IME Watchdog Gets Another Favoriable Decision
The above conditions in Baker McEvoy's IME demand have become such a widespread
problem that the law firm has been barred from serving IME notices containing conditions that
purport to exclude a non-attorney representative present at the examination-exactly what has
been protested in the instant case-in a plenary action. See IME Watchdog, Inc. v. Baker, McEvoy,
Morrissey & Moskovitz, P.C, 21822-16E, NYLJ 1202756064297 (Sup. Ct., Bronx County Apr.
19,2016) (granting IME Watchdog, Inc. a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
against Baker McEvoy). On appeal, the Appellate Division, First Department, which had originally stayed the enforcement of an injunction, vacated the stay and permitted the injunction
to go into effect. IME Watchdog, Inc. v. Baker, McEvoy, Morrissey & Moskovitz, P.e., 2016 WL
4133495 (1st Dep't Aug. 4,2016). Thus, Baker McEvoy is also prohibited under this separate
order from the Appellate Division from the exact conduct that is the subject of the instant motion
practice. Although the Appellate Division decision in IME Watchdog was issued in August, Baker
McEvoy never communicated with this Court that it is"not permitted to interfere with a nonattorney's
presence at a physical examination.
Based upon the foregoing, defendants' motion is denied in its entirety. The Court grants
plaintiffs cross-motion to the extent that defendants have waived their opportunity for a DME
based on their refusal to allow a non-attorney representative into the examination room and comply
with this Court's prior orders, plaintiffs cross-motion for costs and sanctions is denied, plaintiffs
cross-motion to permit a representative of her counsel's choice to attend and observe the DME is
denied as moot, and plaintiffs cross-motion striking defendants' answer for failure to submit to
an examination before trial is granted to the extent of conditionally striking their answer unless
defendants produce witnesses for deposition within the next 90 days of notice of entry of this order.
This constitutes the decision and order of this Court.
Read the full Decision & Order Steinbok v City. 10.5.2016.pdf
IME Watchdog Wins in Appellate Divison
IME Watchdog Gets TRO Against Baker McEvoy
Sticks and stones and…attorney disbarment? Will the First Amendment lose out when IME doctor files grievance to conceal her testimony in injury case from the public?
Read more here: http://www.michiganautolaw.com/blog/2016/01/25/ime-doctor-grieves-attorney/
Watchdogs Fall Under Attorney- Client Privilage
Defense firms have continued to send subpoenas trying to get a Watchdog to appear for a deposition. Judge Gavrin ruled that Watchdogs fall under attorney-client privilege.
New Court Ruling
A plaintiff appeared for an IME on March 31, 2014 accompanied by a Watchdog. The IME physician refused to allow the Watchdog to observe the exam. The physician's office showed the Watchdog a letter from the defense firm Baker, McEvoy, Morrissey & Moskovits stating that only the plaintiff's attorney could accompany an examinee and no third party would be allowed. The plaintiff's attorney busted the IME and made a motion to allow the Watchdog to be present for the exam. Baker, McEvoy opposed that motion and lost!
What Some of the Watchdog's Have to Say
An experience I have had where my presence was beneficial to the client occurred during LB's IME. The IME physician, Dr. C, was very friendly and at the start of the intake assured us the process would be smooth and easy. His disarming politeness seemed a little calculated though, and sure enough when then intake started the questions came very quickly. He managed to slip in two about the examinee's work, and if I was not there to stop him, he probably would have continued asking along that line of questioning. Later on before the examination itself, the IME physician tried to start a conversation about what the examinee did during his birthday. He again started this off with a misleadingly amiable recollection that he shared the same birthday, and if I had not stopped him the examinee would also have answered that question. Overall it was not easy to get the examinee to follow the instructions I gave him, and I am sure things would have gone differently if I had not been in the exam room with him.
I represented RC to an IME with Dr. S in Queens. He is a chiropractor and was very suspicious from the moment we came in. He had asked her during the exam to bend forward and she could not but at the end of the exam when he asked her to get dressed, he pretended to leave the room then came back in immediately. He tried to make a point that he caught her bending to put on her boots and that he was going to note it on his report. I told him that what I saw was her holding the wall and slowly bending to one knee in order to get her boot on. Without representation there would be no report to counter his....
There were several times when I felt that I was very useful to the client as an IME Watchdog. I often saw patients at the IME Doctor’s office unaccompanied, filling out intake forms on their own and giving unnecessary info such as accident details, etc. Other times I assisted patients who were unaccompanied and needed an interpreter and on other occasions I was the middle person between the IME Doctor and the patient’s attorney. As an IME watchdog I’m able to prep clients before meetings the doctor, remind them of any instructions from their attorney’s and answer any questions that they may have about the exam and sometimes simply making conversation to calm them of any anxiety while we wait to see the IME doctor.
I arrived at the doctors office in the Bronx, NY for an 11:15 AM IME to find that the doctor has decided to only see patients in his office on Long Island that day. Its a few days after a snow storm, so there's snow piled up everywhere and currently it raining ice. I called up the client’s law firm and the paralegal asked if I could take him to the doctors office on Long Island so I piled him and his wife into my car and drove them to Hicksville, LI, completed the IME and then drove them back to their hotel in the Bronx.
IME Watchdog vs. IME Physician
One of our most experienced Watchdogs Krysbel Quero would like to share some of her thoughts on what its like to go with a client to an IME. She has this to share: We all have a story to tell. Every client has a story, their story. Each story is unique from the next, making every story we hear a different experience every day. Working with different clients gives the job a different feel. Because every story is different [and the client] one never knows what to expect, which causes adrenaline levels to rise, preparing the IME watchdog for anything. Working as an IME watchdog, I've learned that every client wants to be helped, or even heard. There are countless times when clients sit with me in the waiting room, waiting to be called and they trust me enough to tell me what had happen to them, to talk to me, above all. Building trust between the clients and I is one of the many skills I've been able strengthen because it demonstrates compassion and empathy.
When working with physicians can sometimes be a challenge due to their personalities and their 'ways'. However, the challenge only makes me, as IME watchdog, stronger. My experience working with physicians has taught me to be patient and to always be there for the client. Working with client's lawyers, I've learn to listen to what exactly they are looking for. My work's ethic is strong and when a situation calls to work with lawyers, I've been able to handle what the lawyers want.
It's beneficial to send an IME watchdog because it gives the client a sense of tranquility and security. An IME watchdog can make sure the client has the confidence to get through their appointments and help them to tell their side of the story. Not only is an IME watchdog beneficial for the client but also for their lawyers. An IME watchdog is able to make sure the client is not being taken advantage of, in any way.
What Dara Underberg has to say about her experience as a Watchdog: As an IME Watchdog, I have had the experience of working with clients, physicians, attorneys, and interpreters. When I am on an assignment, I know that I am part of a team of individuals who stand behind the client. From the looks on their faces to their overall demeanor, I can tell that the clients are relieved when I explain that I am there to look out for them. It is difficult enough for some clients to visit the doctor, but when the doctor examining them is not even their physician, it helps to have the support, particularly when some Independent Medical Examiners may have their own biases.
The Independent Medical Exam physicians are a varied group. Many are professional and polite, inquiring after the Watchdog about particular topics before posing the questions to clients. Unfortunately, some IME physicians are anything but polite. Some choose to simply ignore me, which, while silly, is perfectly acceptable. Others demand the correct spelling of the my name and want to confirm which law firm has sent me. One physician in particular that I have worked with on a few occasions has made a show of being gracious and friendly to both client and interpreter while acting argumentative and threatening toward me. While it’s not pleasant to be presented with a hostile physician, I know what’s behind that hostility: Fear. The physician simply knows that I will be watching and that there’s no room for error.
If I do run into difficulty, I often turn to the attorneys for assistance. The paralegals are helpful and provide additional support for both myself as well as for the clients.
Finally, the majority of the clients that I see are non-native English speakers, which adds another dimension to the experience. As a Watchdog, I want to make sure that each client is treated fairly and understands in his or her native language what the physician is asking at all times. The interpreters that the attorneys provide are indispensable in ensuring that the client can get her ideas across.
It’s not always easy to be involved in litigation, but I strongly believe that IME Watchdogs make a difference for the clients as well as for the attorneys.
Court denies defesne motion for a new IME based on the credibilty of Dr. Katz. Read the full order here Katz order.pdf
Court denies defesne motion for a new IME based on the credibilty of Dr. Isreal. Read the full order here Parker - decision denying further Dr. Israel DME.pdf
On February 6, 2013, Dr. George Tyson was present at the offices of the attorneys for the Defendant to perform the said neurological examination of the Plaintiff on behalf of Defendant;
On February 6, 2013, the Plaintiff appeared at the law offices of the attorneys for the Defendant, at the scheduled time, accompanied by Gabrielle Papacostas, a "patient advocate" employed by IME Watchdog, Inc. and and agent of Plaintiff's attorneys;
Ms. Papacostas was advices by the attorneys for the Defendant that while she could not remain in the examination room during the examination of the Plaintiff by Dr. Tyson, she would be able to observe the physical examination through the glass doors of the examination room;
This arrangement was not acceptable to Ms. Papacostas who then left with the Plaintiff without the Plaintiff submitting to the scheduled medical examination.
The hereinabove aborted independent medical examination of the Plaintiff resulted in the Defendant bringing the instant motion.
On the record before this Court, it cannot be said that the presence of the representative of the Plaintiff's attorney posed any interference with the conduct of the independent medical examination of the Plaintiff
The hereinabove Court ordered independent medical examination of the Plaintiff is to be conducted at the law offices of the attorneys for the Defendant and in the presence of an attorney for the Plaintiff or a single representative of said attorney which representative can be an employee of IME Watchdog, Inc. read the full decision here.
Notorious IME physician Dr. Michael Katz Testifies
Dr. Katz testified that his typical exam is from 10-20 minutes. A review of 36 IME Watchdog reports shows that on average he spends 4:10.
2-minutes - 1 time
3-minutes - 5 times
4-minutes - 8 times
5-minutes -- 11 times
6-minutes -- 2 times
7-minutes - 3 times
8-minutes - 1 time
9-minutes -- 2 times
10-minutes -- 1 time
12-minutes - 1 time
20-minutes - 1 time
For more on Dr. Katz check out Eric Turkewitz's blog at
Dr. Robert Israel is Temporarily Suspended from Performing IMEs.