Outer Temple Chambers

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Experts’ literature — an undervalued resource?

By Tom Gibson and Will Young

Experts’ literature is an area that is often overlooked in clinical negligence cases — at least until a trial is almost upon the parties. However, experts’ literature deserves more attention in the earlier stages of cases because of the devastating effect that it can have at trial, as the recent High Court case of Sardar v NHS Commissioning Board [2014] EWHC 38 (QB) demonstrates.

This article reviews the law and procedure on experts’ literature and examines the practical use of experts’ literature at trial in Sardar v NHS Commissioning Board, before drawing conclusions applicable to all clinical negligence practitioners.

In theory, all literature should be served with an expert’s original report. The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) is clear that ‘an expert’s report must… give details of any literature or other material that has been relied on in making the report’ [PD 35, paragraph 3.2(2)]…

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