“Independent” Medical Examiners Chastised for Lying

August 01, 2013 New York Workers Compensation No comment

In Workers’ Comp, personal injury, and other legal forums, insurance companies routinely hire “independent medical examiners” (IME’s) to defend the insurance company from the medical part of a claim. As you should know, IME’s are NOT independent. They are “hired guns” paid with insurance company money.

Recently, a Supreme Court Judge blasted the conduct of two well- known IME’s, Dr. Michael J. Katz and Dr. Robert Israel. I am motivated to write this article because I just noticed that an insurance carrier is trying to cut off the benefits of one of my Workers’ Comp clients because Dr. Michael J. Katz wrote that my client is exaggerating her symptoms.

The problem the insurance company will have when we go to the hearing at the Workers’ Compensation Board is that I will show the Judge exactly who Dr. Michael J. Katz is. And it is not a pretty picture. Just take a look at the case of Bermejo vs. Amsterdam.

In the transcripts of Bermejo v. Amsterdam, plaintiff Manuel Bermejo fell from a Baker Scaffold and suffered a severe ankle fracture that resulted in a fusion of the joint as well as a shoulder injury that required surgery. The court indicated that there was a potential verdict of “several million dollars” based upon Bermejo’s injuries. Dr. Katz, the insurance company’s IME, testified that he likely spent 10-20 minutes on his examination of the plaintiff, but a video revealed that he spent only one minute and 56 seconds examining the plaintiff and could not have made all the findings he testified about within that short amount of time. Justice Hart was concerned with the fact that not only was Dr. Katz dishonest about the amount of time he spent on his examination but also lied as to his findings.

Fact of the matter is, this alert and upstanding Judge caught onto Dr. Katz’ complete dishonesty and found that he had perjured himself in court.

Incredibly, Dr. Katz continued on performing IME exams in other cases—including the one on my client— after the Supreme Court Judge found he had lied! Judge Hart, in Bermejo, in fact, said that “It is like a wound that is festering…when is it going to stop? He is making seven figures doing IME’s. Then he comes to my (courtroom) and lies…”

Interestingly, as a result of Dr. Katz’s perjury, a mistrial was declared in the Bermejo case and the defense firms were sanctioned $10,000.00 each.

In my client’s case, I am ready to show the Workers’ Comp Judge just who Dr. Katz is. And as I said, it’s not a pretty picture. For ANYONE out there who has been examined by Dr. Katz or Dr. Israel as an IME, you should alert your lawyer ASAP so that appropriate action can be taken in your case.

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