Combating Interference with Independent Medical Examinations

By Andrew J. Petersen

Recently, I was alerted to the continuing problem of plaintiffs’ attorneys who interfere with independent medical examinations (IMEs). When the mental or physical condition of a party is in controversy, the court may order that party to submit to a physical or mental examination by a physician or psychologist. Plaintiffs’ attorneys understand the significance of IMEs and look for ways to counter them. At times, they launch full-scale attacks on physicians. Resisting and interfering with IMEs occur in other ways as well. Insisting on videotaping the IME, insisting on having a representative present for the examination, and arguing over the scope of the IME are some tactics. Defense attorneys are able to fight these tactics in a variety of ways.

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