SW Legal studies in Business

Court Must Strike Testimony at Trial Inconsistent with Testimony in Interrogatories
Description Appeals court ordered a new trial in a medical malpractice suit where expert testimony on behalf of defendants at the trial differed from opinions expressed by the expert in interrogatories provided before the trial. Such inconsistent testimony must be stricken.
Topic Court Procedure
Key Words Evidence; Expert Testimony; Disclosure
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The Regalas sued a hospital and various members of its staff for malpractice during the birth of their son, who suffered brain damage during the birth. Doctor John Elliott gave expert testimony on behalf of the defendants. The jury found for defendants on all counts. The Regalas appealed, contending that Dr. Elliott's testimony should not have been allowed.
Decision Reversed and remanded for new trial. Discovery rules that require parties to disclose their expert witness's qualifications and opinions by responses to written interrogatories is mandatory and strict compliance is required. Here, the testimony of Dr. Elliott at trial in favor of defendants' actions during the birth were inconsistent with the opinion he disclosed in prior answers to interrogatories about how the brain damage occurred. To allow this inconsistent testimony violated a "bright line rule" on this issue and was an error by the trial judge.
Citation Regala v. Rush North Shore Medical Center, - N.E.2d - (2001 WL 314777, App. Ct., Ill., 2001)

Back to Court Procedure Listings

©1997-2002  SW Legal Studies in Business. All Rights Reserved.