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Occupational Medicine Expert Report Inadmissible in Jury Trial

The claimant was a pedestrian injured in a car accident. She hired a medical doctor specializing in occupational medicine to assist at the personal injury trial. In that capacity, Dr. B. was qualified as an expert “capable of providing expert opinion evidence with respect to the diagnosis, prognosis, rehabilitation, and functional and occupational, vocational and avocational consequences and impairment of traumatic brain injury, orthopaedic injury, musculoskeletal injury, and psychological injury”.

The defendant argued that Dr. B.’s expert evidence should be ruled inadmissible. The claimant intended on presenting expert medical evidence from the general physician, her psychologist, and a neuropsychologist, an orthopaedic surgeon, two neurologists, and two psychiatrists.

In denying the admissibility of the occupational doctor’s opinion, the judge had this to say,

[16] In my view, Dr. B.’s report is not sufficiently focused to assist the trier of fact. It surveys some of the medical literature without a specific analysis of the plaintiff’s symptoms and conditions that she presents or reports in the context of her occupation. The form of the report unavoidably invites a lengthy and likely unweildy cross-examination. In short, allowing Dr. Brooks to testify with respect to his report would involve “an inordinate amount of time which is not commensurate with its value”.(Dinnissen v. Lee,2018 BCSC 2233)

The judge found that the occupational requirements of a kitchen and bath designer do not require medical knowledge, and that Dr. B.’s opinions were duplicate or cumbersome nature and would not assist the trier of fact. The Mohan criteria of relevance and necessity are not met.

The judge emphasized that the ruling was limited to the particular case at bar.

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

Tags: Expert Opinion, Occupational Medicine Expert Opinion, Rules of Evidence

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