Tag: Advocacy in the Guise of Opinion

ICBC Expert Witness Rejected for “Tailoring His Evidence” For the Insurer

Reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, rejecting and outright criticizing the opinion of an expert physician who routinely is hired by ICBC for defence medical exams.

In today’s case (Moges v. Sanderson) the Plaintiff suffered injuries in three collisions.  The defendants accepted fault for the crashes.  The Plaintiff suffered a variety of physical and psychological injuries as a result.  In the course of the lawsuit ICBC obtained a medico-legal report from a psychiatrist they routinely hire who provided opinion evidence minimizing the connection between any psychological consequences and the collisions.  In rejecting this opinion evidence as being tailored to the defence and evidencing bias Madam Justice Shergill provided the following criticism:

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ICBC Psychiatric Expert Rejected As Not “Useful or Reliable”

Adding to this site’s archived case summaries rejecting expert evidence for improper bias or advocacy reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, finding an expert opinion by an ICBC expert deserved “limited, if any weight” for lacking usefulness or reliability.

In today’s case (Millar v. Wasden) the Plaintiff  was involved in a 2013 collision.  Fault was admitted by the Defendant.  The crash caused longlasting and disabling physical and psychiatric injuries.  In the course of the lawsuit ICBC retained a psychiatrist who provided the court with opinion evidence minimizing the connection of the collision to the plaintiff’s injuries.  In rejecting this evidence Mr. Justice Voith provided the following criticism:

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Court Rejects Expert Witness Who Gave “Evidence Unworthy of Reliance”

In one of the stronger judicial reasons rejecting expert witness evidence that I have read in recent years reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Courtenay Registry, finding a defence expert gave evidence that was superficial, out of his area of expertise and “unworthy of reliance“.

In today’s case (Radewulf v. Kelly) the Plaintiff sustained chronic and disabling injuries in two collisions.  The Defendants retained an orthopaedic surgeon who provided the court with evidence minimizing the plaintiff’s symptoms and their connection to the collisions.  In outright rejecting this opinion the Court provided the following critical reasons noting that even the defence lawyer backed away from the witness’ opinions:

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Defence Expert Evidence Rejected After Testimony With “Considerable Controversy”

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, rejecting the opinion evidence of a defence hired orthopaedic surgery on the grounds that the opinions were prohibited advocacy.

In today’s case (Dhugga v. Poirier) the Plaintiff was involved in 2 collisions that the Defendants conceded liability for.  The collisions resulted in chronic injuries.  In the course of the litigation the Defendants retained an orthopaedic surgeon who provided evidence minimizing the connection between the plaintiff’s symptoms and the collisions.  In rejecting this evidence as advocacy in the guise of opinion Mr. Justice Jenkins provided the following critical comments:

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ICBC Expert that Testified “he could not have been in error” Rejected by BC Supreme Court

Reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing damages for chronic pain and anxiety following a vehicle collision.

In the course of the claim ICBC’s expert witness whose opinion was “predicated on inaccurate and critical factual assumptions” was rejected.

In the recent case (Nadeau v. Toulmin) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2016 collision.  The crash resulted in chronic pain and anxiety.  In the course of litigation ICBC retained a physician who provided opinion evidence minimizing the plaintiff’s injuries and their connection to the collision.  In finding that the court was “unable to give his opinions any weight” the following critical reasons were provided by Mr. Justice Walker:

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Insurance Medical Expert Rejected as “Combative, Argumentative and Arrogant”

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court rejecting and harshly criticising the opinion evidence of doctor hired to provide a defence medical opinion in a personal injury claim.

In today’s case (Chavez-Babcock v. Peerens) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2014 collison that the Defendant admitted fault for.  The crash resulted in chronic soft tissue injuries.  In the course of the lawsuit the Defendants insurer hired an orthopaedic surgeon who provided an opinion minimizing the plaintiff’s symptoms to the crash.  In rejecting this opinion and the physicians evidence as combative, argumentative and arrogant Madam Justice Matthews provided the following reasons:

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“Hurried” Opinion That Chronic Pain Will “Inevitably Resolve” Rejected By Court

Adding to this site’s archives of judgements criticizing or rejecting expert opinion evidence reasons were published today by the BC Supreme Court dismissing the opinion of a defence retained orthopaedic surgeon commenting on chronic pain.

In today’s case (Adams v. Rhys-Williams) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2014 collision.  The Defendants admitted liability.  The crash resulted in injuries to the plaintiff which developed into myofascial pain and a chronic pain disorder.

In the course of the lawsuit the defendants retained a partially retired orthopaedic surgeon from Ontario who conducted an independent medical exam.  That surgeon opined that the Plaintiff’s injuries were not disabling and ought to “inevitably resolve“.  The Court rejected this opinion as being “hurried and more of an attempt to summarily dismiss the injuries claimed“.  In rejecting the evidence Mr. Justice Jenkins provided the following reasons:

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No Weight Given to “Simply Conclusory” Defence Medical Opinion

Adding to this site’s archived posts of judicial criticism of expert witness advocacy or otherwise unsatisforcy expert opinions, reasons for judgement were recently brought to my attention finding that ‘no weight‘ should be attached to an expert that provided a ‘simply conclusory‘ opinion.

In the recent case (Tzotzolis v. Wyman) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2016 rear-end collision.  Following the crash the Plaintiff suffered from persistent lower back pain.  Although the case involved a BC crash ICBC retained a physician based out of Ontario who occasionally flies to BC to provide an independent medical exam.  That physician opined that the persistent back pain the Plaintiff suffered from was not related to the crash which was merely coincidental.  In rejecting this opinion and finding it deserves ‘no weight’ Mr. Justice Saunders provided the following comments:

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“No Weight” Placed on Opinion of ICBC Medical Expert in Injury Case

In the latest example of a pattern that is all too common in injury litigation, reasons for judgment were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, rejecting and placing “no weight” on the medical evidence of an expert retained by a Defendant’s insurer.

In today’s case (Sharma v. Chui) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2012 crash that the Defendant accepted liability for.  The Plaintiff suffered chronic soft tissue injuries as a consequence of the crash which were partially impairing in her functioning.  In the course of the lawsuit ICBC, the defendant’s insurer, retained an orthopaedic surgeon who provided an opinion minimizing the Plaintiff’s injuries and the likelihood of the injuries persisting into the future.  In rejecting this opinion and placing ‘no weight‘ on it Madam Justice Sharma provided the following critical comments:

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“Little Weight” Given To ICBC Experts in Three Cases Released Today

The BC government is making more noise about Rule of Court reforms regarding expert opinion evidence in personal injury cases in an effort to save ICBC money.  Their not so subtle message is that Plaintiff’s hire too many experts to prove their claims.  If cases released by the BC Supreme Court today are any guide it is ICBC that is in need of reform when it comes to the practice of hiring physicians hoping to refute collision related injuries.

In three separate cases published today by the BC Supreme Court three separate judges found ICBC hired expert opinions deserved “little weight“.

In the first case (Francello v. Cupskey) the Plaintiff was injured in two collisions.  ICBC retained a physician who provided opinion evidence minimizing the Plaintiffs injuries in connection to the crash.  In finding this opinion deserved “little weight” Mr. Justice Burnyeat provided the following comments:

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

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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