Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Middle District Federal Magistrate Judge Predicts How Pennsylvania Supreme Court Would Rule on PIP IME Issue

In the case of Scott v. Traveler's Commercial Ins. Co., No. 1:14-CV-00535 (M.D.Pa. Oct. 6, 2016 Schwab, M.J.), Federal Magistrate Judge issued an opinion addressing the interplay between an insurance policy provision requiring an insured to undergo IMEs as often as may be reasonably requested by the carrier and a provision of Pennsylvania's Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (75 Pa.C.S.A. Section 1796) requiring an insurer to petition the state court with a showing of good cause to obtain an order compelling the insured to undergo an IME.

The federal court noted that this was an issue that had not yet been addressed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court but was a recurring issue in the courts below.

The issue arose in a First Party medical benefits breach of contract case where the carrier denied coverage on the basis, at least in part, of the insured's refusal to attend an IME.

The Scott court predicted that, if faced with the issue, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would find that the MVFRL's provision prevails over the conflicting insurance policy provision pertaining to IMEs.  Accordingly, the court granted summary judgment to the insured on the liability aspect of his breach of contract claim.

The Plaintiff's bad faith claim was found to be barred by the statute of limitations.

Anyone wishing to read this opinion in Scott may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Matthew S. Crosby of the law firm of Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, LLC for bringing this case to my attention.  Attorney Adam Reedy of that office handled the matter.

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