Plaintiff filed an interesting appeal in an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit that ended in a defense verdict. Plaintiff argued that information regarding the defendant doctor and the defendant doctor’s expert’s service in Iraq was unduly prejudicial. Specifically, Plaintiff took exception to testimony regarding (1) [Defendant doctor’s deployment to the Iraq war that was after the alleged malpractice occurred and; (2) reference to the doctor’s military service improperly influenced the jury by invoking “strong views of patriotism for our troops.”
The standard in Illinois, as in Maryland, is abuse of discretion. This is always going to be a dead bang loser. Sure, it helps defendants to wrap themselves around the flag a bit in defending their case. But background context is going to be admitted by most judges and, either way, their ruling is not going to be disturbed on appeal.
The Illinois intermediate court that heard this appeal agreed with me. You can read the opinion here.