On May 15, 2019, Attorney Adam G. Reedy of our law firm had the honor of arguing the case of William H. Scott v. Travelers’ Commercial Insurance Company in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, PA. The case involves Travelers’ denial of Mr. Scott’s medical benefits under his automobile insurance policy because he did not attend an Independent Medical Exam that was requested by the insurance company without a showing of good cause.
Per the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Responsibility Law, any automobile insurance company that wishes to have its insured submit to an Independent Medical Exam must first petition the court, and more importantly, have a showing of good cause, for why they think the insured should submit to an Independent Medical Exam. Assuming the insurance company actually has good cause, the court will then pick a neutral doctor and prescribe exactly what issues are to be addressed at an Independent Medical exam.
In this case, the insurance company never made a showing of good cause, and unilaterally cut off Mr. Scott’s medical benefits in violation of the law.
This law is of critical importance to all Pennsylvania residents who have automobile insurance because it is a safe guard against the insurance company’s ability to force an insured into an Independent Medical Exam by a doctor they hand pick, knowing that the doctor will side with them, thereby allowing them to deny medical bills that are critical to the insured’s recovery after a crash.
How This Case Could Protect Pennsylvania Drivers
As it currently stands, there are clauses in most automobile insurance policies that require their insureds to submit to Independent Medical Exams as often as they may reasonably require, and performed by a doctor chosen by the insurance company, without any showing of good cause for why the insured should submit to the exam in the first place.
Mr. Reedy has already successfully argued that these insurance clauses are void as against public policy because they are in direct conflict with the protections afforded to insureds by law under the Motor Vehicle Act. In the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Honorable Judge Schwab ruled in favor of Mr. Reedy and his client Mr. Scott, holding that such policies are in violation of law and thus unenforceable. As soon as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issues their decision we will provide a prompt update.