The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim for damages for nervous shock, associated with the alleged negligence of the defendant doctor in treating his son. It was said that the medical expert had not disclosed a conflict of interest.
Held: The presence of a conflict of interest in an expert need not necessarily disqualify an expert, though ‘where an expert has a material or significant conflict of interest, the court is likely to decline to act on his evidence or indeed to give permission for his evidence to be adduced.’ The test was as to the independence of his opinion. The court made suggestions for the Rules committee as to possible amendments to the expert’s standard declaration.
Sir Mark Potter President, Arden LJ, Wall LJ
 EWCA Civ 1028, Times 17-Aug-2006,  4 All ER 1276
England and Wales
Cited – Whitehouse v Jordan HL 17-Dec-1980
The plaintiff sued for brain damage suffered at birth by use of forceps at the alleged professional negligence of his doctor. The Court of Appeal had reversed the judge’s finding in his favour.
Held: In this case most of the evidence at issue . .
Cited – North Glamorgan NHS Trust v Walters CA 6-Dec-2002
A new mother woke in hospital to see her baby (E) fitting. E suffered a major epileptic seizure leading to coma and irreparable brain damage. E was transferred to a London hospital and the following day the claimant was told by a consultant that E’s . .
Cited – Liverpool Roman Catholic Archdeacon Trustees Inc v Goldberg (No 2) 2001
The claimant brought proceedings for professional negligence against a barrister specialising in tax. The Defendant wished to rely upon the expert evidence of another tax barrister in the same set of chambers as him, who was a friend of many years’ . .
Cited – Pollivitte Ltd v Commercial Union Assurance Company Plc 1987
An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the court by way of objective unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise. . .
Cited – Field and Another v Leeds City Council CA 8-Dec-1999
The parties were involved in a dispute as to repairs on a tenanted property. The court had ordered an independent surveyor’s report. The claimant objected to the use by the defendant of an employee for this purpose, and was involved in their claims . .
Cited – National Justice Compania Naviera S A v Prudential Assurance Company Ltd (‘The Ikarian Reefer’) 1993
Cresswell J spoke of the nature of the duty owed by expert witnesses: ‘The duties and responsibilities of expert witnesses in civil cases include the following:
1. Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, the . .
Cited – Alcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police HL 28-Nov-1991
The plaintiffs sought damages for nervous shock. They had watched on television, as their relatives and friends, 96 in all, died at a football match, for the safety of which the defendants were responsible. The defendant police service had not . .
See Also – Toth v Jarman CA 21-Nov-2006
Cited – Chester City Council and Another v Arriva Plc and others ChD 15-Jun-2007
The claimant council alleged that the defendant had acted to abuse its dominant market position in the provision of bus services in the city.
Held: It was for the claimant to show that the defendant had a dominant position. It had not done so, . .
Cited – Kennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SC 10-Feb-2016
The appellant care worker fell in snow when visiting the respondent’s client at home. At issue was the admission and status of expert or skilled evidence.
Held: Mrs Kennedy’s appeal succeeded. ‘There are in our view four considerations which . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 January 2021; Ref: scu.243326