Court rules trial judge erred in limiting chiropractic testimony but still affirms verdict against injured woman
Theresa Wilcox sued Jamie Lee Beals after Beals blew a stop sign causing a car accident. Beals' insurance attorneys argued that Wilcox didn't suffer a "serious impairment of bodily function" and at trial they persuaded the judge to prohibit Wilcox's treating chiropractor from testifying about part of her injuries. The judge also excluded his opinion that she suffered a "serious impairment" and his diagnosis that she was disabled. The jury then ruled that she hadn't suffered any wage loss or a serious impairment, and she appealed. The Court of Appeals agreed with her attorneys that the trial judge had committed multiple errors in limiting her expert testimony, but did not overturn the verdict. It deemed the errors to be harmless.
Wilcox had also objected to the judge's admission of surveillance testimony offered by the defendant after the defendant's attorneys failed to comply with court-imposed discovery and disclosure requirements. The reviewing court concluded that while the defense attorneys had been non-compliant, the video itself was not particularly harmful and the plaintiff attorneys had ample time to investigate its content after the late disclosure. On this basis, the court also deemed the admission of the video not to be grounds for overturning the verdict.