Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Court Precludes Admissibility of Exemplar Pictures of a Surgery That Plaintiff Did Not Even Have

In the case of Crump v. Goldsleger, Aug. Term, No. 01434 (C.P. Phila. Co. Jan. 4, 2023 Powell, J.), the trial court issued a Rule 1925 Opinion addressing various issues following a motor vehicle accident trial in which a defense verdict was entered.

Of note was the trial court’s conclusion that it properly denied Plaintiff’s request to admit evidence of photographs that did not pertain to any of the Plaintiff’s injuries. The court found that such evidence was not relevant or probative on the issues presented.

More specifically, in this case, the court noted that the Plaintiff’s credibility had been called into question as the Plaintiff attempted to introduce into evidence pictures of a knee surgery that were not pictures of the Plaintiff’s knee. It was also noted that the pictures did not depicted a type of surgery that was completed on the Plaintiff.

The court noted that, since the photographs of the knee that the Plaintiff sought to introduce were not actually pictures of the Plaintiff’s knee, the court found that the evidence was irrelevant in that any minimal probative value of the picture was severely outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.  The court noted that the only purpose of the photos appeared to be to shock the jury and to attempt to garner sympathy for the Plaintiff.

The court also asserted in its Rule 1925 Opinion that it had properly excluded the expert testimony of the Plaintiff's expert, Dr. Lance Yarus, where the expert had noted a "suspected" knee injury based upon a tele-medicine meeting with the Plaintiff.   The court found that such testimony did not meet the reasonable degree of medical certainty standard.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Feb. 28, 2023).

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