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Expert Evidence and Experts' Duties in Clinical Negligence Cases - Kirsten Wall, Leigh Day

19/10/17. As increasing numbers of clinical negligence cases are reaching trial, so are the number of medical experts being called on to give evidence. More and more judgments are flagging up the flaws in their evidence and for all litigators creating an ever growing list of issues to make sure your experts get right.

The recent case of Palmer v Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 2460 (QB) combines a number of these issues. Firstly, the need to make concessions earlier rather than later. In this case, the Defendant admitted breach of duty on day two of the trial. The Judge’s view was that the Midwifery expert should have made the admission of breach of duty, “before it was forced by concessions in cross examination”.

Secondly, the problem with an expert’s medical report, probably prepared a year or so before trial and when trial seemed both distant and unlikely, containing errors or being incomplete arose again...

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