ICBC Expert Evidence Rejected for Advocacy

Adding to this site’s archived posts highlighting judicial criticism of expert witness advocacy, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, rejecting the opinion of an ICBC retained expert in a chronic pain case.
In this week’s case (Dakin v. Roth) the Plaintiff was injured in three separate collisions.  At trial she introduced evidence from a variety of medical experts including an occupational therapist.  ICBC retained an expert who criticised this evidence.  The Court, however, was ultimately critical of ICBC’s rebuttal expert’s opinion finding it was not “fair, balanced or objective“.  In rejecting the rebuttal evidence Mr. Justice Cole provided the following reasons:
[38]         What is most disturbing about Ms. Taylor’s report is that she describes what she says are discrepancies in Ms. Dakin’s reports to various medical professionals at various points in time. She then lists approximately 1½ pages of these discrepancies and states that it was appropriate for her to make these comments as they were relevant in assessing a client’s reliability. When questioned why she also did not highlight the consistencies within the plaintiff’s reports to other medical professionals, she could not provide a rational answer. I am satisfied that the only reason she provided discrepancies in the plaintiff’s reports to other medical professionals was to attack the plaintiff’s credibility. Her evidence was not fair, balanced or objective, I am satisfied that Ms. Taylor was more of an advocate on behalf of a client. I therefore reject her evidence.

Advocacy in the Guise of Opinion, bc injury law, Dakin v. Roth, Mr. Justice Cole

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ERIK
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When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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