Can a Defendant Offer Evidence to Counter a Physician's Conclusion and Argue That Opinion Was Unconvincing on Account of Delay ?

In Marchese v. Vincelette, 261 Ill. App. 3d 520, 526, 199 Ill. Dec. 81, 633 N.E.2d 877 (1994), the court considered whether the trial court had abused its discretion in permitting testimony concerning the permanency of the plaintiff's injuries where there had been a 15-month gap between his last examination and the time of trial. The court noted that 15 months "can hardly be considered 'recent' "but further noted that the physician had treated the plaintiff "over a period of years." Marchese, 261 Ill. App. 3d at 526. Following the admission of such testimony, the Marchese court reasoned, any questions concerning the validity of the physician's opinion must be resolved by the trier of fact. The court pointed out that the defendant can offer evidence to counter the physician's conclusions and can argue to the jury that the opinion was unconvincing on account of the 15-month delay. Marchese, 261 Ill. App. 3d at 527. The court then concluded that the trial court had not abused its discretion in allowing the testimony.