Admissibility of Counsel’s Referral to Treating Physician Addressed

July 22, 2013

In Fullam v. Miller Bros., Inc., Case No. 13-2410 (C.P. Phila. Co. July 22, 2013 Smith J.), the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas addressed an interesting issue by way of a Pa. R.A.P. 1925(b) Opinion. Plaintiff brought suit against Defendant, alleging she sustained injuries when she fell into a partially covered hole at a construction site located in the University City section of Philadelphia. The jury entered a defense verdict based on the Plaintiff’s contributory negligence. Post-Trial Motions were filed by Plaintiff, which were denied, and ultimately appealed.

The court issued a Rule 1925 Opinion in Support of Order responding to Plaintiff’s issues on appeal. Among those issues, Plaintiff argued that the trial court incorrectly declined to preclude evidence that Plaintiff’s attorney gave Plaintiff a list of treating physicians from which to choose for treatment purposes. The record showed that Plaintiff initially treated with one doctor after the accident, but after one year of still experiencing pain, Plaintiff went to a doctor recommended by her attorney.

The Court stated that the scope of Defendant’s cross-examination of the Plaintiff’s expert doctor to show his bias or interest based upon the doctor’s relationship with Plaintiff’s counsel was admissible under the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence.

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