JAMES AND PATRICIA CULLUM v. BAPTIST HOSPITAL SYSTEM, INC. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 13, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James E. Looper, Jr., Jennifer Eberle, John Everette Hall, Jr., and John R. Gerstein, Nashville, Tennessee, and Gabriela A. Richeimer, Washington D.C., for the appellants, Baptist Hospital Systems, Inc. et al.

Attorneys 2:

Joseph P. Bednarz, Sr., Nashville, Tennessee, and Steven Rand Walker, Oakland, Tennessee, for the appellees, James and Patricia Cullum.

Judge(s): BENNETT

The trial court prohibited the use of taped testimony from a prior trial when a doctor exercised his statutory right not to appear at trial, ordering that the doctor “needs to testify live or not at all.” Efforts of the defendants’ counsel to secure the doctor’s live testimony were successful, only to have the plaintiffs’ counsel argue that counsel was being ambushed. The trial court finally determined not to allow the doctor to testify. The issues relating to prohibiting the doctor’s taped testimony and then prohibiting the doctor’s live testimony were appealed, along with other issues that arose during the trial. We find these two testimonial issues dispositive. We reverse the trial court on both issues and remand for a new trial.

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