Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Denial of Motion Seeking to Exclude Opposing Party’s Medical Examiner from Testifying at Trial

One of the most challenging aspects of any personal injury claim is preparing for trial. This involves gathering as much evidence as possible and gaining the best understanding of the arguments and evidence that the opposing party will present. There are a number of rules that are designed to make this process as fair as possible, but sometimes disputes arise regarding how the rules should be interpreted. As seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers, we have substantial experience in preparing for trial and will help you secure the outcome that you deserve.

The plaintiff in a recent case filed a complaint seeking compensation for injuries that she suffered while allegedly riding an elevator controlled and maintained by the defendants. The plaintiff had filed a motion attempting to bar the defendants from admitting testimony from the defendants’ examining physician on the grounds that neither the physician nor the defendants provided the plaintiff with a copy of the report that the examiner prepared after examining the plaintiff. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 215(c) sets a specific time limit for when parties must exchange this report in anticipation of presenting the examining physician for testimony at trial.

The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion and the plaintiff filed an interlocutory request to have a higher court determine whether the trial court has the discretion to allow a medical examiner under Rule 215 to testify when the opposing party was not provided with a copy of the report that the examiner prepared within the specified timeframe.

The reviewing court started by looking at the plain language of the rule and noted that it requires the imposition of a penalty for a party’s failure to provide a copy of the report within the specified timeframe. The court also noted that it is critical for courts to strictly enforce discovery provisions like Rule 215(c) so that the parties have a clear understanding of the claims and evidence involved in the litigation. Ultimately, the court ruled that the trial court cannot allow an examining physician to testify if the report has not been mailed or delivered to the attorney for the party to be examined within 21 days after the completion of the exam, or within any extensions provided by the court.

Reviewing the matter at hand, the appellate court reversed the lower court’s order denying the plaintiff’s request to have the medical examiner’s testimony excluded on the basis that the opposing party failed to provide the plaintiff with the report in a timely fashion under Rule 215(c).

If you were injured in a personal injury accident, you may be entitled to compensation. At Therman Law Offices, we proudly provide legal guidance to injury victims and their families on a wide variety of subjects including elevator accidents and car accidents. We will ensure that your rights are being protected at every step of the process and that you are treated fairly. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about our team and how we can assist you. Call us at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started.