State Farm petitions Phila. court to compel insured to undergo medical exam

By Jon Campisi | Sep 7, 2012

An insurance company is seeking to have a judge force the victim of a motor vehicle

accident to undergo an independent medical examination after the man failed to appear for a previously scheduled checkup.

Attorneys for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company filed a motion to compel Aug. 30 at Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas.

The motion, which was filed by lawyers Joseph M. Hankins and Mary G. McCarthy, of Britt, Hankins & Moughan, seeks a court order requiring Vance Napper to appear for an examination at the offices of a Jenkintown, Pa. physician on Oct. 17 of this year.

Napper had been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Philadelphia on July 7, 2010, during which he allegedly sustained neck and back injuries.

Napper initially sought treatment at a hospital emergency room, which was followed up by a visit to his primary care physician, the filing shows.

He didn’t seek follow-up treatment, however, until nine months later when he went to a physical therapy center in late April 2011.

Napper, the filing states, informed his physician at Back on Track Therapy that he had sustained a similar back injury following a work-related accident in 1989 and that that injury never fully healed.

Napper now seeks to recover partial medical benefits for the injuries he allegedly sustained in the July 2010 motor vehicle accident.

On Dec. 8 of last year, the motion states, Napper was forwarded a letter confirming a scheduled independent medical examination for Jan. 6 of this year; he raised no objections at the time.

But Napper never showed up for his appointment, the filing alleges, something that is required under his vehicle insurance policy.

“Given Mr. Napper’s large gap in treatment, similar, prior injuries, and denial of injury from the July 7, 2010, accident, State Farm will be seriously prejudiced in its ability to fairly evaluate the merits of this matter in the absence of an IME,” the motion states.

The motion goes on to state that while no formal complaint has been filed with regard to this action, the court maintains jurisdiction to order an independent medical examination because it is the submission of a claim, and not the institution of legal proceedings, which triggers the insurer’s right to petition the court for an order requiring the insured to submit to a physical examination.


The case ID number is 120900077.

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