Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sirico v. Cotto case brief

Sirico v. Cotto case brief summary
67 Misc.2d 636 (1971)

Memorandum opinion filed by the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County (New York), relating to an evidentiary issue raised in plaintiff's personal-injury action.

Plaintiff filed a personal-injury action and called a specialist in radiology to testify. However, all that the witness had with him as he sat on the witness stand was a copy of his report, not the actual X-ray photographs that were the bases of the report. Defense counsel objected.

The issues were whether the best evidence rule was violated and whether the witness's expert testimony would be helpful to the jury.

The court held that the testimony was inadmissible.


  • The best evidence rule required plaintiff, seeking to prove the contents of the report, to offer in evidence the original copy of that document, the X-ray. 
  • Since defendant did not, but rather offered secondary evidence, the objection had to be sustained.
Plaintiff's witness's testimony was inadmissible because of the best evidence rule and, further, the testimony would not be helpful to the jury.

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