Attorneys Daniel J. Ferris and Derek R. Boyd address the question, “Can my client sue my expert,” citing how the Michigan Court of Appeals addresses witness immunity doctrine.
Michigan Defense Quarterly, the official journal of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (Volume 35, No. 4)
Expert witnesses play a pivotal role in any medical-malpractice action. A party’s litigation strategy—and, indeed, the filing of a lawsuit in the first place—often depend in significant respect on the opinion of an expert physician or other practitioner. Expert witnesses are considered to owe a duty to the court in giving their testimony and, pursuant to the witness-immunity doctrine, are shielded from claims arising from their testimony. This doctrine provides that witnesses “are wholly immune from liability for the consequences of their testimony or related evaluations.” The doctrine has been held to shield witnesses from claims brought by adverse parties and also from claims brought by the parties that retain them. Indeed, the witness-immunity doctrine offers such broad protection to witnesses that even false or malicious testimony has been held not to abrogate the privilege and give rise to a claim.
The entire article and publication can be found at The Michigan Defense Trial Counsel website, mdtc.org.