It's over: judge to 'vexatious litigant' trying to sue Burnaby gynecologist

A woman who has repeatedly tried to sue her Burnaby gynecologist for a hysterectomy performed seven years ago, even after signing a $25,000 settlement, should accept that she’s come to the end of the road, courtwise, says a B.C. Court of Appeal judge.

“She seems to have an irrational belief that if only she files the right document, the court will re-open her matter,” wrote Justice Harvey Groberman in a ruling last week. “Such efforts are futile. The matter has been fully litigated, and Ms. Jacques has exhausted all possibilities to have it reheard. I can put it no more bluntly than this: the matter is over.”

Chang Jacques has been trying to sue Dr. Jennifer Muir, who works at Affinity Women’s Health in Burnaby, since April 2014 for a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy Muir performed on her on Nov. 12, 2012.

Jacques alleged negligence and claimed the operation had been done without informed consent.

The negligence claim was dismissed within about a year, but the lack of informed consent claim was allowed to go ahead.

It was settle out of court for $25,000, with Jacques signing a form releasing Muir from any claim based on the consequences of the surgery.

Seven month later, though, Jacques file another lawsuit against Muir, looking for compensation in relation to an operation performed in China, which she claimed was related to the original surgery by Muir.

Since that suit was dismissed in June 2016, Jacques has filed a steady stream of unsuccessful petitions and appeals, as well as one more lawsuit, related to the same case.

All have been dismissed, most by judges who concluded she was attempting to re-litigate issues that had already been heard and decided by the courts.

In November 2017, her prolific filings earned her a “vexatious litigant order,” stripping her of the right to sue without getting judicial approval first.

Jacques, however, appears undeterred.

Her latest move in the case was to file a requisition with B.C. Supreme Court to file a notice of application for trial despite the fact the claim had already been dismissed.

A judge rejected the requisition, and Jacques filed a notice of appeal this summer.

Muir’s lawyers applied to the court to order Jacques to provide security in the amount of $5,000 for legal costs should her appeal once again be dismissed and she not be able to cover Muir’s costs – as the unsuccessful party is usually ordered to do.

Groberman said there was a “legitimate concern” Jacques won’t be able to pay any order for costs against her but concluded Muir’s application had been made too late.

He dismissed Muir’s application but dedicated a good portion of his ruling to chastising Jacques for abusing the court process.

This story has been changed. An earlier version stated Justice Harvey Groberman was a B.C. Supreme Court judge. He is, in fact, with the B.C. Court of Appeal.

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