Parasiliti v. Beatty, 2015 CarswellOnt 15370

Released Octiober 8, 2015 | Full Decision [OTLA Document Bank]

This action in medical negligence was brought following an incident where the plaintiff, Rosetta Parasiliti, injured her hand while walking a friend’s dog.  She suffered three comminuted fractures to three left fingers.

The attending physician, Dr. Lee performed a closed reduction and casted the hand on August 31, 2008.  On September 4, 2008, Ms. Parasiliti re-attended and Dr. Beatty applied a new cast.  At Ms. Parasiliti’s request, Dr. Beatty arranged a referral to Dr. Haywood, a hand specialist near Ms. Parasiliti’s home in Brampton.

Dr. Haywood’s office set up an appointment for September 16, and instructed Dr. Beatty’s office to inform Ms. Parasiliti.  Dr. Beatty’s office reportedly contacted Ms. Parasiliti to confirm the appointment, although she claimed that she heard nothing regarding time and date until her appointment on October 14, 2008.

Ms. Parasiliti was left with permanent stiffness and loss of strength and dexterity in the fingers of her non-dominant hand. She claimed that the delay in removing the cast caused her to suffer a poor outcome that would have been avoided.

This case was determined on a factual inquiry.  The phone records showed a series of communications between the two physicians’ offices and between Dr. Beatty’s office and Ms. Parasiliti on Sept ember 15.  Based on the evidence of the defendants, Justice Baltman accepted that these calls would have been made in order to schedule the appointment with Dr. Haywood.    Ms. Parasiliti did not deny that Dr. Beatty’s office had called.  She did not deny that she had been given the name of Dr. Haywood.  She claimed that she had not been informed of the date of her appointment.  However, she also claimed not to remember the call at all.

Ms. Parasiliti called and left a series of messages with Dr, Haywood’s office seeking a new appointment following September 16.  This period coincided with an office closure while Dr. Haywood was on vacation until October 13.  The voicemail was explicit that if the matter was urgent, the caller should visit the ER of the nearest hospital.  Ms. Parasiliti did not attend at ER.

Justice Baltman was satisfied that the plaintiff was properly advised of the appointment, and that there had been no breach of the standard of care expected in this situation.

Although this decided the matter, Justice Baltman considered the allegations that the delay had caused the permanent impairment to Ms. Parasiliti’s hand for the sake of completeness.  Her Honour preferred the evidence of the defendant’s expert, Dr. Graham, who had 25 years of experience exclusively in treatment of the hand.  The plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Langer only occasionally dealt with hand problems, and had not been in active practice since 2000.

Dr. Graham’s evidence was that it would have been found necessary to leave the cast on at the proposed September 16 appointment, based on the severity of the fractures, and that having the cast in place until October 14 was in no way unreasonable.  In his opinion, the ongoing impairment was due to the extent of the original damage and Ms. Parasiliti’s failure to comply fully with her recommended treatment regimen.  Therefore, Justice Baltman found no breach of the standard of care and no causal relationship between the delay and the result.


Read the full decision on the OTLA Document Bank

Written by

Keith was raised in Etobicoke, and is excited to return to the GTA in order to practice plaintiff personal injury law. After his call to the Bar in 2009, Keith worked briefly for TD Insurance as in-house legal counsel, prior to moving to London for family reasons. He has spent the last two years working exclusively in plaintiff personal injury and medical malpractice law with a leading firm.

Through his volunteer work, he has written for The Monarch, the Brain Injury Association of London and Region’s quarterly magazine and sat on their Community Outreach committee. He was also a member of the Spinal Cord Injury of Ontario’s Fundraising Committee 2013-2014.

Keith is devoted to his wife and two boys. He loves to cook, and enjoys a good book when he isn’t working.