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Judge's comments on consensus reports case-specific

Although a recent ruling criticizes the practice of selective quoting of expert findings in personal injury cases, the decision is not a broad comment against consensus reports, Toronto litigator Richard Shekter tells Law Times.

As Law Times reports, in the decision of Platnick v. Bent, 2016 ONSC 7340, the court commented on the practice of an expert summarizing the reports of other experts in a personal injury matter. At issue in this case was a report prepared by a doctor who said he was presenting the “consensus conclusion” of a team of physicians, says the article.

In the ruling, Justice Sean Dunphy wrote: “[T]he reports are not an objective summary of the underlying medical reports themselves so much as a summary of the conclusions reached by Dr. Platnick himself, applying their expert observations to his own understanding of the operation of the SABS regulations and the criteria incorporated therein.” 

“The case is not really saying anything against consensus reports themselves,” says Shekter, partner with Shekter Dychtenberg LLP, a Bay Street litigation law firm.

“It’s saying the co-ordinator of it didn’t fairly or accurately represent the other opinions. He prepared a summary and said it was a consensus report. He didn’t speak to the constituents,” he adds.

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