Frances Wilcox v. Publix and Publix Risk Management, No. 1D19-0076, decision date July 3, 2019, Claimant appealed ruling of Judge Walker (Panama City)

Mentioning an expert medical advisor during opening/closing arguments does not establish timely request.

The Judge of Compensation Claims held that the claimant’s mention of an expert medical advisor (EMA) during opening and closing arguments did not constitute a timely request. Florida case law instructs that such requests must be made on a timely basis once a disagreement among the providers becomes known. In this case, a conflict in the medical evidence involving the claimant's hand and wrist occurred as of April 9, 2018, when Dr. Smith, the claimant’s IME doctor, disagreed in his deposition testimony with the February 1, 2018, deposition opinions of the authorized treating physician, Dr. Hoxie. With regard to the claimant’s shoulder, notwithstanding unequivocal opinions made by the authorized treating physician, Dr. Klassen, contained in the medical records, a disagreement with Dr. Smith was known as of October 24, 2018, when Dr. Klassen was deposed. This final medical deposition was taken three weeks before the final hearing, which the judge  found to be sufficient time for a motion to appoint an EMA to have been filed. On appeal, the First District Court of Appeals per curiam affirmed.


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2019

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