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Washington: Frustration with Claims Management Not Good Cause for Refusing to Attend IME

March 30, 2018 (1 min read)

In a case not designated for publication, a Washington appellate court affirmed an employer’s suspension of workers’ compensation benefits to a claimant who refused to attend an IME schedule by the employer where the claimant requested treatment by a new physician—the existing physician did not recommend further surgery and indicated the claimant had reached MMI—and no new physician had been assigned. The Court determined that the issue of whether claimant had appropriately asserted a right to transfer his care to a new attending physician was not before the Court and it had not been before with Board or the superior court because the claimant had never asked the Department to resolve the issue. The Court noted there were seven exceptions to be considered; otherwise, a change in physician should be allowed. But those exceptions had never been considered in the case. The two issues claimant had raised on appeal presumed that his right to transfer treatment was before the Board and superior court and should have been weighed. It was not. Frustration with claims management is not good cause for refusing to attend an IME.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Pollard v. Department of Labor & Indus., 2018 Wash. App. LEXIS 655 (Mar. 22, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 10.10.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law