Physicians: Diagnosis [Impression]

Koch v. Employers Ins. Group [05/19/14] 2014 MTWCC 14 Had Respondent allowed Petitioner’s treating physician to finish his inquiry, ruling out some potential diagnoses, the physician would then have been in the position to opine whether Petitioner’s industrial accident was the cause of her ongoing problems.  If the treating physician ultimately found that Petitioner’s problems stem from something unrelated, Respondent would then be relieved of liability.  However, after this Court held that Respondent was liable, it could not block the physician’s ability to properly diagnose and treat Petitioner by refusing to authorize reasonable diagnostic procedures.

Dvorak v. Montana State Fund [05/05/14] 2014 MTWCC 11 Although Petitioner’s treating physician prescribed her a pain reliever, her treating physician paid almost no attention to her pain complaints until her symptoms significantly worsened nearly four years later.  At that time, the physician took Petitioner off work and referred her to a specialist, and the Court held that this was the point at which Petitioner should have known she suffered from an occupational disease.  The Court noted that the physician’s testimony was that he did not consider making a formal diagnosis until Petitioner’s symptoms worsened, and that the evidence was not clear as to whether Petitioner’s condition actually worsened or whether she suffered from an entirely new occupational disease at that time.

Alberts v. Transportation Insurance Co. [10/12/06] 2006 MTWCC 34 Where Respondent has not shown that the opinions of Petitioner’s treating physician, although differing from other doctors who have examined Petitioner or reviewed her case, are beyond the pale of reasonable medical judgment, the Court finds the diagnosis of the treating physician to be reasonable under the circumstances.

Hall v. State Compensation Insurance Fund [1/13/99] 1999 MTWCC 3 Once claimant's physical condition was accepted as an OD, WCC would not enter debate about whether the diagnosis of the condition was correct. Compensability does not turn on the validity of the diagnosis, but requires only that the claimant suffer an injury or disease of some sort and be disabled as a result.