Home > Primary Treating Physician, Tactics and Strategy > Mentally Projected, But Totally Unwritten, Objections

Mentally Projected, But Totally Unwritten, Objections

Applicant’s lawyer:  But we objected to the treating physician’s report!

Defense attorney:  No you didn’t!

Applicant’s lawyer:  Well, I was thinking my objection really hard…

Perhaps the dialog didn’t go exactly like that, but this video of a Dilbert cartoon sums it up quite nicely.

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board recently denied defendant’s petition for reconsideration in the case of Harrison v. Gallo Glass Company (full disclosure – the defense attorney in this case is Thomas J. Harbinson, of Harbinson Tune Kasselik)

Applicant’s treating physician gives him the discharge – according to the PTP, the applicant was back to pre-injury status and could return to regular work.  The day after the report was sent to applicant with a denial notice, applicant mailed a request for a new treating physician to the defense.

The rest of the process is typical of going to a panel – proposal of Agreed Medical Evaluators, a panel request, etc.  But there was no written objection to the treating physician’s report…

The workers’ compensation Judge found that the request for a change in treating physician pre-dates the “discharge from care notice,” and applicant’s efforts to change the treating physician, although never communicated to the defendant until after the PTP had conducted an evaluation and made his conclusions, relieved applicant of any duty to object.

In a similar case, the WCAB held that filing a declaration of readiness to proceed satisfied the written objection requirement to a utilization review decision.

So the full effect of this case is that applicants’ attorneys can now prepare requests to change treating physicians, and simply submit them after an applicant reports to his attorney the PTP’s orally communicated findings.  If a PTP visit does not go well, a request for a new PTP can be filed before the doctor even signs his or her report.

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