Can I successfully sue a municipal consultant who prejudices a town official against me using false or incompetent advice?
For example, let's suppose I am a developer and I want planning board approval to develop a parcel. The planning board then hires an engineer to advise concerning my development. Now suppose the engineer then makes recommendations against my development and the planning board then rejects my proposal based on the engineer's recommendations.
Now, suppose that the engineer's recommendations are provably incompetent, can I then sue the consultant for harms to my project? By "provably incompetent" I mean that the engineer not only makes false conclusions in his report, but draws conclusions that are outside of his area of competency. For example, suppose in his report the engineer (who is a civil engineer) says things like "the project would cause environmental harms" even though as a civil engineer he is completely unqualified to be making remarks about the environment. Assume for the purpose of the question I can put an expert biologist on the stand that will contradict the engineer and characterize his report as incompetent in regards to its conclusions concerning the biological environment.