In this case involving a pedestrian-vehicle accident, the judge first addressed a discrepancy in the plaintiff’s affidavit. The date cited as the date of the accident was incorrectly listed as one year after the statement of claim had been issued. The judge noted that “[i]f affidavits are to be filed based on information and belief, counsel should take care that the deponents have their facts correct.”
This motion was for further production of documents, specifically medical records for the plaintiff for three years preceding the accident. The judge noted that the production of these records is dependant on whether they are relevant to the claims made by the plaintiff in the action. Rule 30.02 creates an obligation on the plaintiff to produce “every document in his possession, control or power that is relevant to an issue in the action.” This obligation is separate and distinct from the obligation to answer undertakings, and is an ongoing obligation.
The Court used the definition for “relevant” found in the Blacks Law Dictionary, Seventh ed. It provides that a document is relevant if it has probative value. The document must be “logically connected to an tending to prove or disprove a matter in issue.” That is, there must be some persuasive value concerning an alleged fact for a given document to be relevant.
Ultimately, the judge found that the requested productions were relevant because the preceding three years of medical records contained information about complaints that were similar to ones that were allegedly attributable to the accident. However, the judge cautioned that this did not allow the defence to go “on a fishing trip through the plaintiff’s medical history.” It was limited to specific types of complaints and whether they arose before the accident.
The judge indicated that the order to produce the medical documents could be fulfilled by the plaintiff giving the defence authorization to obtain the records at their own expense.
Finally, the judge noted that the obligation to provide ongoing disclosure is necessary for a number of reasons. Specifically, “rolling production” of records facilitates settlement discussions and is necessary for trial preparation