In MacGregor v. Rutberg, No. 06-2829, 2007 WL 582494 (7th Cir. Feb. 27, 2007), a diversity case governed by Illinois law, the Seventh Circuit rejected a defamation claim against an expert witness in an earlier suit. The expert, Rutberg, gave deposition testimony against MacGregor in an Illinois malpractice case in which he suggested that MacGregor had improperly placed surgical tools during removal of a herniated disk, leading to the puncture of the patient's esophagus. Notwithstanding Rutberg's testimony, MacGregor prevailed in the malpractice case and then sued Rutberg for his allegedly false and reckless deposition testimony. Affirming the district court's dismissal for failure to state a claim, the court noted that Illinois, like other states (including Indiana), recognizes an absolute privilege for statements in pleadings or testimony in a judicial proceeding. The court acknowledged that the privilege exists primarily to protect lay witnesses, but concluded that extending the privilege to expert witnesses made sense: "Litigation is costly enough without judges making it more so by throwing open the door to defamation suits against expert witnesses."