Court says expert evidence not required to establish liability

In reasons for judgment released today, the court in Truax v. Hryb, 2017 BCSC 1052, made some helpful comments on the issue of the necessity of calling expert evidence.  In Truax, the defence argued that the plaintiff had failed to establish liability for the crash because he had failed to call a collision reconstruction expert.  Mr. Justice Dley dismissed this argument saying:

[20]         The defence argues that the failure by the plaintiff to introduce engineering evidence of the collision is “telling” and that an inference should be drawn against Mr. Truax. I agree that the absence of engineering evidence is telling - there is no need to call such expert evidence when common sense prevails.

[21]         Litigation has become a costly venture; oftentimes unnecessarily so. Litigants are far too quick to secure expert testimony when it is not required. Perhaps that is out of an abundance of caution and concern that the absence of expert evidence will be a failing of counsel.

[22]         Each case should be considered on its unique circumstances. It is trite to say that it is not necessary to call expert evidence on each issue. Expert testimony should be restricted to those matters where it would actually assist the court because the evidence is so specialized, scientific or complex. Expert evidence should not be viewed as a default or automatic step in litigation strategy.

The full decision can be found here: