Massachusetts Auto Accident Victims’ Chiropractors Now Subpoenaed
In a recent District Court decision in Salem, Massachusetts, the insurance companies won a small, but significant, victory in their never ending battle against the rights of Massachusetts insureds. In a non binding decision to other districts, but perhaps a sign of things to come, District Court Judge Richard A. Mori found that a Chiropractor who failed to appear at a deposition as per an insurance company’s subpoena could not seek payment for medical treatment he rendered to insured victims of a motor vehicle accident.
In this case, a family of three was injured in a motor vehicle collision. The parent and two children sought medical treatment at Kramer Chiropractic, pursuant to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of the insurance policy. Premier insurance refused payment and noticed the doctor’s deposition. The doctor failed to appear, noting that this was a unique request as doctors never have to testify as to their medical treatment and billing to get paid by PIP. Nevertheless, when Premier refused to pay, the doctor filed suit. See Kramer Chiropractic v. Premier Insurance Company in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
In a ruling by the Salem District Court, the Court held that because the doctor failed to appear for the deposition, Premier did not have to pay. Whether this will discourage chiropractors from treating injured victims of motor vehicle accidents, it is too soon to tell. What the insurance companies’ strategies following this decision will be, it is also too soon to tell. However, it is clear that this was a strategic move as the chiropractic bills in this case were nominal and a victory for Premier can be consequential. Stay tuned.