Journal of the American Medical Association
Ingalsbe, as executor of one Northrup, deceased (120 N. Y. S. 151), the plaintiff, a physician, was awarded by a referee $170 on a claim of $1,744 for professional seryiees rendered to said Northrup during a period extending over 21 years prior to his death. The referee decided that the statute of limitations of the state of New York was a defense to so much of the claim as accrued more than six years prior to the death of the said Northrup, and permitted a recovery for whatever services the
... intiff was able to prove had been rendered within such period of six years. The court considers that the referee correctly applied the statute of limitations. The payments claimed to have been made on account of the services were made by Mr. Northrup's wife, without his knowledge or consent; nor were they, so far as appeared, authorized or ratified by him, so that they did not remove the bar of the statute, or keep the rejected portion of the claim from being outlawed. But the referee, the court holds, erroneously excluded from evidence some of the plaintiff's books of account. These con¬ sisted of divers small hooks or diaries containing original entries of his professional visits. If admitted in evidence they would have tended to show that he had rendered more profes¬ sional services within the six years prior to Mr. Northrup's death than he was able to demonstrate without the aid of such books. Two witnesses testified that they had previously employed the plaintiff from time to time, and that they had settled their accounts with him from his books, and on such settlements found his books to be correct. The accounts thus testified to by these witnesses were contained in four books. The referee found that the accounts of these witnesses as con¬ tained in the boojis were correct, and that the said four books were honestly and fairly kept, but excluded the remainder of the books because they contained no entries of the accounts which were settled by these witnesses. It appeared that the plaintiff kept no clerk, and some of the services indicated by the books had been in fact rendered to Mr. Northrup as found by the referee. The preliminary proof necessary to make the books admissible in evidence was thus brought squarely within the rule declared in Vosburgh vs. Thayer, 12 Johns. 461, and many times reiterated. If these accounts had all been kept in one book, unquestionably such book, after the preliminary proof here made, would have been competent evidence. The fact that they appeared in various books was an unimportant circumstance. What was required within the rule of the Vos¬ burgh case was proof that the plaintiff kept "fair and honest accounts, and this by those who have dealt and settled with him." The purpose of this requirement is to raise a presump¬ tion of the accuracy of the bookkeeping methods, and such pre¬ sumption, when established, is not necessarily limited to the books containing t'e accounts of the witnesses called to estab¬ lish the fairness of such accounts. of the state in which they are con¬ ducted, which is presumed to provide for proper supervision, should be licensed to practice osteopathy. Surely the legis¬ lature did not intend to recognize a school or college which was being conducted in violation of the laws of this state (New York), nor did it intend to recognize a school or college con¬ ducted in any other state or territory in violation of the laws of that state or territory. It will not do to give to the words "regularly conducted school or college" the limited meaning for which counsel con¬ tended, namely, that they have reference only to the regularity of the sessions and continuity of the course of study at the school or college. The word "regularly," as used in legal pro¬ ceedings and statutes" has a much broader meaning, and is ordinarily used in the sense of "duly," which means "law¬ fully," or "legally;" and such, the court thinks, is the meaning that the legislature intended by the use of those words in the provision of the statute involved here. Qualification of Physicians as Expert Witnesses The Supreme Court of Florida, Division B, says, in Copeland vs. State (60 So. R. 621), a homicide case, that a physi¬ cian as witness was allowed to testify to the physical symp¬ toms produced bj' strychnin poison, and to the exaggeratedly congested condition of the abdominal viscera of the deceased which he found to exist on an autopsy made by him of her body shortly after her death, and to state that the conditions that he found might have been produced by strychnin or ergot poisoning. He also stated that he had never had any personal experience with a case of strychnin poisoning; that all that he knew about it was derived from the study of medical books. A motion was made to strike out this evidence on the ground that the witness showed by his testimony that he had not had any personal experience or personal observation in cases of strychnin poisoning, but the motion was denied, and the court does not think that there was any error here, the rule being that, to give an opinion on medical questions, one may be quali¬ fied by study without practice, or by practice without study.