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:
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.
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