Home > Uncategorized > New Panel Ordered After Late Sup. Report

New Panel Ordered After Late Sup. Report

I have some great news for those of us who keep our calendars handy and our fingers nimbly extended for the purpose of counting.

So you’ve received your panel of QMEs, and, as usual, the panel is stacked 2-1 with employer-hating, insurer-despising, pill-happy, surgery-generous, Almaraz-Guzmaning “qualified” medical evaluators.  Applicant’s counsel quickly strikes the one good QME and you’re stuck with choosing between bad and worse.

Then, of course, Christmas comes early!  The PQME misses his deadline of providing a supplemental report within 60 days of the request, as required by California Code of Regulations section 38(h).  So, naturally, you make your objection to the PQME, providing a copy to opposing counsel, and submit a request to the Medical Director for a new panel, or at least a replacement QME on the same panel.

But the report came in eventually, and applicant wants to proceed on the report.  What result?

Perhaps your recall an earlier post in which an applicant objected to a late report, knocking the PQME out of the running and obtaining a replacement.  But that was an applicant invoking the rules and wanting to play it by the book – can a defendant pull off the same crazy stunt?  Is it at all possible that what is good for the workers’ compensation goose is also good for the workers’ compensation gander?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYT79rBqjrA

(In case you’re wondering, that’s about what a day at the Board looks and sounds like)

Submitted for your approval, dear readers, the panel case of Aida Lopez v. C&S Wholesale Groceries, in which the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board denied applicant’s petition for removal form a workers’ compensation Judge’s order to have the medical director issue a replacement QME or a replacement panel.

The WCJ found that a supplemental report was requested, 60 days had passed, defendant objected and requested a replacement panel, the report came in, applicant wanted to proceed based on the supplemental report.

The Court of Appeal wasn’t too impressed with applicant’s position either, and denied her petition for a writ of review.

Here’s a thought – if you want to keep the QME, and the deadline is coming up, then perhaps you ought to write a letter explaining the deadline and the need for the report.  QMEs don’t become QMEs to get disqualified and would probably welcome the reminder.

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