Palmer v Durnford Ford: QBD 1992

The plaintiff had consented to judgment for his opponent in a case against both the supplier and a repairer of a lorry tractor unit. They subsequently sued an engineering expert on the ground that his incompetent report had led them to advance claims on a basis that was invalid, and their solicitors for negligence in engaging an incompetent expert. The expert persuaded the district judge to strike out the claim against him on the ground that he was immune from suit.
Held: Witnesses are immune from suit in relation to their conduct as witnesses. Mr. Simon Tuckey QC said: ‘Generally I do not think that liability for failure to give careful advice to his client should inhibit an expert from giving truthful and fair evidence in court. I can see no good reason why an expert should not be liable for the advice which he gives to his client as to the merits of the claim, particularly if proceedings have not been started, and a fortiori as to whether he is qualified to advise at all.’

Mr. Simon Tuckey QC
[1992] QB 483, [1992] 2 WLR 407, [1992] 2 All ER 122
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedGeneral Medical Council v Professor Sir Roy Meadow, Attorney General CA 26-Oct-2006
The GMC appealed against the dismissal of its proceedings for professional misconduct against the respondent doctor, whose expert evidence to a criminal court was the subject of complaint. The doctor said that the evidence given by him was . .
CitedJones v Kaney SC 30-Mar-2011
An expert witness admitted signing a joint report but without agreeing to it. The claimant who had lost his case now pursued her in negligence. The claimant appealed against a finding that the expert witness was immune from action.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Negligence

Updated: 10 December 2021; Ref: scu.245756