The Utah Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that an independent medical examiner who gave his opinion on the condition of an injured worker could not be sued by the worker because there was no connection between doctor and patient.
While working for Park City Plumbing in Park City, Utah, Jeremy Kirk was hit by another driver in 2015 and later treated for symptoms he claimed were caused by the collision, according to documents from Jeremy Kirk v Mark Anderson, MD and Broadspire Services Inc ., Filed in Salt Lake City.
Mr. Kirk's employer organized an independent medical examination of his injuries by Dr. Mark Anderson. After examining Mr. Kirk and reviewed his records, said Dr. Anderson that "the accident caused Kirk a transient cervical strain and that all other symptoms that Kirk complained of or had been treated for since the accident were secondary to pre-existing conditions," the documents state.
Mr. Kirk did not agree with that conclusion and requested a hearing for the Utah Labor Commission, which in 201
Mr. Kirk then filed a lawsuit against the doctor for negligence and negligence. and Broadspire Services Inc., which handled the allegation. The district court granted the motion, on the grounds that “a care provider who conducts an IME is not a so-called obligatory to exercise a duty of care for the person being evaluated, ”and Kirk appealed.
The state Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision
claiming that there was no patient-supplier contract between Kirk and Dr. Anderson.
The court also found no precaution in the alleged damage caused by procedural delays, as Kirk also claimed.
"Our overriding concern today is that there is no clear limiting principle that would prevent experts across the board from becoming responsible when their professional opinions cause delays in the procedure," the judgment said. "We are deeply concerned that this responsibility would cool or suppress honest and unrestricted expert opinions, which have significant societal value."