Earlier this year, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York wrote that a court can direct an injured plaintiff to submit to an examination by a vocational rehabilitation expert.
In the case,Smith v. Cardella Trucking Co., Inc.,the plaintiff was a laborer employed by a construction company hired to renovate the defendant Pierpont Morgan Library. The plaintiff and his fellow laborers were responsible for cleaning up the construction debris created by all of the subcontractors and placing the debris into wheeled carts. Another defendant, the Cardella Trucking Co., Inc, leased debris carts to the construction company for use at the job site. The plaintiff was injured when a debris cart he was pushing tipped over and trapped his hand between the cart and a doorway. The plaintiff brought a personal injury action against Cardella and the Library.
The Supreme Court granted defendant Cardella’s motion to compel the injured plaintiff to submit to an examination by a vocational rehabilitation expert. The plaintiff appealed this decision. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York then held that the Supreme Court properly exercised its discretion in directing the injured plaintiff to submit to an examination by a vocational rehabilitation expert. Because the record demonstrated that injured plaintiff’s ability to engage in future employment was at issue, an evaluation by a vocational rehabilitation expert was appropriate. The court also held that the order directing the vocational examination did not prejudiced the plaintiff, especially since discovery was still ongoing in the action.
It is highly recommended that a vocational expert is retained in a personal injury case by the Plaintiff of Defendant to help establish damages, but also to avoid costly additional legal procedures such as the appeals in the case discussed above.
The vocational experts at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) have over forty years of experience documenting the income potential and employment capacity of injured individuals. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help in your Personal Injury cases.