In Florida, there are rules that dictate when parties must produce evidence in support of their claims and defenses and when witnesses, including experts, must be disclosed. Such rules are designed to ensure a fair trial and to prevent one party from ambushing the other with previously unforeseen information on the eve of trial. If a party fails to comply with deadlines regarding discovery and disclosure, it may have an adverse impact, as demonstrated in a recent car accident case in Florida in which the plaintiff’s late-produced expert was prohibited from testifying. If you suffered injuries in an accident, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney regarding what you must prove to recover damages.
History of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was operating a power chair, was struck by a car when she attempted to cross a Florida highway in a construction zone. She filed a lawsuit against the driver and the construction company, setting forth negligence claims alleging, in part, that she suffered psychological trauma due to the accident. During discovery, both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s expert psychiatrists testified that the plaintiff was not suffering from PTSD and issued reports reflecting that testimony.
It is reported that days before trial, however, the plaintiff produced a second report from her expert wherein the expert stated the plaintiff suffered from PTSD and that it was caused by the accident. The defendants filed a motion in limine, asking the court to preclude the newly produced evidence, and the motion was granted. The jury found that plaintiff did not suffer any harm in the accident and ruled in favor of the defendants, after which the plaintiff appealed, arguing the trial court erred in precluding her second expert report.