I often remark that I don’t understand some of the rulings from the Industrial Commission. Here’s an example of one I saw recently.The attorney for the insurance company, GAB Robbins, arranged for my client to be seen for an Independent Medical Examination with a neurosurgeon. The visit went well, according to both the rehabilitation nurse and our client, but the doctor was very slow in producing the medical records from the visit. I requested the records, the defense attorney requested the records, and the rehab nurse requested them. None of us got anything from the doctor.

While this was frustrating for all of us it certainly appeared that the delay was based solely in the doctor’s office. Despite this the attorney for GAB Robbins wrote to the Industrial Commission asking that our client, the injured worker, be ordered to produce the records within 15 days or face termination of her weekly checks. To her credit the defense attorney for GAB Robbins told the Industrial Commission that we had made multiple efforts to obtain the records to no avail.

To our amazement the North Carolina Industrial Commission promptly filed an Order stating that if Dr. So-and-so didn’t produce the records within 15 days the injured workers checks could be terminated. How this threat against the injured worker was going to motivate the defendant’s hand-picked doctor wasn’t stated. Allow me to be very clear here: I don’t think the Industrial Commission was trying to be unfair. The problem is that career government types don’t understand the real world of dealing with doctors, adjusters, and all. That’s how a skilled defense attorney can take advantage of the situation to their clients’ benefit.

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner