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Disclosure of Past Medical Reports in Personal Injury Case

November 17, 2023 from McLennan Ross

A decision in Fedotkin v. Obodzinski by the Alberta Court of King’s Bench clarifies how medical reports from previous personal injury cases are handled, providing vital information for attorneys and those handling these kinds of claims.

The Case

In Fedotkin v. Obodzinski, the plaintiff had to reveal medical records from a 2015 incident after suffering injuries in a 2019 car accident. Citing safeguards including solicitor-client and litigation privilege, the plaintiff disputed these demands. However, in its ruling, the Court rejected these defences and mandated that the medical findings be made public.


Key Findings

The Court’s decision emphasized a number of crucial points:

  1. Relevance of Medical Reports: The Court emphasized the relevance and materiality of medical reports from past personal injury cases, particularly in assessing the connection between overlapping injuries. This highlights the importance of such documentation in understanding an individual’s medical history and its implications for current claims.
  2. Limitations of Litigation Privilege: While litigation privilege may shield certain documents during legal proceedings, the Court clarified that this protection ceases once the litigation concludes. Thus, medical reports from prior cases lose their privileged status in subsequent actions.
  3. Scope of Solicitor-Client Privilege: The ruling reiterated that solicitor-client privilege applies solely to communications between a lawyer and their client for seeking or providing legal advice. Third-party documents, such as medical reports, fall outside this realm of protection.
  4. Burden of Establishing Privilege: The burden of proving privilege rests with the party claiming it. In this case, the Plaintiff failed to demonstrate any efforts to assess potential redactions or privilege claims in the medical reports, leading to the denial of their privilege assertions.



Fedotkin v. Obodzinski is an important precedent that provides insightful information on how medical reports are handled in personal injury cases:


  • Disclosure Requirement: If medical reports from prior personal injury lawsuits are relevant and substantial, the ruling sets a precedent requiring their disclosure in later actions.
  • Temporal Privilege Boundaries: The litigation privilege is not perpetual; rather, it ends after the pertinent legal actions are over, making more extensive disclosure possible in later situations.
  • Defined Privilege Boundaries Clearly: Only legal communications between attorneys and clients are protected by the solicitor-client privilege; third-party papers, such as medical reports, are not covered.
  • Parties’ Responsibilities: In order to maintain their privileged status, parties to a lawsuit must carefully consider and assert their claims at the right times. If they don’t, they risk losing it.


Essentially, this case establishes the limits of medical report privilege, which makes personal injury litigation more transparent and informed. The decision gives individuals interested in personal injury lawsuits as well as legal professionals the ability to confidently and clearly traverse the complicated legal landscape by clarifying these subtle legal principles.




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