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A.G. v. Guitron

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-30-2011
Case #: S059166
Walters, J., for the Court; En Banc
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S059166.pdf

Civil Procedure: Civil Procedure: ORCP 44C requires plaintiffs to produce all written reports of any examinations relating to the injuries of the claim upon request by defendant, regardless of whether their treating physician, or an expert retained solely for litigation performs the examination.

The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court and court of appeals decisions to exclude testimony of plaintiff’s psychologist. Defendant had requested written reports of treatments and examinations by all healthcare professionals. Plaintiff produced reports from her treating physician, but not the reports of a psychologist retained as an expert witness for litigation. The plain language of ORCP 44C requires that upon request, the claimant shall deliver all written reports of any examinations relating to injuries for which recovery is sought. Plaintiff argued that ORCP 44C only applied to treating physicians and not to an expert retained as a witness. However, the Court found that the broadly encompassing words used in the statute apply to both litigation and treating experts. 44B requires an exchange of expert reports, and that 44C may be redundant is irrelevant based on the plain language of the statute. The court looked to the legislative history of the statute and found that the search for truth was the intent in adopting the rules of expert discovery. Furthermore, an exchange of reports at the outset of litigation encourages settlement and reduces the costs of litigation and eliminates unnecessary examinations. The commentary to 44C supports that interpretation as that rules was expressly designed to impose a duty on plaintiffs to furnish reports apart from any exchange with defendants or any court-ordered examination. Therefore when defendant has requested copies of expert’s reports, a plaintiff is required to comply and produce those reports, or else they are inadmissible. Affirmed.