The New York Times has a good article today on Independent Medical Examination doctors, including a doctor referred to by New York injury lawyers as “Doctor Says-No.” We have several IME doctors in Maryland that must be related to him because they have the same last name.
The New York Times would not have written this story if it did not have examples of patients possessing the great weapon of the modern age: “I’ve got it on tape.” The article has examples of doctors who told the patient one thing in the evaluation – which the patient’s taped with their phones – and put the opposite conclusion in the report.
In Maryland, our lawyers are seeing a recent wave of IME doctors replacing the old guard of discredited doctors that juries stopped believing long ago. Below are a few tools to fight for your clients to get fair defense medical exams.
My colleague John Bratt is in the middle of a battle in a Montgomery County case where the expert is refusing to meet the same conditions imposed against this same expert by a judge in another case we had with him in Montgomery County. In another accident case, my colleague Rod Gaston has with the same doctor, they ordered the doctor to produce his financial records. Bizarrely, the insurance company withdrew the doctor, but he still filed an interlocutory appeal. I’m looking forward to finding out who has been paying his legal fees for all of this. My bet: the insurance company.
(Note: I have fixed the New York Times link, as requested. Thanks to all for bringing it to my attention.)
The battlefield on this issue has a lot of nuances but what accident lawyers really want is to know how much money the expert makes from doing IME and other legal work and what percentage of the expert’s income derives from working for insurance companies in legal matters. Why? Because juries a smart enough to realize that doctors who make an impressive deal of money doing legal work are far more likely to match the profile of these doctors in this New York Times article.