Privacy of Medical Records during litigation

Hello everyone!

I have group benefits with Great West Life, and have been denied long term disability. They rejected my doctor’s opinion with no medical evidence. They had a psychiatrist / consultant assess who recommended an IME. Rather than getting an IME they denied my benefits and now, months later, are talking about an IME to take place in another month. The delay has drained me and I will not have any money for rent as of the end of the month. I will go to the IME but at this rate, I believe I must start a process in civil court as it can take forever. My plan is to move for summary judgement right away. I am worried however about my medical records being made public. I do not have money for a lawyer, and really cannot afford a contingency to be deducted, so I would need to self represent. I have no issue sharing the medical files which the insurer already has, but I cannot have private records regarding my health shared on public record for all to see. Does anyone know how this works? Is there something I would need to do to keep the records private pro-actively? I live in Ontario if that helps.

For the most part, medical records provided during civil litigation are NOT public. The only time this can happen is if a medical record needs to be attached to an affidavit for a court motion that is filed with the court. However, this is rare and you have control over it.

I can assure you that making a summary judgement motion is very unlikely to work. I would recommend you get a lawyer. Having done long-term disability litigation for over 17 years and I have never successfully had a summary judgement motion to have a claim approved. The only summary judgements I have seen work were to have the claim dismissed.

Doing litigation without a lawyer is very dangerous as you can easily lose on legal technicalities. Keep in mind in Ontario if you are successful in civil litigation the insurance company has to pay toward your legal fees. The legal fee reimbursements in Ontario are the highest in the country.

But I respect you must do what you feel is right for you.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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