This Court of Appeal case displays the behaviour of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, nurses and doctors in British Columbia when it come to defending against medically negligent mistakes. This appeals arose out of a medical negligence action in which a nurse and doctor were found to be negligent at the emergency department of Powell River General Hospital. The judge found the nurse 70% at fault and the doctor 30% at fault.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority was held vicariously liable for the negligence of the nurse. The negligence was very obvious, the nurse should have simply taken the patient’s blood pressure. However, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and the Doctor proceeded unsuccessfully with this appeal(Pinch (Guardian ad litem of) v. Morwood,2017 BCCA 234) thereby prolonging justice for this victim of medical malpractice.
The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority appealed the finding of negligence against the nurse. It also appealed against the apportionment of fault. In upholding the apportionment of fault the Court had this to say:
 I turn finally to Nurse[ B’s] apportionment appeal. For practical purposes, this appeal is premised on this Court setting aside, or referring to a new trial, the question of whether Nurse B took Ms. P’s blood pressure. Given that that error was serious, there is no realistic force in this appeal if that finding stands. In these circumstances, I cannot say the apportionment determined by the judge is grossly disproportionate to the parties’ respective fault. Since I would dismiss Nurse B’s liability appeal, it follows that I would dismiss the apportionment appeal also.
Tags: Apportionment of Fault