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Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 233, § 79 (1959) provides for the admissibility of hospital records, so far as such records relate to the treatment and medical history of such cases but nothing therein contained shall be admissible as evidence which has reference to the question of liability.
The consumer filed a negligence action against the manufacturer asserting that the manufacturer's product, Parnon, was the cause of the consumer's blindness. At trial, the jury found in favor of the manufacturer. On appeal, the consumer complained that the trial judge erred in instructing the jury that they could not consider opinions and diagnoses contained in the consumer's hospital record as independent evidence that his condition was caused by a toxic agent.
Did the trial judge err in instructing the jury that they could not consider opinions and diagnoses contained in the plaintiff's hospital record as independent evidence that his condition was caused by a toxic agent?
The court affirmed the judgment in favor of the manufacturer and held that the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in limiting the testimony to be considered by the jury to the expert witnesses who testified at trial and were subject to cross-examination. The trial judge had discretion to limit the purpose for which the hospital diagnoses could be considered under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 233, § 79.