Painful IME

Goldson v Mann, 173 AD3d 410 [1st Dept. 2019]

Defendant failed to meet his prima facie burden of demonstrating that he did not depart from good and accepted medical practice in examining plaintiff during an independent medical examination (IME), or that any such departure was not a proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury to her left shoulder (see Scalisi v Oberlander, 96 AD3d 106, 120 [1st Dept 2012]). Defendant’s expert affirmation, which relied on defendant’s testimony regarding his custom and practice of examining patients during his IMEs, was insufficient. Defendant’s testimony did not establish a deliberate and repetitive practice sufficient to show evidence of his behavior during plaintiff’s examination, as he testified that his examination varied depending on the examinee (see Rivera v Anilesh, 8 NY3d 627, 634 [2007]). Therefore, the expert’s reliance on such testimony to conclude that defendant had not deviated from the accepted standard of care rendered his affirmation insufficient (compare id. at 635-636).

Defendant’s expert also failed to establish that defendant did not cause or exacerbate plaintiff’s left shoulder condition. He failed to address differences in plaintiff’s MRI findings or statements made by plaintiff’s treating physician, which suggested that plaintiff had suffered a new injury after the IME. The expert also ignored plaintiff’s testimony that defendant had forcefully pushed her left arm over her head and caused a new injury (see Wasserman v Carella, 307 AD2d 225, 226 [1st Dept 2003]), and provided no support for his statement that plaintiff’s post-IME injuries were degenerative in nature, and not traumatically induced (see Frias v James, 69 AD3d 466, 467 [1st Dept 2010]).

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