The MPN battle continues: Life after Valdez

by Timothy W. Rose (July 11, 2012)
with special thanks to Michael D. Peabody, Esq.

          In an attempt to bring some finality to the issues presented in the Valdez decision (at least for the time being), the California Court of Appeal recently addressed the admissibility of non-MPN reports.  In their May 29, 2012 decision (Elayne Valdez v. WCAB and Warehouse Demo Services, 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4023), the Court of Appeal reversed a WCAB holding that precludes the use of non-MPN treating physician reports.  They concluded that "If the Legislature intended to exclude all non-MPN medical reports, the Legislature could have said so; it did not."  In reaching their decision, the court partially dissected Labor Code § 4616 to address what they believe is the true intent behind establishment of MPN’s.  In particular, they focused attention on Labor Code § 4616.6, which discusses the limitation of additional examinations beyond that which is found in Labor Code § 4616.4.  § 4616.4 describes in detail the process of obtaining independent medical examinations after the applicant has sought out second and third opinion examinations upon disagreement with treatment recommendations or medical determinations of the primary treating physician.