Law Offices of John C. Lane
Plaintiff Responsible for IME No-Show Fee
A trial judge in Atlantic County, New Jersey, has ordered a plaintiff to pay an IME doctor’s no-show fee after failing to attend her scheduled IME. The decision in McInroy v. Village Supermarket, Inc., was issued on August 25, 2016, and approved for publication on February 14, 2017. It is a decision that we and other defense counsel will utilize as the situation arises.
In a routine personal injury case, plaintiff Anne McInroy was scheduled by the defense for an IME. After failing to attend the examination, she was given another appointment, which she also failed to attend. No excuse was given, and there was no call to defense counsel or the examining doctor to advise that she would be unable to attend. A third appointment was made, well in advance of the examination date, and confirmed in writing by defense counsel, as in the first two. The last letter forewarned that a “no-show” fee would be charged to plaintiff if she once again missed her appointment, which she did, again without prior notification. Defense counsel sought an order compelling plaintiff to reimburse them for the no-show fee. The trial judge agreed.
The judge noted the absence of any existing case law on this issue. But he emphasized that a trial judge may exercise his discretion to order reasonable sanctions for failure to abide by discovery requests. The fee of $375 seemed reasonable to the judge, notwithstanding plaintiff’s protest that she lives on social security. The judge reasoned that the IME doctor lost valuable time because the appointment was not kept, that defense counsel had no control over plaintiff’s attendance, and plaintiff herself offered no excuse for her non-attendance or her failure to advise counsel or the doctor that she would not be able to attend.
© February 2017, Law Offices of John C. Lane