PERMISSION TO CALL EXPERT WITNESS OVERTURNED ON APPEAL
I cannot recall the last time an appeal took place in relation to the question of permission to call an expert witness. The post yesterday discussed a case where permission to call an expert was upheld. Hot on its heels a decision reported today in Team Tex SAS & Ors -v- Wang (Judge Seymour QC 20/05/2015)* is a case where a judge came to the opposite conclusion.
The action concerned whether a car seat had been correctly fitted. The respondent was given permission by the Master to adduce expert evidence of an ergonomist on the issue of the clarity of the car seat instructions and whether, following the instructions, the seat could have been properly installed.
The judge allowed the appeal.
- The court was not persuaded that an ergonomist was, in fact, appropriately qualified to interpret car seat instructions.
- No sensible contribution could be made by an expert on they key issue of whether the instructions could be followed.
- That was an issue for the trial judge.
- It could be supposed that the trial judge would have a general level of intelligence and was tolerably familiar with the English language.
- The Master’s decision was so plainly wrong that it was outside the wide ambit of her discretion.
* The case is reported on Lawtel. This note is based on the Lawtel decision.