Medical experts and conflicting medical opinions
Harper v McCall, App. Div., Third Dept., 277 AD2d 589
Pauline Harper challenged the rejection of her applications for ordinary and accidental disability retirement benefits by the New York State Employees’ Retirement System, contending that the Comptroller should have considered the expert medical opinion of her physician in making his determination.
Harper, a school bus driver, claimed that she was permanently disabled due to a neck condition. Her personal physician said that Harper was permanently incapacitated from performing the duties of a school bus driver as a result of a degenerative arthritic condition in her neck that was asymptomatic prior to a 1994 work-related accident that aggravated the condition.
The retirement system’s expert testified that, while Harper exhibited pain and discomfort when he examined her in 1997, he could find no objective evidence of neurological disease or injury that would cause her subjective symptoms, and he concluded that petitioner could perform the duties of a school bus driver.
The Appellate Division rejected Harper’s appeal, commenting that “[i]t is well settled that [the Comptroller] has the authority to resolve conflicts in medical opinion and to credit the testimony of one expert over that of another and may rely on an expert opinion based on a review of medical records and a physical examination is generally credible evidence.”
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.