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Weeks v. Holsclaw

Filed: January 5, 1982.

PAUL HAIGLER WEEKS
v.
DOROTHY WALSH HOLSCLAW AND GARY LEE WALSH



Appeal by defendants from Wood, Judge. Judgment entered 9 March 1981, in Superior Court, Caldwell County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 12 October 1981.

Arnold, Judge. Chief Judge Morris and Judge Becton concur.

Arnold

Defendants bring forward two assignments of error related to the trial court's admission into evidence of testimony by Dr. Hairfield. First, defendants argue that the court improperly allowed the following question and answer:

Q. Doctor, if the jury should find by the greater weight of the evidence that on or about April 18, 1979, Mr. Weeks was driving a Ford automobile two miles east of Lenoir, at approximately forty miles an hour, and that his vehicle was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by Mrs. Dorothy Holsclaw, and that when his car was struck, Mr. Weeks experienced pain in his neck, back, and shoulder immediately after the collision, and that you examined Mr. Weeks on April 18, 1979, and found the injuries which you have testified to, and that you examined Mr. Weeks on April 23, May 2, May 8, May 24, June 13, August 7, and December 10, and that you found his condition to be as you have testified, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to whether those injuries could or might be permanent injuries which Mr. Weeks will experience for the remainder of his life?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What is your opinion?

A. My opinion would be that after this long a time that they would have some permanency.

Defendants contend that the doctor's opinion was based on the length of time he had observed plaintiff and not on reasonable medical certainty. We find nothing wrong with the admission of his testimony. The witness had been qualified as a medical expert; he had testified about his numerous examinations of plaintiff and of his diagnosis of plaintiff's injury. The doctor's reference to the passage of time reflected one of the bases of his opinion and should not be read to negate his testimony as an expert witness. See generally 1 Stansbury ยง 135 (Brandis Rev. 1973). This assignment of error is overruled.

Next defendants contend that the trial court erred in allowing Dr. Hairfield to testify about his experiences with other patients who had injuries similar to those of plaintiff. The record reveals that defendants objected to the following questions asked of Dr. Hairfield:

Q. Have you had opportunities to examine other persons with similar injuries?

A. Yes.

Q. Doctor, in regard to the report of pain by a person as Mr. Weeks reported the pain, was the report of pain that he expressed consistent with your ...


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