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California: The PQME Process Runs Amok - A Tragic-Comedy

By Robert G. Rassp, Esq. This story is true. The names were changed to protect the guilty. This story is a great example of what is wrong with the panel QME process under Labor Code sections 4062.1 and 4062.2. There are many cases where claims administrators are paying for medical reports and deposition...

California: The PQME Process Runs Amok - A Tragic-Comedy

By Robert G. Rassp, Esq. This story is true. The names were changed to protect the guilty. This story is a great example of what is wrong with the panel QME process under Labor Code sections 4062.1 and 4062.2. There are many cases where claims administrators are paying for medical reports and deposition...

California Panel QME Process: Is It Time to Admit We Are Dealing With a Monster?

A serious question needs to be asked about whether requiring the use of one Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) in a workers’ compensation case, as opposed to the use of “battling QME’s”, has reduced litigation or has actually served to increase litigation. No question, at least...

California: W.C.A.B. Rules ADR 35.5(e) Invalid

The W.C.A.B. has issued an en banc decision on an issue that comes up fairly frequently before the W.C.A.B.—the application of Rule 35.5 to QME where an injured worker has multiple injuries to similar parts of the body with the same parties. Rule 35.5(e) would suggest the employee is limited to...

Psychiatric Injuries Post-SB 863: The PQME Process Lives On

In Hernandez v. Fremont Bank, 2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB affirmed the WCJ’s finding that the applicant bank teller, who alleged that she suffered psychiatric injury as a compensable consequence of an orthopedic injury, was entitled to a panel qualified medical evaluator (PQME...

California: Communications With the AME or PQME

When do communications with the AME or PQME have to be cleared by the opposing side? In Lopez Castaneda v. Forever 21 , 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB, in a split panel opinion, affirmed the WCJ’s finding that the applicant was entitled to a replacement qualified medical evaluator...

California: The PQME Process and the Remote Medical-Legal Evaluation

What is the potential role of telemedicine when it comes to PQME evaluations? In Gonzales v. ABM Industries , 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB panel, denying removal, affirmed the WCJ’s order instructing the Medical Director to replace the originally assigned qualified medical evaluator...