When a plaintiff refuses to comply with an order to submit to a medical examination under Rule 35 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, the trial court may refuse to allow the plaintiff to introduce evidence of medical expenses at trial.
In Prewitt v. Brown, No. M2017-01420-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. April 30, 2018), plaintiff was injured in a car accident with defendant. Defendant admitted that he was at least partially at fault, but “disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s injuries.” After initial discovery, defendant “filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 35 motion for an Independent Medical Examination (IME) (sic),” which the trial court granted.
(Note: a Rule 35 examination is not an “independent medical examination” but rather an examination, usually of a plaintiff, by a doctor of an adversary’s choosing. Calling such an examiner “independent” is untrue and unfair. In the typical case, a fairer label would be “defense medical examination (“DME”).)