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Sec. 52-174

Connecticut General Statutes revised to January 1, 2001

Admissibility of records and reports of certain expert witnesses as business entries.

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Sec. 52-174. Admissibility of records and reports of certain expert witnesses as business entries. (a) In all actions for the recovery of damages for personal injuries or death, (1) if a physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist, professional engineer or land surveyor has died prior to the trial of the action, or (2) if a physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist, professional engineer or land surveyor is physically or mentally disabled at the time of the trial of the action to such an extent that such person is no longer actively engaged in the practice of the profession, the party desiring to offer into evidence the written records and reports of the physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician or optometrist concerning the patient who suffered the injuries or death and the reports and scale drawings of the professional engineer or land surveyor concerning matter relevant to the circumstances under which the injuries or death was sustained shall apply to the court in which the action is pending for permission to introduce the evidence. Notice of the application shall be served on the adverse party in the same manner as any other pleading. The court to which the application is made shall determine whether the person is disabled to the extent that the person cannot testify in person in the action. Upon the court finding that the person is so disabled, the matters shall be admissible in evidence as a business entry in accordance with the provisions of section 52-180 when offered by any party in the trial of the action.

(b) In all actions for the recovery of damages for personal injuries or death, pending on October 1, 1977, or brought thereafter, and in all court proceedings in family relations matters, as defined in section 46b-1, or in the Family Support Magistrate Division, pending on October 1, 1998, or brought thereafter, any party offering in evidence a signed report and bill for treatment of any treating physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician or optometrist may have the report and bill admitted into evidence as a business entry and it shall be presumed that the signature on the report is that of the treating physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician or optometrist and that the report and bill were made in the ordinary course of business. The use of any such report or bill in lieu of the testimony of such treating physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician or optometrist shall not give rise to any adverse inference concerning the testimony or lack of testimony of such treating physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician or optometrist.

(c) This section shall not be construed as prohibiting either party or the court from calling the treating physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician or optometrist as a witness.

(1957, P.A. 414; February, 1965, P.A. 235; 1967, P.A. 656, S. 40; 848; 1969, P.A. 215; 1972, P.A. 24; P.A. 77-226; P.A. 78-140; P.A. 82-160, S. 78; P.A. 84-101; P.A. 89-153; P.A. 94-158, S. 1; P.A. 95-42; P.A. 98-81, S. 8; P.A. 99-102, S. 48.)

History: 1965 act added provisions re professional engineers; 1967 acts added Subdiv. (2) re use of written records as testimony where physician, dentist or engineer has impairment of mental faculties which prevents him from testifying and specified evidence consisting of reports, records, etc. is admissible “as a business entry in accordance with the provisions of section 52-180”; 1969 act applied provisions to chiropractors, osteopaths and land surveyors; 1972 act applied provisions to natureopaths and revised provisions to allow use of records, etc. when person is either physically or mentally disabled “to such an extent that he is no longer actively engaged in the practice of his profession” and to make court responsible for determining if person is disabled so that he cannot testify where previously use of records allowed if person was judged mentally unfit to testify upon determination of hospital superintendent; P.A. 77-226 added Subsec. (b) re use of signed report and bill for services as evidence in actions for recovery of damages for personal injury or death; P.A. 78-140 restated Subsec. (b), specifying that report signature is presumed to be that of treating physician, dentist, etc. and the report and bill are presumed to have been made in ordinary course of business and deleting details re subpoena of medical expert; P.A. 82-160 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provisions stating that the section was applicable to actions “pending on October 1, 1957, or which are thereafter brought”, designated the last sentence of Subsec. (b) as a new Subsec. (c), and made minor technical changes to the section; P.A. 84-101 applied provisions to podiatrists; P.A. 89-153 amended Subsec. (b) to add provision that the use of any report or bill in lieu of the testimony of a treating health care provider shall not give rise to any adverse inference re testimony or lack of testimony of such treating health care provider; P.A. 94-158 applied provisions to psychologists, emergency medical technicians and optometrists; P.A. 95-42 applied provisions to physical therapists; P.A. 98-81 amended Subsec. (b) making provisions of section apply to proceedings in family relations matters or in the Family Support Magistrate Division; P.A. 99-102 deleted obsolete references to osteopathy and made technical changes re gender neutrality.

Cited. 159 C. 397. Cited. 177 C. 677, 731, 733. Cited. 211 C. 555, 560.

Cited. 5 CA 629, 630. Cited. 17 CA 684, 689, 690. Cited. 23 CA 468, 474, 477. Cited. 24 CA 276, 283. Cited. 29 CA 519, 520.

Subsec. (a):

Cited. 205 C. 542, 546, 547, 551. Cited. 225 C. 637, 641.

Cited. 36 CA 737, 742.

Subsec. (b):

Statute not limited to resident medical practitioners. 205 C. 542-545, 547-549, 551-554. Cited. Id., 623, 625-629. Cited. 219 C. 324, 315, 335-338. Statute not extended to dissolution case. 247 C. 356.

Cited. 2 CA 167. Cited. 5 CA 629, 632. Cited. 12 CA 632, 633, 635. Cited. 17 CA 684, 686-689, 691. Cited. Id., 684, 687, 689. Cited. 23 CA 468, 474, 475, 477. Cited. 24 CA 276, 284. Cited. 36 CA 737, 741, 750. Cited. 38 CA 628, 629, 631, 632. Cited. 45 CA 165. Cited. Id., 248. Cited. 47 CA 46.

Cited. 39 CS 301, 304.

Subsec. (c):

Cited. 205 C. 542, 545, 547.

Cited. 5 CA 629, 632. Cited. 23 CA 468, 477. Cited. 45 CA 165.

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State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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