Daily Insurance Industry News
Daily Insurance Industry News
Thursday 15th of November 2018
March 31, 2011

Expert witnesses lose immunity from suit

by Gill Montia

Story link: Expert witnesses lose immunity from suit

Commercial law firm, Beechcroft, is advising insurers to “take stock” following a Supreme Court ruling yesterday that the general immunity from suit previously enjoyed by experts is to be abolished.

In the leading judgment in Jones v Kaney, Lord Phillips said there was “no justification for continuing to hold expert witnesses immune from suit in relation to the evidence they give in court or for the view they express in anticipation of court proceedings”.

Beechcroft’s professional risks partner, Ian McConkey, comments: “Insurers should consider the content of their policy cover for expert witnesses and the terms which might apply in light of the judgment.”

He adds: “Experts will need to ensure their indemnity cover fits the work they undertake.”

Beechcroft reports that in the case of Jones v Kaney, Mr Jones alleged that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of a road traffic accident in 2001.

He engaged Dr Kaney, a clinical psychologist, as an expert witness in his claim for damages.

Dr Kaney was initially supportive of that claim but later went on to sign a joint statement agreeing that Mr Jones was “deceptive and deceitful”.

Mr Jones then commenced proceedings against Dr Kaney for negligence and the Supreme Court finally determined the matter.


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