On September 26, 2011, the WCAB issued an en banc decision in Messele v. Pitco. In short, the WCAB said that a party must wait 16 days after objecting to the treating doctor and offering an Agreed Medical Examiner (AME) before requesting a Panel of QMEs (PQME).
But, on November 22, 2011, the WCAB amended its September 26, 2011 decision to clarify that it shall apply prospectively from September 26, 2011.
“If, on the other hand, a panel request was made prior to our September 26, 2011 decision, which was premature according to that decision, and the opposing party promptly objected on that basis before the September 26, 2011 decision issued, the objecting party is entitled to the benefit of its correct interpretation of section 4062.2(b) because the party timely raised the issue in its own case. We express no opinion at this time as to what constitutes an adequate objection.” [emphasis in original]
Finally, “Our September 26, 2011 decision does not constitute good cause to reopen any order, decision, or award.”
California Attorney: Albert A. Navarra is a practicing lawyer from Newport Beach, CA, a Board Certified Specialist in Workers Compensation law, and a partner at Sapra & Navarra, LLP. Navarra is a frequent speaker about workers compensation issues, and has represented employers in the area of workers compensation for over 10 years. He is also an expert in constitutional law, the author of The Elements of Constitutional Law, and a frequent guest on radio stations across the country. He can be reached at: (866) 384-4891 or Albert@snworkcomp.com.
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