The Client's Story
Dear Bill and Sandy,
I apologise for the lengthy email but there is an urgent matter we need to decide.
Summervale's lawyer has asked that Andrew attend a process called Examination for Discovery. You will recall we talked about the litigation process and the various steps that we would have to go through to get a resolution of Andrew's case (you could refer back to the general information sheet I gave you). We talked about the possibility that both of you and/or Andrew would be asked to attend an examination for discovery to answer questions about the accident and the extent of Andrew's injuries. This is a normal part of litigation and defendants are entitled to get as much information as possible about a claim, in part, to be able to assess whether they should settle the matter rather than fight in court. But when we spoke about this in April, you were worried about Andrew's GAD symptoms being aggravated by answering questions.
Summervale's lawyer is now insisting Andrew come to an examination for discovery. So far, this is an informal request, but if we do not agree to have Andrew attend, she will file a request with the court. We will need to formally respond.
We need to decide how we should deal with this request and to respond to any motion to compel Andrew to attend. What is Andrew's current condition? Can he handle answering questions about the accident? I understand that Dr. James is out of the country for some time and this may cause us some difficulty if she is unavailable to assist in the formal response to the request for discovery.
We are doing thorough research on whether and on what grounds we can ask the court to exempt Andrew from answering questions and what we can do in Dr. James' absence. I will let you know the result of this work as soon as I can.
My assistant, Roger, will call you to set up an appointment this week if possible.
From: Bill Hopper
Date: August 27, 2013
To: Jim Hendry
Subject: RE: update on Hopper v Summervale Camp
Andrew is still in no shape to be examined by a lawyer. Dr. James told me two weeks ago that he is going to need lots of therapy to get back to where he was before the accident. He cannot talk about it, even with us or Dr. James.
You have instructions to refuse Andrew's examination for discovery. You must protect Andrew. He cannot be forced to relive the accident. We haven't mentioned this possibility to Andrew, of course, and we will hold off for as long as possible. But I have to tell you this whole case is really taking its toll on us. Sandy isn't sleeping at all and I have taken up smoking again after quitting 10 years ago. The stress is getting to all of us.
And we are desperate to find Andrew some help. Dr. James is wonderful and was making real progress with Andrew. But she has just gone to Scotland because her father is dying. She thinks she may be gone for a few months. She has asked a colleague to continue treating Andrew, but it is not going very well. I think he is regressing.
We are at our wit's end. Andrew will need help his entire life, so of course we keep going with the case to get him damages, but we are so worried we are putting his health at risk with the litigation itself. I don't know how we can get through this.
We will be at your office on the 30th at 2.