Court calls plaintiff's expert an "undisclosed salesman"; says evidence showed "a shocking lack of candour"

In reasons for judgment released today, the court in Ma v. Haniak, 2017 BCSC 549, severely criticized the plaintiff's expert Occupational Therapist calling him an "undisclosed salesman" and saying his report showed "a shocking lack of candour".  Mr. Justice Armstrong wrote:

[179]     Mr. McNeil is an occupational therapist and certified work capacity evaluator. He and Kevin Turnbull’s opinions form the basis for Ms. Ma’s estimate for future care costs in the amount of $390,065.


[183]     I consider Mr. McNeil's failure to disclose the fact that he is the principal of Biosyn and that he was an inventor of FAB to represent a shocking lack of candour. As he has testified in the courts on numerous occasions, he is well aware that the duty of an expert is to assist the court with an independent and objective opinion on a particular issue. To withhold such relevant information misleads the court and, as I have no choice but to reject all of his written and verbal evidence, constitutes a substantial waste of time. It is impossible to parse out Mr. McNeil’s evidence as a qualified expert from that as an undisclosed salesman for Biosyn.


[199]     Overall, I have little confidence in Mr. McNeil’s opinions. He candidly acknowledged he could not measure or verify Ms. Ma’s subjective claims of disabling pain. His assessment was performed five years before trial and one-and-a-half years before Mr. Enright’s assessment. Additionally, Mr. McNeil acknowledged several shortcomings in the preparation and final content of his report.

[200]     Mr. McNeil has an unenviable record in this Court as highlighted by the authorities cited by the defendants. While those cases do not render his report unreliable, the errors in his report, the differences between his and Mr. Enright’s findings and the carelessness with which he prepared his opinion result in my finding that I can give little weight to his views.

The full decision can be found here: