Elofson v. Davis et al., (1997) 195 A.R. 321 (QB)

JudgeBinder, J.
CourtCourt of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateFebruary 18, 1997
Citations(1997), 195 A.R. 321 (QB)

Elofson v. Davis (1997), 195 A.R. 321 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Stanley Elofson (plaintiff) v. Peter Davis and Ponoka General and Auxilary Hospital and Nursing Home District #37 (defendants)

(Action No. 9003-16676)

Indexed As: Elofson v. Davis et al.

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial District of Edmonton

Binder, J.

February 18, 1997.

Summary:

The plaintiff sued a doctor and a hospital for damages alleging that he suffered a permanent loss of balance following the administration of an antibiotic drug (Gen­tamicin).

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench held that the defendant doctor was negligent and that there was a lack of informed consent. The court assessed damages accordingly.

Damage Awards - Topic 121

Injury and death - Head injuries - Affec­ting sense of balance - A farmer who was 62 suffered a permanent loss of balance following the administration of an anti­biotic drug (Gentamicin) - Could no longer farm - All activities curtailed - Walking limited - Condition forced him to spend most of time reading or watching televi­sion - Constant headache and dis­comfort when head moved - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench awarded $85,000 nonpe­cuniary general damages, plus dam­ages for loss of farming income and lost profit on a forced sale of farmland - See para­graphs 129 to 185.

Damage Awards - Topic 634

Torts - Injury to the person - Medical malpractice - [See Damage Awards - Topic 121 ].

Medicine - Topic 3041

Relation with patient - Consent to treat­ment - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in dealing with the issue of informed consent in a medical malpractice case, opined that the relationship between the doctor and patient was not fiduciary in nature - See paragraphs 79 to 81.

Medicine - Topic 3045

Relation with patient - Consent to treat­ment - What constitutes informed consent - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench discussed the test for informed consent - See paragraphs 73 to 83.

Medicine - Topic 3045

Relation with patient - Consent to treat­ment - What constitutes informed consent - The plaintiff, a man in his sixties, sought treatment for a urinary tract infection - He was treated by a physician from his rural area - The physician treated him with the antibiotic Gentamicin on two separate occasions (10 days in August and 4 days in the second week of September) - The plaintiff sustained a permanent loss of balance and sued the doctor for damages - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench held that the plaintiff's loss of balance was caused by Gentamicin toxicity - The doc­tor was not negligent in administering Gentamicin in August and there was no absence of informed consent during this period - However, there was negligence and a lack of informed consent in Septem­ber - See paragraphs 10, 14 to 108.

Medicine - Topic 4241

Liability of practitioners - Negligence - General - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench summarized the law relating to an action for damages for medical malpractice - See paragraph 55.

Medicine - Topic 4242.1

Liability of practitioners - Negligence - Standard of care - Rural practitioners - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dis­cussed the standard of care required of a rural medical general practitioner - See paragraph 56.

Medicine - Topic 4244.2

Liability of practitioners - Negligence - Treatment with drugs with side effects - [See second Medicine - Topic 3045 ].

Torts - Topic 64

Negligence - Causation - Apportionment - The plaintiff sued a doctor and hospital for damages alleging that he suffered a permanent loss of balance following the administration of an antibiotic drug (Gen­tamicin) for 10 days in August and for 4 days in the second week of September - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench held that the plaintiff's injury was caused by Gentamicin toxicity and that there was a lack of informed consent respecting the September treatment - The court rejected the defendant doctor's argument that dam­ages should be apportioned between the tortious and non-tortious causes of the injury - See paragraphs 109 to 121.

Cases Noticed:

Snell v. Farrell, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 311; 110 N.R. 200; 107 N.B.R.(2d) 94; 267 A.P.R. 94; 72 D.L.R.(4th) 289; 4 C.C.L.T.(2d) 229, refd to. [para. 49].

Dillon v. LeRoux, [1994] 6 W.W.R. 280; 42 B.C.A.C. 176; 67 W.A.C. 176 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

Reibl v. Hughes, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 880; 33 N.R. 361; 114 D.L.R.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 49].

Lepp v. Hopp, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 192; 32 N.R. 145; 22 A.R. 361; 13 C.C.L.T. 66, refd to. [para. 49].

Crichton v. Hastings, [1972] 3 O.R. 859 (C.A.), refd to. [par.a 49].

Male v. Hopmans (1967), 64 D.L.R.(2d) 105 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

Persyko et al. v. Graham et al. (1984), 30 C.C.L.T. 85 (Ont. H.C.), affd. (1986), 55 O.R.(2d) 10 (C.A.), leave to appeal re­fused (1986), 74 N.R. 317; 20 O.A.C. 160 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 49].

Frerotte v. Irwin (1986), 51 Sask.R. 108 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 49].

Poole v. Morgan, [1987] 3 W.W.R. 217 (Alta. Q.B.), refd to. [para. 49].

Haughian v. Paine (1987), 55 Sask.R. 99 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

Montaron v. Wagner (1988), 84 A.R. 231; 57 Alta. L.R.(2d) 273 (Q.B.), varied (1989), 100 A.R. 194; 70 Alta. L.R.(2d) 86 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

Rawlings v. Lindsay (1982), 20 C.C.L.T. 301 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 49].

Crossman v. Stewart (1977), 5 C.C.L.T. 45 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 49].

Pierre v. Marshall et al., [1994] 8 W.W.R. 478; 152 Sask.R. 161 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 49].

Levitt v. Carr et al., [1992] 4 W.W.R. 160; 12 B.C.A.C. 27; 23 W.A.C. 27 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

Reynard v. Carr (1983), 30 C.C.L.T. 43 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 49].

Rose v. Dujon et al. (1990), 108 A.R. 352 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 49].

Wilson v. Swanson, [1956] S.C.R. 804, refd to. [para. 49].

Challand v. Bell (1959), 18 D.L.R.(2d) 150 (Alta. S.C.), refd to. [para. 49].

Tiesmaki v. Wilson, [1974] 4 W.W.R. 19 (Alta. T.D.), refd to. [para. 49].

Tiesmaki v. Wilson, [1975] 6 W.W.R. 639 (Alta. C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

Goodwin v. Brady (1991), 7 C.C.L.T.(2d) 319 (B.C.S.C.), affd. (1994), 41 B.C.A.C. 147; 66 W.A.C. 147; 89 B.C.L.R.(2d) 28 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

Dezwart v. Schulze (1988), 92 A.R. 130; 64 Alta. L.R.(2d) 72 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 49].

Couillard and Labutis v. Waschulewski Estate (1988), 87 A.R. 161; 59 Alta. L.R.(2d) 62 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 49].

Seney v. Crooks et al. (1996), 189 A.R. 21; 41 Alta. L.R.(3d) 192 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 49].

Webster et al. v. Chapman et al., [1996] 9 W.W.R. 652; 114 Man.R.(2d) 1 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 50].

Neuzen v. Korn, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 674; 188 N.R. 161; 64 B.C.A.C. 241; 105 W.A.C. 241; [1995] 10 W.W.R. 1, refd to. [para. 50].

Arndt et al. v. Smith, [1995] 7 W.W.R. 378; 61 B.C.A.C. 57; 100 W.A.C. 57 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 50].

Diack v. Bardsley (1983), 25 C.C.L.T. 159 (B.C.S.C.), affd. (1984), 31 C.C.L.T. 308 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 50].

Buchan v. Ortho Pharmaceutical (Canada) Ltd. (1986), 12 O.A.C. 361; 25 D.L.R.(4th) 658, refd to. [para. 76].

Athey v. Leonati et al. (1996), 203 N.R. 36; 81 B.C.A.C. 243; 132 W.A.C. 243 (S.C.C.), appld. [para. 109].

Andrews et al. v. Grand & Toy (Alberta) Ltd. et al., [1978] 2 S.C.R. 229; 19 N.R. 50; 8 A.R. 182; 83 D.L.R.(3d) 452; [1978] 1 W.W.R. 577; 3 C.C.L.T. 225, refd to. [para. 128].

Phillips v. McKay, [1931] 2 W.W.R. 98 (Man. K.B.), refd to. [para. 128].

Simpson v. Felicioni (1985), 36 Man.R.(2d) 6 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 128].

Duck v. Pettipas (1985), 67 N.S.R.(2d) 32; 155 A.P.R. 32; 48 C.P.C. 307 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 128].

Jennings v. Cronsberry, [1966] S.C.R. 532; 57 D.L.R.(2d) 644, refd to. [para. 128].

Millett v. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. (1984), 29 Man.R.(2d) 83 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 128].

Liesbosh Dredger v. Edison, [1933] A.C. 449 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 128].

Janiak v. Ippolito, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 146; 57 N.R. 241; 9 O.A.C. 1; 31 C.C.L.T. 113, refd to. [para. 128].

Engel v. Salyn et al., [1993] 1 S.C.R. 306; 147 N.R. 321; 105 Sask.R. 81; 32 W.A.C. 81; [1993] 2 W.W.R. 373, refd to. [para. 128].

Duce v. Rourke (1950), 1 W.W.R.(N.S.) 305 (Alta. T.D.), refd to. [para. 128].

Kern v. MacDougall (1963), 42 W.W.R.(N.S.) 695 (Alta. T.D.), refd to. [para. 128].

Gregoire v. Peters (1993), 87 Man.R.(2d) 305 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 128].

Brydges et al. v. Snyder (1987), 78 A.R. 182 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 128].

Fulton v. King, [1986] B.C.J. No. 1518 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 128].

Hartley v. Goikas and Avery (1989), 92 A.R. 212; 64 Alta. L.R.(2d) 240 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 128].

Risby v. Van-Doornick and Trans North Turbo Air (1971) Ltd. (1981), 29 A.R. 18 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 128].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (24th Ed. 1989), pp. 207, 208, 209 [para. 37].

Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (29th Ed. 1994), generally [para. 49].

Gilman, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (8th Ed.), generally [para. 49].

Klar, Linden, Cherniak and Kryworth, Remedies in Tort, vol. 4, pp. 27-74, 27-162.44 [para. 128].

Osborne, Causation and the Emerging Doctrine of Informed Consent to Medical Treatment, 33 C.C.L.T. 131, generally [para. 49].

Picard, Ellen I., Legal Liability of Doctors and Hospitals (2nd Ed. 1984), p. 150 [para. 49].

Rozovsky, F.A., and Rozovsky, L.E., The Canadian Law of Consent to Treatment (1990), pp. 10, 11 [para. 49].

Sande, Merle A. and Mandell, Gerald L., Antimicrobial Agents, in Gilman, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (8th Ed.), generally [para. 49].

Victoria, Australia and New South Wales, Law Reform Commission, Informed Decisions About Medical Procedures (June 1989), Reports 24, 50, 62, pp. 7, 8, 9 [para. 49].

Counsel:

James H. Odishaw and Carla M. Odishaw, for the plaintiff;

Walter S. McKall and Edward R. Feehan, for the defendant.

This case was heard at Edmonton, Alberta, before Binder, J., of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial District of Edmon­ton, who delivered the following decision on February 18, 1997.

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    ...footnote 171]. Hetu v. Traff et al. (1999), 247 A.R. 278; 1999 ABQB 1050, refd to. [para. 300, footnote 172]. Elofson v. Davis et al. (1997), 195 A.R. 321 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 303, footnote Long v. Thiessen and Laliberte (1968), 65 W.W.R.(N.S.) 577 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 306, footno......
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    ...243; 140 D.L.R.(4th) 235; 31 C.C.L.T.(2d) 113; [1997] 1 W.W.R. 97, refd to. [para. 4]. Elofson v. Davis et al., [1997] 5 W.W.R. 614; 195 A.R. 321 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. Snell v. Farrell, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 311; 110 N.R. 200; 107 N.B.R.(2d) 94; 267 A.P.R. 94; 72 D.L.R.(4th) 289; 4 C.C.L.T.(2d)......
  • Melnychuk v. Ronaghan et al., (1998) 224 A.R. 221 (QB)
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    ...Shebansky v. Kapchinsky (1981), 28 A.R. 451 (Q.B.), revd. (1982), 41 A.R. 424 (C.A.), refd to. [Appendix 1]. Elofson v. Davis et al. (1997), 195 A.R. 321; 49 Alta. L.R.(3d) 327 (Q.B.), refd to. [Appendix 1]. Neuzen v. Korn, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 674; 188 N.R. 161; 64 B.C.A.C. 241; 105 W.A.C. 241;......
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14 cases
  • Lindahl Estate et al. v. Olsen et al., (2004) 360 A.R. 310 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
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    ...352 A.R. 168; 2004 CarswellAlta 249; 2004 ABQB 102, refd to. [para. 87, footnote 80]. Elofson v. Davis et al., [1997] 5 W.W.R. 614; 195 A.R. 321; 144 D.L.R.(4th) 143; 49 Alta. L.R.(3d) 327; 34 C.C.L.T.(2d) 283; 1997 CarswellAlta 107 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 87, footnote 81]. Vancouver Genera......
  • Phillip v. Whitecourt General Hospital et al., (2004) 359 A.R. 259 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • October 21, 2004
    ...footnote 171]. Hetu v. Traff et al. (1999), 247 A.R. 278; 1999 ABQB 1050, refd to. [para. 300, footnote 172]. Elofson v. Davis et al. (1997), 195 A.R. 321 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 303, footnote Long v. Thiessen and Laliberte (1968), 65 W.W.R.(N.S.) 577 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 306, footno......
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    • June 25, 1999
    ...243; 140 D.L.R.(4th) 235; 31 C.C.L.T.(2d) 113; [1997] 1 W.W.R. 97, refd to. [para. 4]. Elofson v. Davis et al., [1997] 5 W.W.R. 614; 195 A.R. 321 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. Snell v. Farrell, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 311; 110 N.R. 200; 107 N.B.R.(2d) 94; 267 A.P.R. 94; 72 D.L.R.(4th) 289; 4 C.C.L.T.(2d)......
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    ...Shebansky v. Kapchinsky (1981), 28 A.R. 451 (Q.B.), revd. (1982), 41 A.R. 424 (C.A.), refd to. [Appendix 1]. Elofson v. Davis et al. (1997), 195 A.R. 321; 49 Alta. L.R.(3d) 327 (Q.B.), refd to. [Appendix 1]. Neuzen v. Korn, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 674; 188 N.R. 161; 64 B.C.A.C. 241; 105 W.A.C. 241;......
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