Monday, March 19, 2007

Hearsay, no exception.

After having been injured in a boating accident, plaintiff sued for damages. At trial, her treating physician testified that the doctors who had performed an MRI were reliable; that he had used their MRI reports in formulating a treatment plan; and that such reports are generally accepted and used by physicians. Over the defense's objection, the MRI reports were admitted into evidence, not for their truth, but because the treating physician had relied on them. Were the reports properly admitted? No, said the Second Department, in Clevenger v. Mitnick, decided on March 13, 2007. The court cited Wagman V. Bradshaw, 292 A.D.2d 84, as standing for the proposition that the MRI reports are inadmissible hearsay, even though defendant could have called his own expert to refute them.