What Information Must Be Provided at Discovery, Regarding Surveillance?

Mr. Justice John Cavarzan has provided some clarification about a small point that not-infrequently comes up in personal injury litigation: what questions must the defendant answer about surveillance that has been undertaken on the plaintiff?

The case is Marchese v. Knowles. In a nutshell, this the information that Cavarzan J. said must be given:

  • the names and addresses of the investigators who did the surveillance;
  • dates, times and precise locations of the surveillance;
  • particulars of the observations made; and
  • particulars contained in log notes, if any.

His Honour then went on to deal with documents that need not be produced and questions that need not be answered:

  • The engagement letter sent to “the surveillance people”, need not be produced. Justice Cavarzan noted that this document would be privileged and that surveillance investigators testify as ordinary witnesses, not as experts. Accordingly, a letter engaging their services is not a “finding” within the meaning of Rule 31.06(3);
  • How often the insurer had engaged “these people” to undertake surveillance in the past is an irrelevant question and need not be answered.
  • No resumes of the investigators need be provided, except to the extent that the resumes contain the names and addresses of the investigators, which information must be given.
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