Can a medical malpractice claim negligence even in the absence of expert evidence?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Akl v. Collins, 2013 ONSC 3292 (CanLII):

In addressing the issue of standard of care, ter Neuzen v. Korn, [1995] 2 S.C.R. 674 at para. 41, it makes it very clear that where a practice is “ ‘fraught with obvious risks’ such that anyone is capable of finding it negligent, without the necessity of judging matters requiring diagnostic or clinical expertise” then negligence can be found even in the absence of expert evidence.

As well, the case of Snell v. Farrell, 1990 CanLII 70 (SCC), [1990] 2 S.C.R. 311, points out that: In many malpractice cases, the facts lie particularly within the knowledge of the defendant, and very little affirmative evidence on the part of the plaintiff will justify the drawing of an inference of causation in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

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