Illinois birth injuries are devastating for the families involved. The birth of a new addition to a family is supposed to be a blessed day, and everyone always hopes that their infant will be born without any problems for the baby or the mother. Unfortunately, our Illinois birth defect lawyers know that many families have their lives forever changed when complications develop during childbirth. These injuries are sometimes unavoidable accidents, while at other times they can be traced back to specific causes which often should have been prevented.
For example, the Seattle PI News reported late last month on a birth injury lawsuit filed by a mother who claims that her son suffered birth defects caused by exposure to solvents used at an facility where she used to work. However, because of restrictions in the state on the rights of victims to present testimony from medical experts, the woman and her son are still fighting to have their day in court. At first courts had ruled that there were limits to what medical experts could be used to prove a case against an insurance company or an employer.
Fortunately, however, last month the state’s highest court reversed those lower court rulings and opened the door for the family to allow their medical experts to be heard at trial. The court ruled that medical testimony should be allowed so long as the methods used to reach those conclusions are scientifically sound. This is a much less exacting standard than the old one which required there to be scientific consensus before such testimony could be heard. The new standard is more logical, in that it allows a jury the opportunity to hear about the disagreement and the facts of a particular case before reaching its decision. Of course, the opposing side is free to present any opposing evidence that they might have. But at least the new standard will not cut off the victim’s right in court simply because there exist more than one scientific opinion on a certain issue.
As a result of this latest decision, the family in this lawsuit will be allowed to have their day in court. However, beyond that it will allow other victims the opportunity to have a similar opportunity to share their story before defense attorneys used the loophole to cut them off before getting a chance to present evidence. As one of the judge’s who supported the unanimous opinion noted, holding otherwise in the case essentially meant that virtually all medical opinions could be argued inadequate beforehand, unfairly limiting the rights of victims to get to the courtroom. The new rule will instead provide judges with more a logical explanation about what level of acceptability a medical opinion must be in before it is allowed to be heard.
The Illinois birth injury lawyers know that there remain many interest groups that work every day to put more roadblocks in the way for all victims who have suffered tremendous harm at the hands of others. Unfortunately, it is often in the financial interest of these large entities-such as insurance companies-to spend resources hoping to take rights away from victims. It is important to fight all of these efforts and ensure that justice and fairness remain. This involves both ensuring legislation is not enacted which limits victims’ rights and pushing for legal rules that respect fairness and common sense.
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