Insurance Law Case Note: Hellessey v Metlife Insurance Ltd

11 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2021

See all articles by Dr Sara Golru

Dr Sara Golru

The University of Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2019


The expert medical evidence in Hellessey was fundamental to the eventual outcome of the case. Counsel for the plaintiff secured their position by selecting three expert witnesses to provide medical evidence of the plaintiff’s psychological state over a six-year period. The defendant’s case suffered due to their reliance on a single expert, who had only examined the plaintiff once. Their case would have greatly benefited from the presentation of countervailing psychiatric evidence. Even absent such evidence, the defendant should have engaged in a more tactical line of questioning in cross-examination that would have prevented the plaintiff’s experts from further undermining the evidence of the defendant’s sole expert. Ultimately, the case serves to highlight the importance of engaging a variety of experts to support your position. There are significant costs and delay associated with engaging multiple experts but, in a case like the present, the number of experts may just mean the difference between winning and losing the case for your client.

Keywords: expert evidence; insurance law

Suggested Citation

Golru, Dr Sara, Insurance Law Case Note: Hellessey v Metlife Insurance Ltd (March 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Dr Sara Golru (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law Building, F10
Sydney, NSW

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