Dennis Lopez v. Broward County Permitting, Licensing & Consumer Protection and Broward County Board of County Commissioners; OJCC# 18-027455; Aug. 30, 2019

There is no entitlement to allow claimant’s attorney and a court reporter or videographer to attend examination with an authorized treating provider.

This case involves a compensable low back injury. The claimant requested a one-time change of physician, which the carrier authorized. However, the claimant refused to treat with the selected doctor because the doctor would not allow the claimant to have a videographer, court reporter and/or claimant’s counsel present for his examination. The judge of compensation claims held that case law instructs us that it is an established principle of Florida law that a person who is required to submit to a compulsory physical or mental examination in an adversarial proceeding or setting is entitled to have the examination attended by her attorney and a court reporter or videographer, subject to the tribunal’s authority to limit attendance for good cause. In this case, however, the judge said that there is no corresponding entitlement in a non-adversarial proceeding and to allow same would lead to “doctor-shopping.” The judge pointed out that one of the goals of the 1993 statutory reforms was to limit perceived doctor-shopping. The judge also said that allowing the claimant to doctor-shop would defeat the underlying purpose of the workers’ compensation system to allow for the prompt delivery of benefits to injured employees.


Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2020 is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2020 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.