Vero Insurance and expert issues


The progress of cases through  the High Court Earthquake list is heavily dependent on the conduct  of experts at meetings and in the production of “joint reports”.  A previous post commented on an EQC expert (Dick Beetham from GHD) and his questionable conduct in cutting/pasting another engineer’s signature to a document that was not actually the “joint report” of the engineers.  A recent judgment of Whata J on 25 September 2014 in Morrison & Cross v Vero Insurance Ltd [NZHC] 2344 commented on the conduct of Vero expert(s) and its lawyer’s involvement in the process.  The Court commented adversely on the involvement of the Vero lawyer in the drafting of the “joint expert statement”.  The Court also said that all relevant experts who are going to be called to give evidence should participate in caucusing  and that caucusing should take place well before the hearing.  The judgment also notes that a Vero expert witness said to one of the plaintiff’s witnesses in the men’s toilets at the Court that the witness would be “in jail” by the end of the 1st day of the hearing.