August 2015 Subrogation Newsletter
Mediation has become an integral and very effective tool in the arsenal of the subrogation professional. We find that many of our clients have a great deal of mediation experience, and many have attended mediation without the benefit of having subrogation counsel present – with mixed results. For those who attend mediation without the benefit of counsel, I have some suggestions. For clients who prefer not to attend mediation and to instead be represented by counsel and be available by phone for updates and settlement authority, I have a few warnings.
It is entitled “An Act to clarify reimbursement of workers’ compensation insurers to prevent double recovery by injured workers in third-party cases”, but, as with most deceptive titles to pieces of legislation, it’s more of a license for trial lawyers to destroy a time-honored right of reimbursement promised to small businesses across this state. In an obvious play to appease trial lawyers in Massachusetts, Democrat Rep. Claire Cronin introduced a bill that would dramatically change the fundamental makeup of that state’s workers’ compensation reimbursement statute.
The campaign to establish liability under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in connection with subrogation took an interesting turn recently, but ultimately reached another dead end. The federal judiciary has made it clear, time and again, that the FDCPA does not apply to third-party subrogation claims because they are not “debts” as defined by the Act. Yet necessity is the mother of invention and so these futile lawsuits against the subrogation industry continue. The most recent offensive, Kazmi v. CCS Commercial, LLC, was launched – and vanquished – in New Jersey.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. is growing. We are proud to announce the addition of several new attorneys. We appreciate the continued trust and confidence our clients have shown in our abilities to maximize their subrogation recoveries anywhere within North America, and the increased recovery business entrusted to us has necessitated the addition of several experienced new attorneys, including two in our New Orleans office. Please join us in welcoming them.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. has spent more than 20 years compiling a database of more than 25,000 experts throughout North America, broken down by geography, area of expertise, and cost. Our clients know that it is important to have the right expert the moment a claim is made and subrogation is apparent, so one of the services we offer our clients is locating potential experts when requested to do so. Every other month, our Meet The Expert feature will highlight a qualified expert who scores high in all categories and with whom we have had success in the past. This month, we invite you to meet Dr. Jeffrey A. Pfaendtner with Veracis Engineering.