Ortiz v. Examworks, Inc.Annotate this Case
The personal injury protection (PIP) statute provides that an injured person claiming PIP benefits shall submit to physical examinations by “physicians” selected by the insurer as required to assist in determining amounts due. Plaintiff was injured in an accident while riding in a vehicle insured by Progressive Insurance Company (Progressive). Progressive engaged Examworks, Inc. to arrange an independent medical examination (IME) of Plaintiff. A licensed physical therapist, but not a licensed medical doctor under the Commonwealth’s physician statute, examined Plaintiff. Plaintiff filed this action against Examworks on behalf of himself and similarly situated persons, alleging invasion of privacy and unfair or deceptive practices. The district judge dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the word “physicians” in the PIP statute refers to both licensed medical doctors and also other appropriate licensed or registered health care practitioners; (2) the invasions of privacy associated with the examination in this case were justified; and (3) Defendant’s claim that Examworks engaged in deception by leading him to believe that the physical therapist was a licensed medical doctor as the PIP statute required failed because the PIP statute does not require an IME to be performed by a licensed medical doctor.