Court of Appeal of Quebec

Cardinal c. Bonnaud

August 27, 2018


Schrager, Roy, Gagné

Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court dismissing an expert report. Dismissed.

The trial judge declared the polygraph test report filed by the plaintiff seeking to establish the veracity of a written statement joined thereto to be inadmissible.

The purpose of expert assessments is to enlighten the Court and assist it in assessing the evidence by calling upon a person who is competent in the relevant subject area. An expert report must be sufficiently detailed and reasoned for the Court alone to be able to assess the facts presented and the grounds justifying its conclusions. It must state the method of analysis used and stands as testimony. The report at issue in this case has none of these characteristics. It contains no scientific or technical information. What is more, the report does not include an analysis of the physiological data observed during the interview or any information permitting the functioning of the device or the method used to be evaluated; or the validity of the technique to be verified. In addition, this evidence is not necessary to resolve the dispute because the plaintiff will be able to testify at trial. It will then be up to the judge to assess her credibility. In seeking to establish this, the expert is usurping the role of the trier of fact. The judge was therefore well founded in excluding the report on the grounds of its irregularity within the meaning of art. 241 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CQLR, c. C-25.01).

*Summary by SOQUIJ

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