Lira v. Albert Einstein Medical Center Case Brief

Summary of Lira v. Albert Einstein Medical Center, 384 Pa.Super. 503 (1989)

Facts: In this medical malpractice action, husband testified that when one doctor, not a party in this case, was looking down his wife’s throat, he said “Who’s the butcher who did this!" The doctor did not personally testify in the case.

Issue: Was the statement admissible under the res gestae exception to the hearsay rule?

Holding: No

Rationale: This statement was obviously hearsay because it was used to prove that the wife was butchered. But in order for a statement to fit under the res gestae exception, it must be made by a person whose mind has been suddenly made subject to an overpowering emotion caused by some unexpected and shocking occurrence. Here the Doctor was an ear, nose and throat specialist and it cannot be said that his discovery of a throat abnormality was a shocking occurrence causing the specialist to be overcome with emotion. Doctor’s statement was not an excited utterance but a professional opinion. Therefore, not admissible.

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