The Supreme Court Ruling in the case of Paul Wynne Jones v Sue Kaney ( 2011) is a key legal development in the expert witness arena and has brought an end to the immunity enjoyed by experts for over 400 Years.
Dr Kaney was instructed as an expert witness by Mr Jones following a road traffic accident. Following a discussion with the defendant’s expert witness Dr Kaney signed a joint statement without properly reviewing it. The joint statement was damaging to Mr Jones’ claim and Mr Jones’ claim settled at an undervalue.
Mr Jones subsequently issued a Professional Indemnity claim against Dr Kaney who relied on the witness immunity defence and applied for the claim to be struck out.
The Case ended up in the Supreme Court, having bypassed the Court of Appeal . The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and abolished immunity for experts.
This case has opened the door for civil actions against witness experts and any professional acting as an expert witness is now exposed to a Professional Indemnity claim if they have acted negligently.