Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Plaintiff's Expert Allowed to Testify as to "Possibility" of Future Medical Care For Plaintiff

In the case of Hamm v. Perano, No. 20-CV-00598 (C.P. Lyc. Co. June 22, 2022 Lindhart, J.), the court denied Defendants’ Motion In Limine seeking to exclude the expert testimony of the Plaintiff’s medical doctor who was expected to testify as to the “possibility” that the Plaintiff would need future medical care.

This matter arose out of a premises liability incident. The Plaintiff was alleging performing yard work on property that she rented from the Defendants when she fell through an unsecured manhole cover and allegedly sustained injuries.

The Defendants asserted in their Motion in Limine that an expert opinion as to the “possibility” of medical care to take place in the future was not admissible.

However, the court agreed with the Plaintiff's argument that, under Pa. R.C.P. 223, the Plaintiff's expert’s testimony was relevant to the Plaintiff’s claim for future non-economic pain and suffering damages. 

The court more specifically noted that the relevant jury instructions incorporate Pa. R.C.P. 223.3 and instruct the jury to consider the type of medical treatment a Plaintiff has undergone and how long the treatment will be required in the future when considering whether to award future damages.

The court also emphasized that the Plaintiff clarified that she was not seeking to introduce the cost of the future treatment for direct reimbursement. Rather, she was seeking to have her expert testify as to her need for continued treatment, which the Plaintiff asserted was relevant to her pain and suffering claim.

While the court denied the Defendant’s Motion In Limine, the court noted that it would consider a request at trial for a limiting a jury instruction to clarify to the jury how they were permitted to take the evidence at issue into account in their deliberations.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Aug. 16, 2022).

Source of image:  Photo by Tara Winstead on www.pexels.com.

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