Thursday, January 12, 2017

Judge Minora of Lackawanna County Addresses Requests for Multiple Out-of-Town IMEs


"An injured plaintiff is not a pinata to be poked and prodded until the candy comes out."

In his recent Opinion and Order in the case of Christian v. Weis Markets, Inc., No. 2015-CV-4288 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Dec. 8, 2016 Minora, J.), Judge Carmen D. Minora of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas denied a Defendant’s Motion to Compel a Plaintiff to undergo two (2) independent medical examinations by two (2) separate orthopedic surgeons, one a hand specialist and the other a sports medicine specialist.   Both of the IME doctors were located outside of Philadelphia and this matter involved a Lackawanna County litigation.  

Senior Judge Carmen D. Minora
Lackawanna County

 
In his Opinion, Judge Minora emphasized that Pa. R.C.P. 4010(a)(2), which rule pertains to “Physical and Mental Examination of Persons,” provides for “a,” meaning one, physical exam.  The court did also note that Pa. R.C.P. 4012 may provide more flexibility to the court and allow for discretion to order additional examinations where appropriate.  

But multiple IMEs were not found to be warranted in this case. In somewhat colorful language, Judge Minora noted that “[a]n injured Plaintiff is not a piƱata to be poked and prodded until the candy comes out.”  

Overall, the court found that commonsense, judicial economy, and the minimization of cost and expenses, and the protection of a Plaintiff’s right to privacy and vision by Pa. R.C.P. 4010(a) compelled the court to allow the defense only one (1) comprehensive omnibus independent medical examination to address all of the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries flowing from all of her parts of anatomy.   The court further indicated that the defense could select a doctor from either Lackawanna or Luzerne County to perform the examination.  

 Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

 

I send thanks to Attorney Scott Cooper of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania law firm of Smith Kramer for bringing this decision to my attention.  

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