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Case Law Update: Surveillance Videos In Evidence

In Donnellan v. First Student, No. 1-06-2418 (June 24, 2008) the 4th division affirmed the trial court and held that a Six Million Dollar verdict for plaintiff, who suffered traumatic brain injury when his cargo van was struck from behind by school bus is not excessive despite lack of claim for wage loss. Further, trial court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed day in the life film to be used as demonstrative evidence but rejected defendant’s surveillance video.

The surveillance video, because of obstructions to view and editing, had great potential to unreasonably prejudice the plaintiff. In addition, testimony of physician at Frye hearing that he has used SPECT machine as diagnosis tool for over 15 years and that use of test is taught in medical school is sufficient to allow his testimony that plaintiff’s scan is consistent with traumatic brain injury under both Daubert and Frye; and other doctors were properly allowed to testify that they used test results to assist them with diagnosis.