Superior Court Rules Letters Written To Plaintiff’s Treating Physician Are Admissible

Filed under: Litigation, News, Personal Injury Tags: by Steven F. Fairlie @ September 20, 2010

Pennsylvania Superior Court just ruled that letters written from a plaintiff’s attorney to her treating physician/expert witness are discoverable by the defense.  Such letters are protected by Pennsylvania’s “work product” doctrine, which would normally protect them from disclosure.  However, the court ruled that the defense should have a right to determine whether the plaintiff’s attorney put words in the expert’s mouth and the expert was merely parroting those words back.  In such a case, the  need for disclosure outweighs the need for the work product doctrine, according to the Court.   As a result, counsel should be extremely careful when drafting correspondence to an expert witness.  This applies just as much to the defense as it does to plaintiffs, as letters from defense counsel to their IME (Defense Medical Examination) expert are subject to the same attack.

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