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Practice Note No. 70

REPEALED - Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Actions



    Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Actions

    1 The Court is concerned about the excessive number of experts qualifying to give evidence and giving evidence in personal injury cases. The practice of having a large number of experts qualifying, both medical and otherwise, whose opinions are commonly overlapping and whose reports either are not used or are of little assistance to the Court when tendered, is costly, time consuming and productive of delay.

    2 Where it is considered that an unnecessary expert has qualified or is sought to be called to give evidence, then the Court may:
    (a) reject the tender of the expert's report;
    (b) refuse to allow the expert to be called; and
    (c) disallow any costs incurred in qualifying, in having the expert's report prepared or in calling the expert to give evidence.

    3 As a guide, the number of expert witnesses giving evidence on behalf of a party shall be limited to:
        (a) one medical expert in any specialty, unless there is a substantial issue as to ongoing disability, in which case the number shall be limited to two in any relevant specialty concerning that disability; and
    (b) two experts of any other kind.

    4 Actuarial reports will as a rule be considered unnecessary except in special circumstances where they are shown to be of assistance in the assessment of damages, for example in proceedings under the Compensation to Relatives Act, 1987 or where a claim is made for the costs of future fund management.

    Chief Justice
    26 August 1991

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