Expert Witnesses to Lose Immunity?


Expert witnesses have always been protected by the courts against lawsuits for negligence. However, a recent case has brought into focus the whole question of whether this can be allowed to continue.
In it, an expert witness acting for a claimant in a personal injury claim agreed a joint statement with another witness appointed by the defence. The witness felt ‘pressured’ into agreeing the wording of the statement, which was seriously prejudicial to the claimant’s case. The result was that the claim was settled for far less than it should have been. The claimant sued, but lost on the 'immunity principle'.
The claimant has now been given the right to take a ‘leapfrog’ appeal to the Supreme Court to argue for damages against the expert. If the Supreme Court agrees, the landscape will be irrevocably changed for expert witnesses.

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