Pontes v. Meyerand
Absent disclosure of a medical report or testimony, a witness or an exhibit, to provide a foundation for admission, a court can exclude autopsy photos of the plaintiff's decedent. The defendant executrix objected to the plaintiff estate administrator's introduction of the medical examiner's autopsy photos, which allegedly show bruises and contusions on the body of the plaintiff's decedent. The defendant argued that the prejudicial effect was greater than the probative value. The plaintiff failed to disclose the medical examiner's report. The court found that the plaintiff did not disclose any expert medical report or testimony, a witness or an exhibit, to provide a foundation for the relevance of the autopsy photos. "In the absence of any proffered foundational evidence," wrote the District Court, "the photographs depicting multiple bruises and contusions on the decedent's body can only elicit speculation and sympathy upon which a jury may not base a verdict." The court granted the motion to exclude evidence of the medical examiner's autopsy photos. The court also granted the defendant's motion to exclude evidence or jury instructions concerning loss of wages, because the plaintiff's decedent, Maria Pontes, was collecting Social Security disability.