Alabama Workers' Comp Blawg

  • 24
  • May
  • 2009

SUPREME COURT DENIES PETITION BUT ADDRESSES AUTHORIZED TREATING PHYSICIANS

Ex parte Travis C. Aderhold (In re: Massey Chevrolet, Inc. v. Travis C. Aderhold):

On May 22, 2009, the Alabama Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the employee as a result of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals decision in Massey Chevrolet, Inc. v. Travis C. Aderhold. The prior opinion was previously reported in this blawg on January 23, 2009.  As a short recap, the authorized treating physician referred the employee to two different pain management doctors. One was supposed to handle pain management and the other was simply supposed to perform a procedure. When the procedure doctor tried to perform other treatment not dictated by the authorized treating physician, the employer denied it. the employee sought relief from the trial judge and the judge ordered that the procedure doctor be considered an authorized treating physician. The Court of Civil Appeals ruled that the procedure doctor was not an authorized treating physician because the employee was sent to him for a "limited purpose." Interestingly, the Court of Civil Appeals did consider the other pain management doctor to be an authorized treating physician because the employee had been referred to him for on going medical care.

Although the Supreme Court denied the petition with no opinion, Justice Murdock issued a special concurring opinion in which he asserted that he agreed with the result but disagreed that the doctor providing on going pain management should be considered an authorized treating physician. According to Justice Murdock, only the initial treating physician was the true authorized treating physician.

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