In this personal injury case ICBC made an application to force the claimant to sign authorizations for the production of certain medical records (Gee v. Basra,2015 BCSC 2495) . The order sought was:
That within seven days of the date of this order the plaintiff do provide to counsel for the defendants, or alternatively do provide signed authorizations for the release of the following documents and information: (e) the complete clinical records from the massage therapist in Burnaby who treated the plaintiff post-accident…(h) the complete clinical records of all optometrists, ophthalmologists and eye surgeons who have treated the plaintiff post-accident.
The application was found to be rather unusual. The ICBC lawyer, Counsel for the defendants, said that an application for the production of signed authorizations is , “a more efficient way than giving notice to third party record holders.” The court completed disagreed stating,
“It is not good practice to apply without notice to third party record holders”. In my view, an order that the plaintiff sign authorizations does nothing to compel the third party to produce records, and it is the third party who should be bound by the court order and not the plaintiff. However, both counsel seem to agree that the application is not irregular, and with some reluctance, I will accede to the method that has been adopted here.
Begrudgingly, and only because the parties agreed to the Order, Master Harper allowed this usual order but made it clear,
“I do not think that is appropriate… I do not know how counsel is going to draft that order because it is a strange hybrid of a Halliday order, but in the interests of efficiency, I will make the order. However, I have to say that, when it comes to time to make court applications, it is my view that the application should be made in the conventional way. The non-party record-holder should be given notice and the application should be framed as requiring the record-holder itself to produce the records, whether by Halliday or some other form.
Read on to learn more about an injury claimant’s obligation to produce medical records.