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Suggested Protocol For Defense Medical Examinations During Covid-19 Pandemic


Marc P. Weingarten, Senior Partner, The Locks Law Firm, Philadelphia

In our practice in Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey, we have a number of cases where, post-COVID19, there has been a request for a defense medical examination (DME). The statutory authority for such an examination is found in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 35, Physical and Mental Examinations. Subpart (a) of said rule requires that if the physical or mental condition of a party is "in controversy" then the party shall submit to an examination by a "suitably licensed or certified examiner." That is the rule which governs all federal courts in the United States. However, each state court has its own set of rules and procedures, which usually, but not always, parallel the Federal Rules. For example, my primary jurisdiction is Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 4010, Physical and Mental Examination of Persons, is quite similar to the federal rule and it governs all state court cases in Pennsylvania. It too requires that the condition be "in controversy" and that the examiner be a "licensed physician, licensed dentist or licensed psychologist."

Documenttype Bulletin
Author Marc P. Weingarten
Year of publication 2020
Language English