Pa. Supreme Court Issues Ruling On Right of Treating Health Care Provider To Attend Defense IME

Date: June 3, 2008

In Knechtel v. W.C.A.B. (Marriott Corporation), 934 A.2d 697 (Pa. 2007) the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed an earlier order issued by the Commonwealth Court regarding the issue of whether an injured worker’s health care provider may attend and observe a medical examination scheduled by the defendant employer. Jusice Baer, in his concurring opinion, noted that the Pa. state legislature intended to allow the claimant’s health care provider “a first-hand view of the examination process, through attendance and observation”, but also noted that the legislature did not intend to permit the treating health care provider to engage in any active conduct which might disturb the examining physician and the examination process. Justice Baer went on to state that nothing in the Court’s affirmance of the Commonwealth Court’s opinion, “limiting a healthcare provider to attending and observing an employer’s physician’s examination, should be seen as precluding such a provider from engaging in other passive, non-disruptive activity during the exam”. Justice Baer also indicated that a workers’ compensation judge “retains the discretion to grant a claimant’s reasonable request to take notes and/or audio or videotape the examination, so long as such activity will not interfere with an employer’s physician’s ability to conduct an examination”.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.