Medical Records: Objections to

McFerran v. Consolidated Freightways [10/21/99] 1999 MTWCC 63 Trial setting vacated where parties did not comply with discovery deadlines and rules set out in WCC rules and orders. Claimant failed to provide copies of medical records of physician whose opinion he intended to introduce at trial, relying instead on assertion that exchange of copy of opinion letter was sufficient. When surprised by the opinion letter, respondent should have moved for an extension of deadlines set in the Scheduling Order, rather than proceed on the assumption new information produced in response to the opinion letter would be admissible though late. If objecting to late information, claimant should have noted that objection in the Pretrial Order. Litigation in the WCC is not a game of hide the ball. The rules and orders of the Court require full, fair, and early disclosure of information and evidence relevant to the case. Counsel who disregard deadlines and disclosure requirements do so at their peril.

Tuma v. Connecticut Indemnity Co. [10/16/96] 1996 MTWCC 66 The fact that medical records are not presently in a claimant's possession does not relieve him of the obligation to obtain the records or provide a release that will enable the insurer to obtain the records.
Tuma v. Connecticut Indemnity Co. [10/16/96] 1996 MTWCC 66 Claimant ordered to produce medical records related to treatment for alcoholism and/or drug addiction where he claimed the records were privileged, but did not argue they were not possibly relevant to litigation of his claim. Although section 53-24-206, MCA, relates to confidentiality of such records, "[a] claimant for Workers' Compensation benefits waives any privilege of confidentiality in health care information which is relevant to the subject matter involved in his claim." Bowen v. Super Value Stores, 229 Mont. 84, 94, 745 P.2d 330, 337 (1987).