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Tape Record Independent Medical Exams

A decision came down on November 20, 2012 from the Division 1 of the Arizona Court of Appeals. It was the first published workers’ compensation opinion that we have had in a long time. By "published,” that means that we as lawyers can use this case as binding law. The case-Kwietkauski v Industrial Commission- was argued by a non-lawyer. Ms. Kwietkauski had her benefits suspended by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier when they argued that she obstructed an independent medical examination by attempting to tape record the visit. The statute does allow insurance carriers to suspend workers compensation benefits when someone misses or obstructs an independent medical examination. There is previous case law-Burton v Industrial Commission-that allows injured workers to tape record independent medical examinations. That case has been around since 1990. The Court of Appeals ruled in Ms. Kwietkauski’s favor on the Burton case. They went a step further to say that an injured worker does not have to provide prior notice to the independent medical examiner to tape record it. This is a very good decision for injured workers. It gives them a little more protection when dealing with independent medical exams, which are usually adversarial. Please feel free to call us, or e-mail us, or Facebook us with any questions or comments about workers compensation, Social Security disability, employment law, or landlord-tenant.