Thursday, March 28, 2024

Trial Court Rules That Plaintiff Must Cooperate and Answer IME Doctor's Questions That Are Germane

In the Monroe County case of Nelson v. Wilkins, No. 1381-CV-2022 (C.P. Monroe Co. Jan. 26, 2024 C. Daniel Higgins, Jr., J.), the court granted a Defendant’s Motion to Compel a Plaintiff to provide information to the IME doctor during an independent medical examination of a Plaintiff in a personal injury case arising out of a motor vehicle accident.

According to the decision, the Plaintiff had appeared for an examination but refused to answer the IME doctor’s questions, asserting that the questions were allegedly outside the scope of Pa. R.C.P. 4010 about the occurrence of the accident that lead to the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries.

Judge Higgins noted that the rule provides that the examiner is limited to inquiring regarding the facts of liability germane to the issue of damages. The court found that the Plaintiff’s attorney’s position that the IME doctor should not ask questions regarding the history of the accident that could relate to liability and the Plaintiff’s argument that the doctor could avoid the problem by reviewing depositions, police reports, Interrogatories, and other discovery materials “was untenable” because it placed too high of a burden on the IME doctor.

In granting the Defendant’s Motion to Compel in this regard, the Court ordered that the Plaintiff was required to cooperate and answer the questions of the examining doctor.  The court noted that, under Rule 4010, the Plaintiff could have her counsel or other representative present during the examination.

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

Source: “The Legal Intelligencer Case Alert”, (March 20, 2024).

Source of image: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

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