It is often said that in a battle of opposing medical opinions (treating physician vs. IME), odds are usually in favor of the claimant that her physician’s opinions will be adopted over those of the respondent’s IME. This is not always the case, such as in a victory by Steve Murdock with the assistance of a Dr. Shermer IME opinion.
In a case involving a back strain superimposed on pre-existing degenerative lumbar disk disease and for which medical treatment continued for more than four years, the IWCC drew the line on the date of Dr. Shermer’s second evaluation of the claimant when he determined the claimant had had more than enough treatment for the injury, which he described simply as a lumbar strain, and had reached MMI without any documented basis for additional treatment or restrictions. Several thousands of dollars of medical treatment were incurred by the claimant subsequent to this evaluation, but liability for this was denied by the IWCC as unrelated and unnecessary. The IWCC Commission panel affirmed the arbitrator’s findings in which he adopted Dr. Shermer’s opinions.
We commend the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission for drawing a line in this case and putting a stop to what we believe was unnecessary and unreasonable medical treatment and ongoing functional restrictions that were simply unsupported by the treating medical documentation.