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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    130

    Thumbs up Can You Sue IME Doc for Blatantly Inaccurate Report?

    This is from the NY Times forum today. There's a question and answer section in the comments area. Not to be missed! Check this out:

    QUESTION:

    Could an individual sue the doctor for damages if the information in the doctor's report can be demonstrated to be blatantly inaccurate by anyone with any degree of training (ex. doctor's report directly contradicts pharmaceutical records regarding taken medication, yet cites such records inaccurately)? I know it's not malpractice, but the patient clearly suffers financial, physical, and mental damages as a result of the doctor's error. Destroying a few of these doctors' finances and reputation may go a long way toward fixing the system.

    ANSWER:

    Whether the injured worker can sue a physician for an inaccurate report depends on the relationship of the physician to the employer, on other facts in the case, and on the state in which the inaccurate report is prepared.

    In general, a physician who is employed by the same employer where the injured employee works is protected by the exclusive remedy doctrine, which bars tort suits and makes workers’ compensation the only remedy an employee has against an employer, even if the employer (or the company doctor) is negligent.

    If a physician is not employed by the same employer as the worker, which is normally the situation for physicians conducting independent medical exams, then most states allow a tort suit against the physician who aggravates a compensable injury by malpractice. For example, a South Carolina case (Fuller v. Blanchard) decided that Dr. Blanchard could be sued because he failed to inform Fuller of his abnormal PSA level until his prostate cancer had progressed to the point that treatment options were limited.

    If a physician, who is not a fellow-employee of the injured worker, provides inaccurate information in an independent medical exam, the chances of an employee bringing a successful tort suit against the physician are not good unless the medical reports are grossly inaccurate. There are a few cases that have satisfied this requirement. A Pennsylvania case (Taylor v. Woods Rehab. Serv.) held that an employee could bring a tort suit against a third-party administrator for vocational malpractice and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and by analogy, a suit against a physician for a blatantly inaccurate medical report might be successful in that state. And in a Texas case (Davis v. Medical Evaluation Specialists, Inc.), the court reinstated a tort suit filed by an injured worker alleging bad faith by two physicians who indicated Davis was not disabled although his physician had assessed a permanent impairment rating of 17 percent.

    — John F. Burton Jr., Professor emeritus, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,898

    Default Re: Can You Sue IME Doc for Blatantly Inaccurate Report?

    Frazzled

    O.M.G.!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Can You Sue IME Doc for Blatantly Inaccurate Report?

    I think one of the fastest 'reforms' that could sweep through workers comp programs is if IW's DID have the option to sue not just the doctors who pad their medical file in favor of the IC, but also the IC's themselves.

    It's an unfortunate truth that some of these compassionless humans masquerading as doctors would be more inclined to do right by the patient if there was a 'cop at the elbow' feeling in their reality. And maybe the IC's would act more quickly getting patients benefit checks out if someone was watching them too.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Re: Can You Sue IME Doc for Blatantly Inaccurate Report?

    There is an attorney in Michigan that is trying to do something about this under the RICO law.

    It is basically racketeering and fraud between the employer, insurance company and IME.

    If he wins this case these criminals will face felony charges.

    The employer is Cassens Trucking (I think) and the attorney is Lasser out of Southfield, MI.

    This would be a major victory for injured workers. Perhaps these people will finally be held accountable for all the harm they have brought to the legit injured workers and their families.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Can You Sue IME Doc for Blatantly Inaccurate Report?

    It would be particularly ground breaking if the law allowed closed suits to be reopened and investigated independently, and allow a grandfather clause of some kind that would allow those closed cases in the past to be readdressed.

    The IC's clamor, as do employers, that this would only raise costs to employees. Balderdash. I like what that NY Times series on WC said: That the IC's creating WC policies are involved in the 'wild west of insurance'. They are not regulated as objectively, by outside parties, as they should be. Else they wouldn't get away with screwing IW's AND the employers over. It's because they can exploit BOTH parties that IW's go through what they do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Can You Sue IME Doc for Blatantly Inaccurate Report?

    This entire Masquerade is in the Decade of Destruction.

    And I give you my PERSONAL affirmation of such.

    In another decade you will look back and see all of this ... GONE.
    (P.S.- Realizing I'm extremely Egotistic, I have made such statements before in the past concerning separate issues <g> hehehe)

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