No Doctor-Patient Relationship Created For Statutory Medical Examinations

In Bazakos v. Lewis, the litigious plaintiff claimed Dr. Lewis injured him when the doctor examined plaintiff during an independent medical examination performed on behalf of tortfeasors in a separate personal injury action stemming from a motor vehicle accident. The trial court dismissed this negligence action deeming it “founded in medical malpractice” bound by a 2 ½- year statute of limitations that was untimely commenced. The Appellate Division, Second Department reversed finding plaintiff’s claim was properly brought as a negligence action and timely filed within the 3-year statute of limitations.

This decision examines the relationship inherent in the performance of a statutory medical examination, the legislative intent of a shorter statute of limitations for malpractice claims and the legal principle of stare decisis.