Ahhh, the Streisand Effect. Apparently Dr. Rosalind Griffin has never heard this phenomenon, which is understandable; not everyone has. However, Dr. Griffin is now experiencing it thanks to her attempts to silence attorney Steven Gursten.
Steve wrote a blog post back in 2014 and asked his readers to decide for themselves whether Dr. Griffin used “hatchet job tactics” when hired by defense attorneys to perform an Independent Medical Examination of his client who was injured in a trucking accident. She was also asked to write a report and testify on her findings.
Understandably, Dr. Griffin was not happy with Gursten’s post, particularly when it started showing up on the first page of Google in searches for her name. Did she file a defamation claim within the one-year statute of limitations? No. Did she file a grievance with the Michigan Bar? Yes. Is it a coincidence she filed her grievance a mere six days after the statute of limitations expired? Your guess is as good as mine.
Unfortunately for Dr. Griffin, Gursten isn’t one to back down when he thinks he’s right (a trait good trial attorneys tend to have). This week, he published a new post about the grievance that dives deeper into Dr. Griffin’s examination of and testimony about his injured client. And now other legal bloggers are posting about the story, likely giving Dr. Griffin more attention than she anticipated or wanted.
While having knowledge about the Streisand Effect is certainly useful, the most important lesson to be learned from these proceedings is the fact that “Independent Medical Exams” are rarely, if ever, independent. There are doctors who are paid handsomely to perform these Defense Medical Exams, and as Gursten noted in his original post about Dr. Griffin:
…Our civil litigation system today creates incentives for insurance companies and smart defense attorneys to use these IME doctors (the more extreme and notorious the better) as a way to save enormous amounts of money on claims for seriously hurt people who often are completely depending on obtaining No Fault and workers compensation benefits.
These IME doctors do enormous damage to people, and they get away with it time and time again.
Doctor Tries To Take Down Lawyer’s Blog Post By Filing Grievance – updated
Grieving Dr. Rosalind Griffin
Doctor Files Grievance Against Attorney Over Blog Post
Can a Bar Grievance Provide Relief Against a Law Blogger When Defamation Law Will Not?