Doctor's Testimony Regarding Causation of Heart Attack ''set Aside'' As He Had Never Treated the Employee for a Heart Condition

In Ghere v. Industrial Comm'n, 278 Ill. App. 3d 840, 663 N.E.2d 1046, 215 Ill. Dec. 532 (1996), the employee died of a heart attack while working for the employer. The employee's doctor testified that while he treated the employee on several occasions, he never treated the employee for heart problems. The arbitrator sustained the employer's objection to the doctor's testimony regarding whether the employee's work activities or environment could or might have precipitated his heart attack, because the opinions were not furnished to the employer 48 hours prior to the hearing, in violation of section 12 of the Act (820 ILCS 305/12 (West 1994)). On appeal, the Ghere court found that the doctor's causation opinion would have gone beyond the contents of his medical records, because there was no mention of causation in the records or that the doctor ever treated the employee for a heart condition. Because there was nothing in the records to put the employer on notice that the doctor had an opinion regarding causation that the employer could have requested, the arbitrator's exclusion of such testimony was upheld. Ghere, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 846, 663 N.E.2d at 1046.