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Legal Mind Case and Commentary No 12: Expert Evidence: Flawed or Dismissed. Why? - Dr Hugh Koch, Dr Chrissie Robertson & Dr Michelle Potts, Hugh Koch Associates

15/02/17. Three cases are briefly summarised in order to highlight and illustrate issues pertaining to the robustness of expert evidence. Each case illustrates some aspect of why evidence was rejected by the courts. The commentary explores lessons to be learnt.


1. Butler v. Thompson (Clarke Sedley, Rix. L. J. J.) July 13, 2005 (2005) EWCA CW 864.CA (CIV.DIV).

The claimant sued a van driver who rear shunted her. A neurologist acted as a jointly instructed medical expert. Quantum was fiercely debated. In the process the medical expert was criticised for treating his role unprofessionally by appearing more claimant oriented, not joint. He had incorrectly interpreted clinical data (on imaging). Overall, his evidence was seen as ‘unsatisfactory’.

2. Liptrot v. Charters (H. H. J. Holman) unreported, April 4, 2005, Manchester CC.

A minor rear shunt collision with injuries that were strongly contested. The Engineering report was apparently dismissive of alternative views, and was selective in responding to questions and ignored the body of research available...

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