Bergan (Appellant) v Evans (Respondent) (St Christopher and Nevis)
Case ID: JCPC 2018/0044
Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands)
Whether a claimant’s expert medical evidence was admissible on the basis that the claimant had not complied with CPR Part 32, where (i) the relevant parts of the defendant’s defence had been held not to be a sufficient response for the purposes of CPR 10.6(2); or (ii) the defendant had not objected to it pursuant to section 163 of the Evidence Act 2011.
The respondent sustained injuries in a road traffic accident on 15 August 2006, which she alleged were caused by the negligent driving of the appellant. The respondent filed her claim on 15 August 2012. In paragraph 7 of the statement of claim, the respondent referred to medical reports of Dr Mervyn Laws, which were annexed to it.
The appellant's defence was filed on 17 October 2012 and in paragraphs 5 and 6 he pleaded that he "neither admitted nor denied the allegations as pleaded in paragraph 7 and 8 of the statement of claim as he [had] no knowledge thereof" and that he "denied that the Claimant suffered any injury, loss or damage as a result of the alleged or any negligence on the part of the Defendant".
The respondent subsequently filed and served a supplemental list of documents indicating an intention to rely on a medical report by Dr Duane Hendrickson, pursuant to section 163 of the Evidence Act 2011. The report was then filed and served. The appellant did not serve a notice objecting to it, pursuant to section 163(2)(c)(ii) of the Evidence Act 2011.
At the trial, the appellant made a number of preliminary objections, including to the admission of the reports of Dr Laws and Dr Hendrickson, on the basis that the respondent had not complied with CPR Part 32. The trial judge held that there was no conflict between CPR Part 32 and section 163 of the Evidence Act 2011. He found that the appellant had not sufficiently put in issue the evidence of Dr Laws pursuant to the requirements of CPR Part 10.6(2) and had not objected to the evidence of Dr Hendrickson. In the circumstances, the medical evidence was held to be admissible. The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge and dismissed the appeal.
Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin
Hearing start date
09 May 2019
Hearing finish date
09 May 2019