What is a Compulsory Medical Examination or “CME”?
A compulsory medical exam, or “CME”, can be requested of a plaintiff or a defendant during a personal injury trial under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. In Rule 1.360, a party is granted the right to request an examination if there is good cause for the request.
There Must be "Good Cause" For a CME RequestAlthough often referred to as an independent medical examination or “IME,” the defense- requested exam is more accurately referred to as a compulsory medical examination or “CME.” In soft- tissue “threshold” cases, this is often the means by which the defense will try to obtain the evidence needed to convince the jury to return a defense verdict. Whenever a client is being examined at the request of the defendant, you should carefully consider setting the rules for the examination in advance of the exam. The party that asks for the CME results must demonstrate that they have “good cause” to make the request before it will be granted and has the burden of presenting this evidence in the courtroom. Additionally, the rule limits examinations to circumstances in which a given condition is “in controversy,” meaning directly involved in a material element in the case. The idea here is that a defendant who is sued by a plaintiff contending he suffered injuries does not have to accept the plaintiff’s claim at face value. A CME can be requested if the defendant wants proof of your injuries, or believes you are lying or exaggerating the extent of your injuries.
Reasonable Time and PlaceIn Florida, all CME’s must be scheduled at a reasonable time and place. A nonresident plaintiff will probably not be compelled to attend a CME in Florida unless the defense pays for travel expenses. If a CME is conducted, the examined party must be given a copy of “a detailed written report of the examiner setting out the examiner’s findings” upon request. If no report is prepared, the examiner’s testimony can be excluded at trial.