- When can a court reject the conclusions of an uncontroverted expert report? (Griffiths v TUI UK Ltd)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Personal Injury analysis: The claimant sought damages for a gastric illness that he alleged he had contracted at his hotel during a package holiday. He relied on the expert report of a microbiologist. The evidence was truly uncontroverted, in the sense that the expert had not been subject to cross-examination, nor had the defendant adduced any expert evidence in response. The trial judge nevertheless rejected the evidence, holding that the expert’s conclusions were insufficiently reasoned. On appeal, Mr Justice Martin Spencer held that uncontroverted expert evidence should not normally be rejected provided it met the minimum standards set out in Practice Direction 35 (CPR PD 35). As the report had not been subject to challenge, its conclusions should have been accepted. This case is the first direct authority on the approach the courts should adopt when presented with uncontroverted expert evidence. Its ramifications will extend to almost any case where expert evidence has been obtained unilaterally, or on a joint basis, and has not been subject to challenge. There is also a useful discussion of the dicta on gastric illness claims in Wood v TUI. Written by David Juckes, barrister, at Hailsham Chambers.
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