I previously blogged about Cojocaru (Guardian Ad Litem) v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Center, 2011 BCCA 192, where the British Columbia Court of Appeal ordered a new trial and overturned a five million dollar judgment awarded to an infant plaintiff who suffered brain damage during his birth at the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Care Center. The Supreme Court of Canada subsequently granted leave to appeal and the Court’s decision is under reserve following oral arguments on November 13, 2012.
The issues before the Court in Cojocaru are:
If a trial judge adopts the submissions of only one party into his or her reasons for judgment, is the presumption of judicial integrity and impartiality so fundamentally displaced so as to render the trial unfair (or a nullity) in the absence of cogent evidence of bias?
Whether the trial judge committed a palpable and overriding error by failing to conduct an independent assessment of the evidence and in failing to consider the respondents’ causation defence.
Is this an isolated incident or is there a judicial trend toward “cut-and-paste justice”? (more…)