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News Stories

Physician Abuses Workers’ Comp System in Case of Iron Worker

On June 22, 2016, the workers’ compensation system in the State of California hit an all- time low.

Erick Gonzalez, a 33 year old iron worker sustained a catastrophic spinal cord injury rendering him a quadriplegic. Through the Iron Worker’s Union and the Iron Worker’s Contract, his workers’ compensation case is subject to the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) system. The contract allows the parties both the injured worker and employer/workers’ compensation carrier to obtain second opinions from various medical providers.

The defense attorney, Tom Bradford from Bradford & Barthel utilized the contract to have Mr. Gonzalez examined by Dr. Ronald Portnoff, an orthopedic surgeon. Mr. Gonzalez was transported by van to Dr. Portnoff’s alleged office located at 13801 Roswell Ave., #F, Chino, CA 91710. A quick google search of the address shows the office to be leased to Martin Chiropractic. A check of the City of Chino Business Licensing Dept., demonstrated that Dr. Portnoff does not have a business license to carry out his business in the City of Chino.

Dr. Portnoff, according to the city, is not allowed to practice medicine in the City of Chino without a business license. Nonetheless, the applicant appeared ready, willing and able to be examined and evaluated. Unfortunately, Dr. Portonoff’s alleged office did not have accessibility for applicant’s wheelchair. The building was non-compliant with ADA regulations and Dr. Portnoff indicated he was willing to examine the applicant in his van.

Objection was made by Keith More from the law offices of Berman More Gonzalez and Dr. Portnoff was told that applicant was a human being and had the right to be examined and evaluated in a private office that was ADA compliant. Dr. Portnoff disregarded my instructions and actually examined and evaluated a quadriplegic in an open parking lot.

Above is a picture of Mr. Gonzalez in the parking lot where he was eventually examined and evaluated by Dr. Portnoff. How disgusting is the system that would allow a doctor to evaluate a patient in a parking lot so that the doctor would receive his fees. My question to Dr. Portnoff is “was there no other day that you could have evaluated the patient at an office where you actually have a license to conduct business?” Is this a typical practice of Dr. Portnoff to examine and evaluate patients in a parking lot?