Defense Medical Exams Springfield Injury Lawyer Blog

More on Inexplicable Testimony By Doctors

One more Dr. caught saying inexplicable things in a deposition. In this case a testified that his in his opinion normal extension of the neck. He indicated that 35° is an accepted norm for cervical extension in medicine.

The plaintiff’s lawyer then was confronted by a deposition with his previous testimony. In that deposition the doctor said that normal was 60°. This is significantly different from 35°. The doctor testified that if he is employed by an insurer to do an examination, and are the requirements, instead of the accepted norms, use the insurance company’s norms. For the testimony go here. I thought the Plaintiff’s lawyer did a great job in making the doctor look foolish. However, it is unfortunate that doctors are permitted to take such unreasonable positions in testimony and get away with it. In the case above, the defense claimed that the plaintiff was exaggerating her injuries. The defense was clearly exaggerating its case by using this testimony.

It is unclear to me why more doctors are not prosecuted. However, in New York, there seems to be several recent instances of it in the news. It may be that the practice is more publicized there. However, in my experience is very common for doctors to say things that I cannot possibly be true. I have numerous instances in my practices of situations where doctors’ testimony cannot be true. I personally met with a vocational expert about two weeks ago. We discussed the doctors in the St. Louis region who were known to say things that could not be true on, on a regular basis. She was no hired gun. She testifies equally for the plaintiff and defense.

In New York there are groups available to go to defense medical examinations (these are called independent medical examinations in Illinois) to monitor the doctor’s activities. For examples of these go here and here. If such a group exists in Illinois, I do not I have not found. I know of none downstate. I would love to see one start in this area.

I recently had a case where the plaintiff petitioner in a workers compensation claim broke a small bone in his hand. The defense hired a doctor to testify that the problem was really a congenital defect, and not a fracture. After the testimony by the defense doctor, the petitioner’s surgeon opened up his hand and fixed fracture. The surgeon knew about that defense doctor’s claim that it was the fracture was just a congenital deformity, so he looked at the fracture in surgery. He wrote in his report, and later testified, that he believed, based on his observation of the bone, that was broken and not congenital. The bone had a chipped appearance that a congenital deformity would lack. The surgeon testified that in his practice he had never seen a congenital bone described by the “expert.” After the surgery the defense expert still took the position that the bone was congenitally misinformed, despite the surgeon’s report.