Janelle Bogue claimed an injury to her back, neck, shoulders, chest, knee and right ankle while employed as an accounting tech for the County of Solano.
On November 3, 2017, the Medical Unit issued a QME Panel in response to defendant’s request.. Dr. D’Amico was the last remaining physician after both parties’ respective strikes. Applicant avers that her attorney called Dr. D’Amico’s office on November 20, 2017, and as the doctor was scheduling beyond 60 days, directed his assistant to request a replacement panel.
On December 13, 2017, defendant sent a letter to applicant advising her that she was scheduled to be evaluated by Dr. D’Amico on February 12, 2018.
Applicant and defendant both sent letters to the PQME describing the issues to be addressed at the evaluation. Applicant attended the February 12, 2018 PQME evaluation as scheduled.
On February 13, 2018, applicant sent a letter to Dr. D’Amico asking him not to issue a report as there was a dispute as to whether he was the correct PQME.
On March 2, 2018, defendant filed a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to an expedited hearing on the issue of applicant’s allegation that Dr. D’Amico should not serve as the PQME. On March 15, 2018, applicant objected to the Declaration of Readiness to Proceed alleging that she had requested a replacement QME panel.
At the expedited hearing, applicant contended that a replacement panel is appropriate as she requested one on December 18, 2017; applicant acknowledges that neither defendant nor the Medical Unit apparently received the request.
Defendant contended that Labor Code § 4062.2 authorized it to schedule the PQME and that Rule 31.3(e) allows the party with the right to schedule a PQME appointment to waive the requirement that a PQME be scheduled in 60 days.
On April 17, 2018, the WCJ issued the Findings wherein he determined that Dr. D’ Amico was duly selected to serve as the PQME and that nothing in the record supports a determination that he should not continue to do so.
Applicant filed a Petition for Removal, which was denied in the panel decision of Janelle Bogue v County of Solano.
Applicant had the initial right to arrange an appointment for an evaluation with the PQME per section 4062.2(d). As she failed to inform defendant that she could not obtain an appointment within 10 days of Dr. D’ Amico’s selection, under the circumstances here, the right to schedule the appointment switched to defendant.
The WCJ thus correctly concluded that he should remain as the PQME.