The Louisiana Court of Appeals, in NITCHER v. NORTHSHORE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, La: Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit 2012 dealt with an orthopedic surgeon, LaBorde, who wrote in his report that the claimant was not totally disabled and could return to sedentary work. The IME physician qualified that statement at deposition when he stated:
However, in his deposition testimony, Dr. Laborde significantly qualified his disability determination by candidly explaining that his opinion was based strictly on Nitcher’s physical orthopedic condition, and that he did not consider other relevant factors that he would have taken into account if he had been her treating physician. He acknowledged that, in rendering his opinion, he did not possess additional information that was available to her treating physician, who was familiar with Nitcher, her overall treatment, and her response thereto. He explained that:
In other words, based on strictly her physical condition, there are three doctors who agree she’s physically capable of sedentary work. If you add into that psychological factors, lack of response to treatment, and inability to get patient back to work of any type for over a period of many years, then that could combine to cause me or Dr. Logan to say she’s totally disabled.
For that reason, he indicated he had no reason to disagree if Nitcher’s treating physician believed she was totally disabled.
The court found the claimant totally disabled.