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Actions against the health region and Nye were withdrawn during the second segment of the trial, which was split into two hearings over the span of one year.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

Just Posted

Shale oil producer seeking long-term river water supply

A company behind what is billed as Canada’s first commercial shale oil… Continue reading

Red Deer’s crisis line workers are busy dealing with multiple emergencies

Callers need everything from mental health counselling to their basic needs met

Pleaded guilty: Ex-Red Deer teacher gets 3 years for sex offences against kids

SASKATOON — A former Saskatoon teacher who admitted to sexual offences involving… Continue reading

Rental market picking up in Red Deer

There are fewer “for rent” signs in Red Deer than there have… Continue reading

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

CALGARY — The Alberta government is providing a $440 million loan guarantee… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Backlund scores OT winner for Calgary Flames in 3-2 win over Carolina Hurricanes

Flames 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT) CALGARY — Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds… Continue reading

Glendening’s two-goal performance leads Red Wings past Oilers 3-2

Red Wings 3, Oilers 2 EDMONTON — Luke Glendening had a pair… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

OTTAWA — The Canada Food Guide’s familiar food rainbow has been replaced… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps may need to stock up on maple… Continue reading

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Most Read