Cooperation, Bias and Costs

The Ontario Court of Appeal has supported one of the more significant disciplinary decisions of 2016. In Reid v. College of Chiropractors of Ontario, 2016 ONCA 779 the Court found that there was no arguable case on the grounds of appeal challenging the Divisional Court’s decision upholding the discipline findings and suspension and costs orders of the Discipline Committee. Dr. Reid had been found to have engaged in professional misconduct for threatening and harassing a colleague and failing to cooperate with the College’s investigation of that complaint. Among other things, Dr. Reid was suspended for twelve months and ordered to pay costs in the amount of $166,194.50.

The Court found that there was evidence to support the findings; indeed the finding of failing to cooperate was unassailable. The Court also indicated that an appellate court’s role in reviewing a cost order was to determine whether it was reasonable in the circumstances and an appellate court should not conduct its own evaluation of what the costs should have been.

The Court also rejected the notion that a panel member sitting on a previous case against the practitioner has an appearance of bias, at least where there were no adverse credibility findings made.

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