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WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION - PANEL OF FOUR - EX PARTE NICHOLAS KISH

In Ex parte Nicholas Kish, [Ms. 2090224, March 5, 2010] __ So. 3d. __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2010), the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals held that the plain language of the Ala. Code ¤ 25-5-77(a) distinguishes between physicians and surgeons, and thus permits an employee to choose a new surgeon from a panel of four surgeons even if he has previously exercised his right to choose a new treating physician from a panel of four physicians. The Court distinguished Ex parte Brookwood Medical Center, 895 So. 2d 1000 (Ala. Civ. App. 2004) on the grounds that the employee in that case wanted a second panel of treating physicians. Because a panel of surgeons is separately provided for in the plain language of Ala. Code ¤ 25-5-77(a), a panel of four surgeons must be provided in the event that an employee is dissatisfied with the surgeon chosen by his employer - even if an employee has already exercised his right to select a new treating physician from a panel of four treating physicians.

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