Red Deer physician cleared of negligence

A Red Deer physician has been cleared of negligence following a court battle with a former Red Deer family.

A Red Deer physician has been cleared of negligence following a court battle with a former Red Deer family.

Paul and Sharon Gallant, who now live in Prince Edward Island, sued the David Thompson Regional Health Authority, dentist Gerald Nye and anesthesiologist Alayne Farries. They claimed that their disabled son, Shawn Gregory Gallant, suffered brain damage during surgery.

The Gallants claimed that their son, 18 at the time, suffered a lack of oxygen while recovering from a wisdom tooth extraction performed at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre on Sept. 24, 2004.

Actions against the health region and Nye were withdrawn during the second segment of the trial, which was split into two hearings over the span of one year.

Justice Monica Bast dismissed the claim against Farries in a 45-page decision filed on June 10.

Bast heard the lawsuit in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench in mid-November 2011 and for six more days in November 2012.

The Gallants alleged that Farries had not kept a close enough watch on Shawn during his recovery from surgery and that he suffered brain damage as a result, either from a lack of oxygen or from poor oxygen saturation in his bloodstream.

Shawn was diagnosed at 16 months old with cerebral palsy and had limited use of his legs and arms. Considering the patient’s physical status, including muscle spasms, Nye recommended that he go under general anaesthetic for a wisdom tooth extraction so he could be properly placed and then kept still.

Shawn was described in his mother’s testimony as well spoken but physically limited before the procedure. She said her previously chatty and pleasant son awoke from the surgery with marked changes in his mental state.

“He would just drive his powered wheelchair in circles, and he was not interested in television or anything around him,” Gallant said in testimony cited within Bast’s decision.

Bast wrote that she was unable to find any negligence on Farries’ part.

“The evidence suggests that Shawn’s condition is progressive as opposed to sudden, that is immediately following the dental surgery,” wrote Bast.

Evidence from the trial showed that Shawn experienced moments of lucidity in the months after the surgery, which does not correspond with damage suffered from a lack of oxygen, she said.

“I do not accept the plaintiff’s theory that he went into the surgery in one state and came out completely in another.”

Bast gave parties to the lawsuit one month from the date of her judgment to either settle costs of the trial or come back to her for a decision.

Neither Farries nor the Gallants have replied to the Advocate’s requests for comment.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham has ambitious plans for the airport. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer Regional Airport revenues climb in 2020

Bringing in more business is the 2021 goal, says director

City council will have to wait longer to hear back from administration on possible alternative sites — if the homeless shelter is moved from Red Deer downtown. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alternative sites for homeless shelter will be explored by the City of Red Deer

Council gave administration more time to return with a report

Quentin Lee Strawberry was found not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with stabbing death of Joseph Gallant in March 2019. (Photo from RCMP)
Updated: O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

(Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer property tax bills are in the mail

Red Deer 2021 tax notices are on their way. Red Deer property… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Nils Hoglander (36) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during first-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Monday May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Edmonton Oilers' Dominik Kahun (21) celebrates with teammate Connor McDavid (97) after scoring the third goal against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (34) during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the fourth round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

Canada , left to right, lead Briane Meilleur, third Val Sweeting, skip Kerri Einarson, and second Shannon Birchard discuss strategy against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. Both of Canada's teams were shut out of the medals, marking the first time ever that Canada did not reach the podium at either the men's or women's worlds in the same season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Canada's Tyler Ardron, right, tries to block the kick by Italy's Callum Braley during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Fukuoka, western Japan, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kyodo News via AP
Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

John Velazquez, right, rides Medina Spirit ahead of Florent Geroux aboard Mandaloun to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Canada forward Liam Millar (23) moves the ball past Bermuda defender Eusebio Blankendal (2) during the second half of a World Cup 2022 Group B qualifying soccer match Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Raoux
Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Most Read