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Norman v. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Norman v. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Lerners LLP represented the defendant physicians in this proposed class action regarding the administration of a chemotherapy drug, Taxotere, to cancer patients at a Regional Cancer Centre in 2009 and 2010. It was alleged that the drug caused respiratory illness in multiple patients. The specific allegations against the physicians included negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and failure to warn.

The motion for certification was dismissed on May 21, 2015. The Court held that the plaintiffs had failed to meet any of the s. 5(1) criteria set out under the Class Proceedings Act, including that the Statement of Claim did not disclose a cause of action. The judge accepted the defendant physicians’ arguments, specifically rejecting the plaintiffs’ claim of systemic negligence and the submission that standard of care, causation and duty to warn were common issues. The overwhelming number of individual issues that the defendant physicians demonstrated would be left after a common issues trial made this case unsuitable to be tried as a class action. The plaintiffs paid substantial costs to the successful defendants.