IME Destruction 101: The “Who is it you are REALLY helping” Question
Cross-examining the Defense Independent Medical Examiner, or “IME”, can be a great challenge and may be one of your greatest daggers to kill the defense at trial. During my most recent trial on November 17, the deposition of the insurance company’s IME doctor, Tarek Elalayli, M.D., went so well for us, we decided to use it in the plaintiff’s case in chief. Pointing out the truth, and the hypocrisy of the defense and their hired gun courtroom doctors/experts can really tick a jury off. It certainly did not go as planned when this guy was used by the defense in our most recent trial1. These are doctors that are hired to “help people who hurt people.” I believe this type of doctor is a danger to justice, and I see it as my job to expose the truth. Unapologetically.
One way to show the hypocrisy of these so-called experts is to point out the big lie. The image that most people associate with normal doctors is HERO. But these types of doctors certainly aren’t’ that. They are traitors to people who are legitimately hurt and are trying to get better when they choose to side with the insurance lawyers and take all of that money. They betray plaintiffs for the sake of an almighty dollar.
Why do doctors exist in the first place? To help “people”, right? Well, who is it these doctors are “helping” when they do their defense IME work? You must remember, and point out the truth that the only 2 people these guys help are 1- the Insurance Defense Lawyer, and 2- their own pocketbook.
Think about that. Isn’t it 100% true? One of my favorite “tricks” is to ask the defense IME doctor during the deposition if he knows the defendant by name, which he usually does not. After he has droned on about how this whole injury is allegedly related to pre-existing degenerative disc disease (and not the car wreck at issue), I then ask him why he went to medical school.
He answers the proverbial, “So I could help people get better.”
“Well doctor, assuming that is true, if the jury believes all of your allegations against my client, then who are you helping in this case … besides the defense lawyer who hired you and paid you all this money, and your own pocketbook?”
Then you just remain silent and listen to them stammer.
I don’t care if they know this. It is even better when they know it is coming. I have asked the same doctor this same question multiple times in depositions and their answers get more and more ridiculous. The last answer I received from Dr. Thomas O’Brien was along the lines of (paraphrasing), well, I guess I will be helping your client because she can now take comfort that all her pains have nothing to do with the car wreck we are here about. The Result? A great plaintiff verdict in a soft tissue case. These insurance sell-out courtroom doctors WILL make your case more valuable IF you expose their true motivations and bias in your case.
These IME/Insurance Gold Medal Winners make more money per hour treating insurance company defenses and sucking up to the insurance defense lawyers than they do treating their own patients. They will never reveal how much money they make per year doing courtroom litigation work, and they frequently LIE about the percentage of their annual income derived by doing courtroom litigation work. Dr. Martin Wagner, Neurologist, for example, is all over the map on his income in several depositions (under oath) I have taken, and read, of him. These types of doctors would normally ask their own patients pertinent questions about their injuries, and believe their own patients when they treat them, but do not do the same for the plaintiffs they are being asked to screw over by the insurance companies and their black hat defense lawyers. I see these same doctors over and over, and I have zero respect for these guys. I go after them with a passion.
The most current top list of Insurance Company Darlings are:
- Sean Kaminsky, M.D.
- Dr. Martin Wagner
- Dr. Thomas J. O’Brien
If any of you are attorneys and you are facing one of these guys, contact me. I have several depositions of each of them and I am always willing to share them and point out their inconsistencies. If you have upcoming depositions, please let me know. I am willing to help all of you fight for the truth and expose these guys’ true motivations in doing insurance defense work.
Protecting Your Family
1 Larry Vernon v. Lynn Logistics, tried before Hon. Ross Hicks, Nov. 20-21, 2017, 74CC1-2014-CV-347; Appeal pending; defense claims the plaintiff received too high of a verdict. Stay tuned.