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January 4, 2009

Lane v. Zurich American Ins. 36 CWCR254 (2008)

By: Vic R. Redula, esq.

Applicant Lane was notified by his employer at the time of hire that it has an MPN and told him how to use it. When he injured his back on the job, he obtained treatment from the doctor of his own choice. The insurance company petitioned the court to order Mr. Lane to be treated by one of its doctors. Mr. Lane refused.

The case went to trial and the Judge ordered that Mr. Lane must treat within the employer's MPN. Mr. Lane appealed.

In a panel decision rendered recently, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board rescinded the trial judge's order and allowed Mr. Lane to continue treating with his chosen doctor but at his own expense.

COMMENTS: This is the preferred way if you have a private insurance which will cover your medical expenses. However, most injured workers do not have private insurance and cannot afford to be treated by the doctor of their choice. This is another reason why SB 899 must be amended to right the wrongs it continue to perpetrate.     

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