Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Make Sure You Preserve Objections At Video Deposition of Doctor For Trial

In the case of Talmadge v. Ervin, No. 1070 MDA 2019 (Pa. Super. July 28, 2020 Stabile, J., Lazarus, J., and Stevens, P.J.E.) (Op. by Stabile, J.), the court reversed a Plaintiff’s Post-Trial Motions after the entry of a verdict in favor of the defense in a medical malpractice case. 

This Opinion offers a cautionary tale on asserting objections at trial depositions of experts. 

The Superior Court ruled that the Plaintiffs should have been allowed to introduce a hearsay document at trial concerning the amount of a drug that the decedent had taken because the defense counsel did not make a sufficient objection to that document at the trial deposition where the document was introduced. It was noted that the parties did not enter into any stipulation at the deposition to reserve any objections until the time of trial. 

The court noted that, since the amount of the drug that the decedent had taken was an important issue in the case, the exclusion of that evidence could not have been harmless error. 

The court referred the case back for a retrial and noted that the Defendant may reassert the hearsay objection at the retrial. 

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

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