Catherine Woods, QC practices in the area of health care litigation defending hospitals and nurses throughout British Columbia in medical malpractice claims with an emphasis on obstetrical malpractice and serious brain injury claims. Catherine also advises hospitals on quality assurance matters, freedom of information requests, patient confidentiality issues, consent to treatment and withdrawal of life support. She is a frequent lecturer on the standards of nursing practice, medical malpractice law and quality assurance reviews. She is an instructor for the Trial Advocacy Course, Faculty of Law, UBC and has taught medical-legal ethics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC.
- Cojocaru v. BC Women’s Health Centre 2013 SCC 30
Ms. Woods successfully defended British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Nurse Florence Bellini in a cross-appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in a case involving a seriously brain-damaged young boy who was delivered by emergency caesarean section at BC Women’s Hospital following a uterine ruptured suffered by his mother. One of the major issues to be considered in this decision was whether a trial judge’s unattributed adoption of plaintiffs’ counsel’s submissions as his reasons for judgment make the reasons incapable of appellate review.
- Cojocaru (Guardian ad litem of) v. BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre2011 BCCA 192 This was the appeal decision in which Ms. Woods was counsel for BC Women’s Hospital. The BC Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge’s decision in favour of the plaintiff’s finding that the trial judge’s adoption of plaintiffs’ counsel’s closing submissions as his reasons for judgment made the decision incapable of appellate review.
- Sivertson (Guardian ad litem of) v. Dutrisac 2011 BCSC 558 Ms. Woods acted for the Capital Health Region and several daycare licensing officers who were sued for having allegedly failed to properly investigate a daycare at which the infant plaintiff was seriously injured. The case against the Capital Health Region and the daycare licensing officers was dismissed on the basis that there was no private law duty of care owed to the plaintiff, and even if there were it would be abrogated for public policy reasons.
- Steinebach v. Fraser Health Authority 2010 BCSC 832 Ms. Woods acted for the Fraser Health Authority in the defence of an obstetrical malpractice claim in which the infant plaintiff suffered a serious brain injury following a placental abruption.
- Kahlon v. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority 2009 BCSC 922 Ms. Woods acted for UBC Hospital in the defence of a significant personal injury claim arising out of the delay in diagnosis of spinal meningitis due to a late reporting of CT scan results.
- Birrell v. Providence Health Care Society 2009 BCCA 109 This case involved the interpretation of the ultimate limitation period of six years for a claim against physicians and hospitals. The Court of Appeal reinforced the fact that discoverability does not apply to the ultimate limitation period and that it began to run from the time the cause of action arose and was not postponed until the nervous shock was suffered by the plaintiff upon learning of the medical error made.