Not Permitting Physicians Testimony to Permanency

In Housh v. Bowers, 271 Ill. App. 3d 1004, 1008, 208 Ill. Dec. 449, 649 N.E.2d 505 (1995), the reviewing court considered whether the trial court had erred in allowing evidence of the plaintiff's prior felony conviction and in failing to permit testimony from two physicians as to permanency where nearly three years had passed since the physicians' last examination of the plaintiff. The reviewing court held that the testimony concerning the felony conviction was improper and remanded the cause for a new trial. To avoid a later appeal on the issue of the propriety of the physicians' testimony, the reviewing court undertook review of that issue as well. The court utilized a totality of the circumstances approach in determining whether the testimony should be admitted. The court noted that the plaintiff in Housh had been treated by the two physicians for over a year and that, based on extensive tests, one of the physicians stated that his medical opinion was unlikely to vary if he were to reexamine the plaintiff. The court indicated in dicta that, on remand, the trial court should admit the testimony as to permanency. See also Jones v. Police Board, 297 Ill. App. 3d 922, 933, 232 Ill. Dec. 134, 697 N.E.2d 876 (1998) (psychologist permitted to testify that police officer was not fit to return to work despite a 14-month gap between his last exam and the time of hearing where psychologist had reviewed the reports of treaters who later examined the officer, and the court found that the psychologist's conclusions were supported by other testimony).