Expert reports: Potential flaws

Although not a  medical claim, P1 v Trustees of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart & Ors [2015] NSWSC 698 highlights some areas in which authors of expert reports should be cautious.

In the course of considering whether a report should be admitted into evidence, the court expressed concerns about:

  • the structure and wording of a report, such that it cannot be determined that the relevant opinions in the report are wholly or substantially based on the author’s specialised knowledge (at [31]);
  • reference to standards of “usual industry practice”, “normal professional criteria” and “risk management requirements”, without identifying what those are (at [32]);
  • inclusion of quasi legal analysis (at [33]); and
  • the statements of bare conclusions without statement the standards and the justification for the conclusion (at [44]).

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