Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Broad Evidentiary Rules for Admissibility of Medical Reports

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has affirmed the broad admissibility of certified medical reports under M.G.L. c. 233, § 79G. The case, O’Malley v. Soske, Appeals Court No. 09-P-315, (March 31, 2010), is an important reminder of the intent of the legislature when the statute was amended in 1988. In short, in any proceeding commenced in any court, commission or agency, the judge should admit properly certified medical reports.

The plaintiff was injured in a car accident in Boston. She claimed that she suffered neck and back injuries, and required surgery. The defendant contested the nature of the injuries.

The court upheld the admission into evidence of the report of Dr. Lupien, an orthopedic surgeon, who is usually identified as a defense expert, who had examined the plaintiff for the defendant. His opinion was that the accident had not caused serious trauma. The plaintiff lost at trial on the issue of medical causation and her lawyer appealed. The Appeals Court affirmed the judgment.

For a complete analysis of this case, please see the Practice Alert on our website.