Monday, March 27, 2023

Counsel's Failure to Edit Videotape Deposition of Expert For Trial As Agreed By Parties Found to be Harmless Error

In the case of Bell v. O’Neill, Oct. Term 2019 No. 03845 (C.P. Phila. Co. Nov. 16, 2022 Foglietta, J.), the trial court issued a Rule 1925 Opinion following the entry of a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff in an automobile accident litigation matter.

The court denied the Defendant’s post-trial motion seeking a new trial and related relief.

In part, the court found that the failure of the Plaintiff to redact videotape deposition testimony of the Plaintiff’s medical expert as agreed to by the parties did not warrant a mistrial.  

In the testimony at issue, the Plaintiff's medical expert stated during his testimony that jurors “can see” with their own eyes the Plaintiff’s injury in the medical imaging.  The court noted that the erroneous playback of this testimony, which was rephrased during the course of the videotaping after an objection was asserted by defense counsel, did not warrant a declaration of a mistrial where other admissible testimony made similar points.

The trial court noted that it had also issued a prompt curative instruction admonishing the jury to disregard the testimony at issue.

The court also found that, if there was an error, it was a harmless error.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (March 14, 2023).

Source of image:  Photo by Sandi Clarke on


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