We might also note that in the last two and a half years this Court has appointed impartial medical experts in approximately a dozen cases where there were sharp disputes between regularly appearing medical experts for plaintiffs and defendants. In every one of these cases, after the impartial medical expert had made his study and reported to counsel and the Court, the case was settled amicably by the parties. This is probably one of the most effective and desirable functions performed by an impartial medical expert.
Such a result is quite possible in the case at bar. If Dr. Sbarbaro writes a report concluding that the plaintiff is indeed totally disabled by reason of the presence of one or more ruptured intervertebral cervical discs, the defendant will have to evaluate this case totally differently and come to grips with what would appear to be a very serious case of total disability. If, on the other hand, Dr. Sbarbaro concludes that there is no evidence of any presently disabling symptoms the plaintiff will have to reevaluate his position. This, of course, will depend almost entirely on the cogency and persuasiveness of the report that is filed by the independent medical expert.
Thus, the use of the independent medical expert very often materially aids in the just determination of the cases by making it possible for counsel, often with the aid of the Court, to come together and make an amicable disposition of the case that might otherwise take a week or more to try.
With respect to the question of whether the independent medical expert will be designated as such to the jury if the case is called to trial, the Court reserves judgment. We may conclude that the doctor is simply to be called as an expert by either party without reference to the method by which he was appointed to examine the plaintiff. That will depend upon the nature of the report itself and upon the actual situation at trial and the Court's conclusion then as to what would be just and fair to the parties to this litigation.
The Court recognizes that no doctor is infallible and that merely because there is a disagreement between doctors, and that a physician appointed as an impartial medical expert agrees with one or the other, does not necessarily mean that the one with whom the impartial expert agrees is right. Accordingly, we will reserve judgment until the conclusion of the trial as to the appropriate jury charge.
The defendant, who is the movant, is required to deposit adequate security to cover the initial examination; and the Court will order that the defendant deposit the sum of $200 to cover the examination, review of the previous medical reports, possible additional x-rays, and the preparation of a report to the Court and to counsel.
The Court believes its order in this matter is supported by the following cases: Hankinson v. Van Dusen and Kraft, No. 12740 in U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, cert. denied 359 U.S. 925, 79 S. Ct. 608, 3 L. Ed. 2d 628 (1959); Porta v. Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Civil Action No. 21,293 in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, aff'd 272 F.2d 396 (3rd Cir. 1959); Dill v. Egan et al., 3 Cir., 292 F.2d 839. See also, Van Dusen, The Impartial Medical Expert System: The Judicial Point of View, 34 Temple L.Q. 1 (1961); Van Dusen, A United States District Judge's View of the Impartial Medical Expert System, 32 F.R.D. 481, 498-520 (1962).