Submitted: March 7, 2005
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR OUT-OF-STATE IME
Respondent insurer seeks an out-of-state medical examination
of the claimant for purposes of determining whether his
Parkinson's disease or syndrome is related to an
industrial head injury.
The request for an out-of-state medical examination is denied
where the claimant has been examined by three "highly
qualified" Montana specialists and the insurer has
failed to provide evidence indicating that actual physical
examination and testing is necessary to the out-of-state
physicians formulating opinions as to causation, or that, if
further testing is necessary, the special expertise necessary
to conduct such examination and testing is unavailable in
Independent Medical Examination: Generally.
The Workers' Compensation Court will order a claimant to
undergo an out-of-state medical examination only if the
requested examination is reasonable and the medical expertise
needed to address the medical issue at stake is unavailable
in Montana or Montana physicians having the necessary
expertise are unwilling to conduct the examination. §
39-71-605, MCA (2003).
Statutes and Statutory Interpretation. Where
a statute is procedural rather than substantive, the version
in effect at the time it is applied is applicable. Statutes
governing medical examinations are procedural, thus the
statute in effect at the time the Court is asked to order an
examination applies in determining whether the examination
will be ordered.
Constitutions, Statutes, Rules, and Regulations:
Montana Code Annotated: 39-71-605, MCA (2003).
Section 39-71-605, MCA (2003), authorizes the Workers'
Compensation Court to order a claimant to undergo an
out-of-state medical examination requested by an insurer.
However, the request for examination must be reasonable; it
must be necessary to the formulation of the designated
physician's opinions; and the insurer must demonstrate
that the out-of-state physician has expertise in doing the
necessary examination and testing beyond what is available in
Respondent moves for an order compelling the petitioner to
submit to an independent medical examination at the Mayo
Clinic, which is located in Rochester, Minnesota. For the
reasons set forth below, the motion is
The petitioner (claimant) suffered a head injury on August
16, 1988, while working for Blue Ridge Mining Limited. The
respondent insured the claimant's employer at the time of
the accident and accepted liability for his injury.
In 1994 the claimant and the respondent entered into a
settlement agreement with respect to the claimant's
future indemnity benefits. However, the agreement entitles
the claimant to future medical benefits with respect to his
A dispute has now arisen with respect to those medical
benefits. The claimant has been diagnosed with
Parkinson's syndrome or disease (Parkinsonism). Two
Montana neurologists have opined that the claimant's
Parkinsonism is related to his original head injury. A third
Montana neurologist, who performed an independent medical
examination (IME) at the request of the respondent, has
opined that the Parkinsonism is idiopathic, i.e., of unknown
cause, and not related to the claimant's original head
injury. Based on the latter neurologist's opinion, the
respondent has denied liability for medical expenses for the
treatment of the claimant's Parkinsonism. The present
petition seeking medical benefits ensued.
The respondent has requested the claimant submit to a second
IME, this time at the Mayo Clinic. The claimant has refused
the request. The respondent ...