House Bill 4640 History
H. B. 4640
(By Delegate Kessler)
[Introduced February 18, 2008; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §33-2-3 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to the duties of the Insurance
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §33-2-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER.
§33-2-3. Duties of the commissioner; employment of legal counsel.
(a) The commissioner shall enforce the provisions of this
chapter and section fifteen-a, article two of chapter forty-eight
and perform the duties required thereunder; shall affix the
commissioner's official seal to all documents and papers required
to be filed in other states by domestic insurers and to other
papers when an official seal is required; and shall, on or before
the tenth day of each month, pay into the State Treasury all fees and moneys which he or she has received during the preceding
(b) Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the
contrary, the commissioner may acquire such legal services as are
deemed necessary, including representation of the commissioner
before any court or administrative body. Such counsel may be
employed either on a salaried basis or on a reasonable fee basis.
In addition, the commissioner may call upon the Attorney General
for legal assistance and representation as provided by law.
(c) Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the
contrary, the commissioner may request the Executive of the State
Bar to convene a four member committee of representative business
lawyers and labor/plaintiff lawyers to comprise a list of genuinely
independent doctors from all counties of the state to make an
approved plan of independent medical examiners which shall be
utilized in the following ways:
(1) Doctors will be assigned to cases randomly by a method
supervised by the State Insurance Commissioner.
(2) Attorneys will only be permitted to use doctors selected
through the random process.
(3) Any plaintiff or claimant shall be provided within a
two-week period of the request of an attorney, claimant, or
employer or other entity that requires an independent medical exam
to resolve a claim.
(4) There will be a limit of two independent medical exams per
party and expenses for travel to the exam shall be borne by the
party requesting the exam except for the following:
(A) In the case of two offsetting independent medical exams,
a third independent doctor shall perform a third exam within a
reasonable time to conclude the claim.
(B) Independent medical exams shall be requested to amend or
confirm a previous decision after a period of five years by any
relevant party and shall be provided within two weeks of the date
the exam is requested.
(5) Once a favorable decision is rendered and unchallenged or
offset by another doctor, the favorable doctor's treatment plan
shall be started within a reasonable period, whether they render
the treatment of another doctor of the party's choosing renders
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to mandate the State Bar
through the Insurance Commissioner require lawyers to use doctors
chosen for an independent panel.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would