You must object to Qualified Medical Examiner report prior to it being served in order to get a replacement panel
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- March 1, 2022
This is a Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) Panel decision
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.
The applicant suffered an injury to the right wrist and claimed injury to the right upper extremity on February 4, 2020.
There was a panel Qualified Medical Evaluation (QME) performed on January 14, 2021. The report was served on the parties on March 9, 2021. The applicant attorney did not object to the report as not being timely reported prior to it being served. The applicant attorney objected to the QME on March 9,2021 and asked for a replacement QME. The defendant objected.
The parties proceeded to trial. One of the issues was whether the applicant was entitled to a replacement QME due to the report not being submitted within 30 days after the evaluator had seen the applicant.
The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) ruled that the applicant was entitled to a replacement panel evaluation. The defendant filed a petition for removal and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) treated it as a petition for reconsideration.
The WCAB indicated that if the QME fails to issue a formal evaluation prior to the deadline a party may request a replacement panel. The request for replacement panel on the grounds of lateness must be prior to the date the report was served. The party may not wait until the adverse report is served before raising an irregularity that it was not served timely. Here the report was served so the objection was not timely.
Editor: Harvey Brown
Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown
3501 Jamboree Suite 602
Newport Beach, Ca 92660