Norberg v Wynrib [1992]

Case summary

Laura Norberg, of Williams Lake, had been unsuccessful at trial and on appeal in her bid for compensation against a doctor who, knowing she was dependent on prescription drugs, gave her prescriptions in exchange for sexual services.  She sued for damages for assault, breach of duty, and negligence.

West Coast LEAF’s involvement

LEAF intervened in Ms. Norberg’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.


The Court found in favour of Ms. Norberg, awarding her substantial damages. Unlike the BC courts, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that Ms. Norberg’s “consent” to the sexual activity was vitiated by her vulnerability due to drug dependency and her relative powerlessness in the relationship with Dr. Wynrib.

Case documents

Factum – Supreme Court of Canada

Decision Part 1– Supreme Court of Canada

Decision Part 2– Supreme Court of Canada