Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Supreme Court sides with two doctors in Quebec malpractice case

The Supreme Court of Canada is pictured in Ottawa on June 8, 2016.

Blair Gable/The Globe and Mail

The Supreme Court of Canada has sided with two doctors in a Quebec malpractice case, overturning an appeal court finding against them.

The case deals with the death of Marc Edmond, a healthy non-smoker who nevertheless was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2007 and died in June 2008.

His partner, Cathie St-Germain, won a $70,000 judgment after she sued Dr. Albert Benhaim and Dr. Michael O'Donovan, saying they were negligent in delaying the cancer diagnosis after finding a shadow on an X-ray in late 2005.

Story continues below advertisement

The trial judge agreed there was negligence in not exploring the X-ray shadow earlier, but relied on expert testimony to conclude that the illness was so advanced even at that stage that the negligence did not contribute to Edmond's death.

The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned that finding, saying the trial judge erred by not linking the negligence to the death and awarded $1.7 million to St-Germain and her son.

In a 4-3 split decision, the Supreme Court said the appeal court was wrong and should not have interfered with the original finding.

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at