Evidence

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Evidence

EVIDENCE-EXPERTS-OPINION-DEFENDANT DOCTOR Howarth-Gadomski v. Henzes, No. 18 CV 2585 (C.P. Lackawanna November 27, 2019) Nealon, J. Defendant in this medical malpractice case was instructed by attorney not to provide “opinion” testimony.  Plaintiffs assert Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 4003.1(c).   No Pennsylvania statute, rule, or appellate authority entitles a malpractice defendant-deponent to refuse to answer questions soliciting medical opinions, including those regarding the standard of care.  Rule 4003.1(c), the Explanatory Comments to Rules 4003.1 and 4003.5, and our decisional precedent firmly state that such a party-deponent may not object to deposition inquiries on the basis that they seek opinion testimony, and that a defendant-physician need not author a pre-trial expert report since any plaintiff may discover that party’s opinions via an oral deposition.  Consequently, plaintiffs’ motion to compel will be granted and the defendant-physician will be ordered to submit to a second deposition in order to answer medical opinion and standard of care questions.  During that deposition, defense counsel may direct the defendant-physician not to answer a specific question only if that instruction is necessary to assert and protect a recognized privilege, to enforce an evidentiary limitation established by an…