Treating Experts, Formal Requirements and a Sensible Use of Discretion
I’ve previously shared my views about the technical requirements of the BC Supreme Court Rules as they relate to expert opinion reports and the fact that Courts should be flexible with these requirements as they relate to treating physicians. Useful reasons for judgement were released last week dealing with a non-compliant report but ultimately allowing the report to be entered into evidence noting the shortcomings were better addressed by weight, not admissibility.
In last week’s case (Currie v. McKinnon) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2006 rear-end collision. In the course of trial the Plaintiff introduced a report that failed to comply with the Rules of Court. In exercising discretion under Rule 11-7(6) to allow the report in despite its non-compliance Madam Justice Adair provided the following short but useful comments:
 Dr. Rawson’s report is dated August 1, 2008. No real attempt had been made to comply with Rule 11-6(1) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules (or even Rule 40A of the former Rules) in relation to the form and content of her report. The report failed to set out the factual assumptions on which Dr. Rawson’s opinion was based, failed to set out the documents on which she relied in forming her opinion and, generally, failed to set out the reasons for her opinion.
 Accordingly, Mr. McKechnie (on behalf of the defendants) objected to the admissibility of Dr. Rawson’s report. In the result, I ruled that the report would be admitted, and the defects in the report would go to weight.