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Sec. 52-174

Connecticut General Statutes as amended to January 1, 2013

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 licensed under chapter 370, dentist licensed under chapter 379, chiropractor licensed under chapter 372, natureopath licensed under chapter 373, physical therapist licensed under chapter 376, podiatrist licensed under chapter 375, psychologist licensed under chapter 383, emergency medical technician certified under chapter 368d, optometrist licensed under chapter 380, physician assistant licensed under chapter 370, advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 378, professional engineer licensed under chapter 391 or land surveyor licensed under chapter 391 has died prior to the trial of the action, or (2) if such physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, 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, optometrist, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse concerning the patient who suffered the injuries or death, or the reports and scale drawings of the professional engineer or land surveyor concerning matters 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, and in all other civil actions pending on October 1, 2001, or brought thereafter, any party offering in evidence a signed report and bill for treatment of any treating physician or physician assistant licensed under chapter 370, dentist licensed under chapter 379, chiropractor licensed under chapter 372, natureopath licensed under chapter 373, physical therapist licensed under chapter 376, podiatrist licensed under chapter 375, psychologist licensed under chapter 383, an emergency medical technician certified under chapter 368d, optometrist licensed under chapter 380 or advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 378, 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 such treating physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist or advanced practice registered nurse 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, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist or advanced practice registered nurse shall not give rise to any adverse inference concerning the testimony or lack of testimony of such treating physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist or advanced practice registered nurse. In any action to which this subsection applies, the total amount of any bill generated by such physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist or advanced practice registered nurse shall be admissible in evidence on the issue of the cost of reasonable and necessary medical care. The calculation of the total amount of the bill shall not be reduced because such physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist or advanced practice registered nurse accepts less than the total amount of the bill or because an insurer pays less than the total amount of the bill.

(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, optometrist, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse as a witness for purposes that include, but are not limited to, providing testimony on the reasonableness of a bill for treatment generated by such physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse.

(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; P.A. 01-15; P.A. 08-48, S. 1; P.A. 12-142, S. 3.)

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; P.A. 01-15 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re all other civil actions pending on October 1, 2001, or brought thereafter; P.A. 08-48 applied provisions to physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses and made technical changes; P.A. 12-142 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by adding chapter references applicable to licensing of health care providers and making technical changes and, in Subsec. (b), by adding provisions re total amount of bill generated by certain health care providers to be admissible in evidence re cost of medical care and re total amount not to be reduced when provider accepts less than total amount or insurer pays less than total amount, and amended Subsec. (c) by adding provision re certain health care providers may be called to provide testimony on reasonableness of a bill for treatment, effective October 1, 2012, and applicable to all actions pending on or filed on or after that date.

Cited. 159 C. 397. Cited. 177 C. 677. Cited. 211 C. 555.

Cited. 5 CA 629. Cited. 17 CA 684. Cited. 23 CA 468. Cited. 24 CA 276. Cited. 29 CA 519.

Subsec. (a):

Cited. 205 C. 542. Cited. 225 C. 637.

Cited. 36 CA 737.

Subsec. (b):

Statute not limited to resident medical practitioners. 205 C. 542. Cited. Id., 623. Cited. 219 C. 324. Statute not extended to dissolution case. 247 C. 356.

Cited. 2 CA 167. Cited. 5 CA 629. Cited. 12 CA 632. Cited. 17 CA 684; Id., 684. Cited. 23 CA 468. Cited. 24 CA 276. Cited. 36 CA 737. Cited. 38 CA 628. Cited. 45 CA 165; Id., 248. Cited. 47 CA 46. No adverse inference concerning use of written medical reports is permitted in court’s charge to the jury. 65 CA 776. Section does not require that bill for treatment accompany a medical report admitted into evidence. 80 CA 111. Requirements under section regarding admissibility of report were met where there was evidence that the signatory psychologist had treated the patient and had signed the report. Id. Subsec. applies to document on a physician’s letterhead, signed by such physician, who is plaintiff’s treating physician; plaintiff is not required to lay a foundation under the business record exception in Sec. 52-180. 84 CA 667. Where a party seeks to offer an expert’s reports or records into evidence, it is improper for the court to assist in precluding the deposition of an expert. 129 CA 81.

Cited. 39 CS 301.

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