissfully unaware of the events surrounding her birth and the legal battle that followed. Wholly reliant on her parents for each aspect of her day-to-day care, she remains in their loving hands.
This groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling reverses a liability finding previously overturned by the B.C. Court of Appeal. As Cassidy quietly enjoyed cartoons on television, an overwhelming sense of triumph washed over her parents. They embody unwavering dedication to providing care for their daughter – acting without question or hesitation, guided simply by love and devotion, as shared by Carolyn Ediger.
Crossman v. Boiley (2016)
$3 million awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Crossman v. Boiley lawsuit is a successful medical malpractice case in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. A Vancouver Island mother whose son suffers from severe brain injuries has reached a settlement exceeding $3 million with her midwife and local health authority. She has also added annual payments that could amount to millions. These unusual $400,000 annual payments, according to a legal expert, might strain British Columbia’s government budget if they become more widespread.
Crossman v. Boiley – Medical Malpractice
In the quaint town of Duncan, nestled 60 kilometres northwest of Victoria, Cabe Crossman came into the world on a chilly December day in 2011. He was born at Cowichan District Hospital. His birth would bring many challenges due to the severe cerebral palsy and intellectual impairment he suffered from injuries during delivery. These challenges would necessitate extensive care throughout his entire life.
His mother, the brave and tenacious Sarah Corrin, took legal action against her midwife, Selina Boiley, the Vancouver Island Health Authority and a pair of unnamed nurses. She claimed that their negligence marred her labour and delivery experience by failing to properly monitor, assess and respond to the situation. In a twist of justice, the defendants acknowledged their liability. This led to a settlement agreed upon and approved by a B.C. Supreme Court judge earlier this month.
The boy’s life expectancy ranges from 12 to 30 years as per the court ruling. This implies the province’s total expenses could exceed $10 million. Apart from overseeing the health authority, the provincial government also sponsors the Midwives Protection Program – a distinctive insurance plan only available in B.C.
Crossman v. Boiley – Case Verdict
Midwives in British Columbia are obligated to obtain commercial general liability insurance through their preferred insurer. The Ministry of Health slashed malpractice insurance costs for midwives in half in 2007, citing their exceptional track record of large claims. It further reduced prices in 2014. Meanwhile, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia use a separate liability insurance program for midwives; other provinces remain unclear.
Paul McGivern, a lawyer specializing in infant injury and medical malpractice cases, observed an upward trend during the past decade regarding settlement amounts in obstetric cases throughout British Columbia. This is not in sheer quantity but rather in dollar value. He associates this increase with rising care costs and improved evidence presentation by legal counsels analyzing these expenses. However, he advises caution given agreements involving incremental payments lacking insurance backing are atypical; if faced with numerous similar cases, the government could struggle to manage and forecast its financials.
The mother’s attorney, Barbara Webster-Evans, confirms that settlement values in child-delivery cases have indeed risen over time as living costs escalate and care expenses follow suit. The Vancouver Island Health Authority declined to comment on whether any action was taken against nurses identified as Jane Doe #1-2. It also declined to comment on whether punitive measures were applied, citing personal information restrictions. Similarly, the College of Midwives of B.C. withheld comments on both the settlement and potential action against the implicated midwife.
Armstrong v. Ward (2021)
$1.3 million awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Armstrong v. Ward suit is a successful medical malpractice case in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada has sustained a local decision to grant a woman a staggering $1.3 million. This is due to injuries sustained during a surgical procedure which ultimately led to kidney removal.
Armstrong v. Ward – Medical Malpractice
Karen Armstrong underwent a laparoscopic surgery in February 2010. As fate would have it, Dr. Colin Ward’s ill-advised use of a cauterizing device induced a thermal injury.
In the legal proceedings, the trial judge decreed that Ward’s very actions brought forth the obstruction of Armstrong’s ureter. This resulted in grievous damage to her left kidney – culminating in its removal come October. With the court’s verdict now sealed, Armstrong – no longer gainfully employed and reliant on assistance – can finally access the aid she so desperately requires.
Armstrong v. Ward – Case Verdict
The original ruling favouring Armstrong was conducted by Justice Gregory Mulligan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Barrie. It was subsequently overturned by a majority at the Ontario Court of Appeal. Justice David M. Paciocco, member of the tripartite Ontario Court of Appeal panel, declared that an error had been made by the trial judge in delineating the standard of care for the doctor. However, not all agreed with this sentiment – Justice Katherine van Rensburg stood her ground with resolute dissent.
As for Armstrong, if the Court of Appeal had faltered, it would have rendered nearly insurmountable odds for certain medical negligence victims to claim rightful damages, said Ron Bohm, an experienced trial lawyer. Medical malpractice cases are already notorious for being vexing enigmas to unravel and highly expensive to pursue in pursuit of justice – therefore only formidable cases are pursued.
The reverberating verdict of the Supreme Court of Canada unearths the crucial value within dissenting opinions, opined Jan Marin, acting as Armstrong’s legal counsel. Marin proceeded on to commend that the court upheld van Rensburg’s reasoning in an act of unanimous adoption.
Anderson v. QEII Health Sciences (2015)
Millions awarded in successful medical malpractice
Anderson v. QEII Health Sciences is a medical malpractice case in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Victoria Anderson, a spirited Cape Breton lass, emerged triumphant in a medical malpractice tussle against a Halifax physician and the revered Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center.
Anderson v. QEII Health Sciences – Medical Malpractice
The unfortunate turn of events during a procedure left Victoria trapped in locked-in syndrome. Young Victoria, aged 23 back then, could only control her eye muscles, whilst retaining her mental faculties. For 15 years now, she has endured this debilitating state, and finally, justice has been served with an undisclosed financial settlement.
Victoria and her kin initiated legal proceedings against the hospital alongside two doctors. They asserted their haphazard attempts at central line placement ultimately resulted in her unwelcome stroke.
Anderson v. QEII Health Sciences – Case Verdict
Court records revealed that Dr. Shirl Ann Gee was found guilty of negligence in the central line placement procedure, causing Victoria’s lamentable stroke. The court deduced that it was highly plausible that the doctor mistakenly pierced the vertebral artery not once—but twice—during this fateful operation.
The fellow physician involved was absolved of responsibility, since he was merely shadowing his more seasoned colleague. There was not a shred of evidence linking any injury directly to his efforts during that ill-fated procedure. With no tangible connection to Anderson’s stroke, the case against the medical centre dwindled away.
Ray Wagner, the Wagner family’s staunch legal advocate, verified a financial settlement was reached but stayed hush-hush on revealing the precise amount—only sharing that it soared into millions upon millions of Canadian dollars.
Baglot v. Fourie (2019)
$888,000 awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Baglot v. Fourie lawsuit is a successful medical malpractice case in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. A British Columbia man, who now faces permanent disability due to an unfortunate turn of events involving a prescribed medication, has emerged victorious in his legal battle against the medical professional who wrote the prescription.
Baglot v. Fourie – Medical Malpractice
Jeffrey Baglot, a resilient warrior in the fight against Crohn’s disease, was treated at Abbotsford Regional Hospital in 2011. It was there that he received an extraordinarily potent anti-inflammatory drug, which ultimately led to an ulcer in his small intestine.
As fate would have it, this unwelcome development ruptured and necessitated surgical intervention. This resulted in a prolonged two-month hospital stay for Mr. Baglot. Haunted by post-traumatic stress disorder and reliant on his mother’s tender care for daily necessities, his life has been forever changed.
Baglot v. Fourie – Case Verdict
Undeterred, Mr. Baglot pursued legal action against Dr. Clasina Fourie, the physician responsible for prescribing the fateful medication, commencing their legal duel in 2013. Ultimately facing a sobering verdict on January 31st, Dr. Fourie was ordered to provide restitution amounting to $888,000 in damages.
The vast majority of this sum is allocated to compensate for lost potential earnings and future medical care expenses borne by Mr. Baglot. In her ruling, the judge laid responsibility for all the debilitating consequences and emotional torment suffered by Mr. Baglot squarely at Dr. Fourie’s feet.
Providing counsel for Mr. Baglot was esteemed lawyer Bruce Lemer. Lemer posited that this case possessed its own unique intricacies – specifically regarding the severity of sustained injuries and an unusually long hospital stay.
Owning up to her actions prior to trial commencement, Dr. Fourie confessed to her liability. She openly acknowledged her sacred duty of care towards Mr. Baglot as his attending medical professional. Throughout the proceedings, a myriad of Canadian and American doctors, healthcare connoisseurs, and economists lent their expertise via testimony.
Robbins v. Bajwa (2020)
$765,000 awarded in successful medical malpractice
The Robbins v. Bajwa lawsuit is a successful medical malpractice case in Canada. A Halifax-based bank executive, David Robbins, received a sumptuous $765,000 in damages after a misfortunate post-operative suggestion resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee.
Robbins v. Bajwa – Medical Malpractice
Robbins had undergone a routine hip replacement surgery in January 2012, which was carried out with flying colours. Alas, during his recovery at his humble abode, he encountered excruciating pain and promptly reached out to the on-call orthopaedic expert, Dr. Arpun Bajwa.
Dr. Bajwa advised Robbins to stay at home and continue with his prescribed exercises. However, the unyielding pain haunted Robbins until he was diagnosed with sinister clots inhabiting the arteries within both his legs. Consequently, surgeons removed his left leg below the knee on February 18, 2012.
In her defence, Dr. Bajwa asserted that she had advised Robbins to consult with his family physician or go to the hospital’s emergency room, a claim Robbins vehemently refuted.
Robbins v. Bajwa – Case Verdict
In weighing their testimonies, Justice James Chipman found Robbins’ account steadfast and reputable. He cast doubt on Dr. Bajwa’s memories. Nonetheless, Justice Chipman absolved Dr. Michael Gross, who was responsible for the initial hip replacement.
Robbins’ bountiful damages encompassed $210,000 for general casualties as well as a lavish portion exceeding $417,000 with an eye toward future care and enhanced prosthetic innovations. Prior to this upheaval, Robbins was often spotted gallivanting across golf courses and scaling hiking trails at fervent paces. Though he has triumphantly regained a full work routine, certain sacrifices had to be made; including curtailing physical endeavours alongside employing companies for weather-related outdoor chores.
Ray Wagner, representing Robbins’ case as a legal stalwart emphasized the rarity of medical malpractice victories in Nova Scotia. He applauded his diligent team and Robbins’ commitment to championing the case, ultimately achieving this fortuitous outcome.