Independent Medical Examinations: Out-of-State

Perlinski v. Montana Schools Group Ins. Auth. [06/21/11] 2011 MTWCC 16 Section 39-71-605(1)(b), MCA, requires that an IME be set with regard for the employee’s convenience and as close to the employee’s residence as is practical. An IME located several hundred miles and two states away pays little, if any, regard to the employee’s convenience. While Respondent argues that the IME doctor it selected is the most experienced and qualified doctor available, it has failed to prove that no adequate examination could be conducted in Montana. Respondent cannot compel Petitioner’s attendance at an out-of-state IME although it may choose to have the physician travel to Montana to complete the IME as close to Petitioner’s residence as practical.
Stillwater v. Bunch [12/21/06] 2006 MTWCC 43 In Mack v. Montana State Fund, 2005 MTWCC 28, this Court set forth four factors which it would like a party requesting an out-of-state IME to address to facilitate the Court’s determination, and the Court adopts these factors in the present case to determine whether the mandates of § 39-71-605(1)(b), MCA, have been complied with.
Stillwater v. Bunch [12/21/06] 2006 MTWCC 43 Although the Court agrees with Petitioner that the words “within the state” refers to the State of Montana, a complete reading of § 39-71-605(2), MCA, requires that an IME be conducted “within the state or elsewhere,” essentially posing no restrictions on where an IME may be conducted.

Mack v. Montana State Fund [05/18/05] 2005 MTWCC 28 Where an out-of-state independent medical examination is requested, the requesting party must satisfy the Court that an out-of-state examination is both reasonable and necessary. Kruzich v. Old Republic Ins. Co., 2005 MTWCC 12, ¶ 7.

Mack v. Montana State Fund [05/18/05] 2005 MTWCC 28 Where an order for an out-of-state independent medical examination is requested, the requester should provide the Court with information showing the special expertise of the proposed examiner and how that expertise is related and important to the medical issues in the case. Second, the requester should address why it is necessary to employ an out-of-state rather than an in-state examiner. If there are other Montana physicians with the same speciality, e.g., board-certified neurologists, then the requester should explain any additional expertise or qualifications the proposed examiner has that makes the proposed examiner more qualified to address the medical issues in the case than Montana specialists or why the requester has been unable to secure a satisfactory in-state examiner. Third, the requester should provide a short statement from the proposed examiner indicating why an actual physical examination, as opposed to a records review, is necessary for him or her to formulate his or her opinions. Fourth, and finally, the requester should provide information as to the proposed examiner’s prior experience as an expert witness. This latter information is to enable the Court to determine whether the proposed examiner is impartial. Simms v. Montana Eighteenth Judicial Dist. Court, 2003 MT 89, ¶ 33, 315 Mont. 135, 68 P.3d 678.