In a ruling in late November 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Sayles v. Allstate Ins. Co., ___ A.3d ___ , 58 MAP 2018, 2019 WL 6138409 (Pa. Nov. 20, 2019), ruled ineffective as against public policy, the standard language in PA auto policies that required insureds to attend PIP medical exams under terms of the auto policy. (A typical policy provision states “If an accident or loss occurs, the following must be done for the terms of the policy to apply: Any person qualifying as an insured under any coverage part of this policy must … submit, as often as we reasonably require, to physical exams by physicians we select.”). While many observers in the defense bar characterize this as “yet another victory” scored at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by the plaintiff’s bar (a not-unreasonable observation), this case in fact is the culmination of a trend pre-dating the current make-up of the Supreme Court. Also, there is concern expressed that the ruling now makes the selection of the medical examiner solely and exclusively within the purview of the court. We think that is an overstatement of the ruling.
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