Buchholz v. Gratwick Enterprises
February 10, 2015
IME§312 Pre-Existing Conditions Medical Evidence
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Where the hearing officer’s findings that the employee sustained a temporary work aggravation of a pre-existing condition, and that the aggravation had resolved, are supported by a §312 IME and other evidence, the hearing officer is not required to reject the IME opinion and adopt the opinions of treating physicians, especially when the employee fails to put those records into evidence.
Buchholz had a pre-existing osteoarthritis in his hands which he temporarily aggravated at work in August 2012. Dr. Donovan’s IME found that the work-related aggravation had ended by December 2012 and that his ongoing problems were caused by his pre-existing condition. H.O. Collier adopted Dr. Donovan’s opinion and granted Mr. Buchholz only temporary incapacity benefits.
Buckholz appealed, arguing that H.O. Collier should have considered and adopted the medical reports of his PCPs. The panel found that Dr. Donovan gave due consideration to the records he reviewed but that some the records Buchholz raised on appeal were not submitted into evidence and thus could not be considered as evidence contrary to the IME.