Expert witness conclaves & immunity

In Young v Hones [2014] NSWCA 337, the Court of Appeal (NSW) addressed an appeal from a separate determination of an issue of law. The judgment deals in part with the immunity of an expert witness engineers from civil action alleging negligence (mostly in the preparation of a document during a joint expert conclave) leading to a settlement of litigation (see [9], [38]). In other words, it was said that the expert negligently agreed at the conclave to inadequate remediation work as being necessary. (At [39])

The Court upheld the finding below that the engineering expert witnesses were immune from suit in circumstances where they were retained for the purpose of the proceedings and ultimately participated in an experts’ conclave and gave evidence at a costs hearing.

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