A B.C. Supreme Court judge in Kelowna has dismissed a claim filed against Interior Health over the loss of a $38,000 diamond ring at Kelowna General Hospital last year.
Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled Kelowna resident Patricia Crichton did not prove her case in claiming she gave a nurse the ring from her for safekeeping.
Crichton was at the hospital at the time to receive a hip replacement in February 2017.
“I have concluded that despite the fact it was not loose on (Critchton’s) finger, the ring must either have been taken by someone other than (the nurse) or have fallen off the plaintiff’s finger and been unwittingly disposed of with either the laundry or the garbage taken from her room,” said Hinkson in his ruling.
Crichton said she gave the ring, and other jewelry, to the nurse before her surgery for safekeeping. But the court head the ring in question was not recorded on the list of contents handed over and put into an envelope.
It was also not listed on a form verifying the envelope’s contents. Those contents were recorded by the nurse, in the presence of another nurse on the ward.
The court heard the plaintiff raised the issue of the missing ring following her surgery when she received her valuables back and the list of contents. The ring was not listed. Critchton had signed the list but testified she does not remember the nurse reading her the list and she did not read it because she did not have her glasses on.
A search for the ring failed to find it.
After Critchton was released from hospital, she reported the loss police and offered a $1,000 reward for the ring’s return. She also asked local pawn shops operators to keep an eye out for it.
In his reasons for judgment, Hinkson said not all instructions from Interior Health as to the handling of patients valuables were strictly followed with respect to the case. He cited one example of the plaintiff not being asked to sign a waiver for any valuables turned over. But he added, that was not one of the factors upon which the plaintiff’s claim was made.
He said lawyers for both sides agreed the only way the claim could succeed was if it was proven the nurse received the ring from the plaintiff.
Because that was not proven, he dismissed the claim.
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