Court Continues Trend Of Attributing No Weight To Expert Reports Where Expert Did Not Personally Examine Claimant

In Preston v. Kontzamanis, the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident, and consequently commenced legal proceedings against the Defendant. Liability was admitted by ICBC’S lawyer.

 

The Plaintiff alleged he suffered from chronic lower back pain, and that his capacity to work was greatly affected by the injuries he sustained in the accident. Several expert reports were tendered at trial on behalf of the Plaintiff. ICBC’S lawyer also tendered an expert report from Dr. Boyle, who acknowledged that he did not meet with, examine, or interview the Plaintiff. Rather, he simply reviewed the documentation provided to him by ICBC’S lawyer, which primarily included clinical records of other medical practitioners.

 

The Court, in keeping in line with previous decisions, was harshly critical of this practice of providing an expert report where the Plaintiff was not personally examined by the expert, stating that such an opinion is based on hearsay. Further, the Court noted that the case at bar dealt with credibility and exaggeration claims from ICBC’S lawyer respecting the Plaintiff, so the report tendered would be given no weight at all.

 

[129] This is a process that is unlikely to assist the court in any material way. The first concession is invariably, and was in this case, that interviewing, examining and getting a personal history is important to providing an accurate and complete assessment.

 

[132] To these I would add my own comments. Where an expert chooses to prepare a report as he did here, expecting this court to accept and rely on it. He is presenting a report in which he effectively asserts that he accepts as true and accurate the factual base on which his opinions are based.

 

[133] Where he does so without seeing, examining or taking a personal history he chooses to offer his opinion on the basis of hearsay. Worse still he chooses to offer it on the basis of his interpretation of hearsay recorded by others.

 

[137] In my view, Dr. Boyle’s report should be afforded the weight it deserves and in this case where credibility and exaggeration are both asserted against the plaintiff by the defendant that is no weight at all.

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