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Case Law Update: Motions in Limine in Medical Malpractice (12-28-09)

Martinez, v. Elias, M.D., No. 1-08-0265 (12-28-09) found that the court properly denied motion in limine to bar evidence of a financial motive to perform surgery, which the plaintiff claimed was unnecessarily performed by defendant orthopedic surgeon; it was found to be proper to permit evidence of financial motive in limited and specific manner to address issue of compliance with standard of care. The motion for new trial properly was denied, as the evidence was sufficient for the jury to have established requisite elements, including proximate cause based on testimony of plaintiff and admission of defense expert that surgery caused or contributed to pain after surgery. Remittitur for $100,000 in error, as treating physician testified that fee for necessary future surgery would be $55,000, plus one-week hospital stay and charges for radiology, anesthesiology, and physical therapy, and that testimony was sufficient to support jury’s award of $100,000 for non-itemized future medical expenses. This Illinois case will impact medical malpractice law.