August 2016 Subrogation Newsletter
The amount and dollar value of insurance claims relating to property loss dwarf all other lines of insurance. Subrogation professionals should be aware of the applicable law with regard to recovery of property damage in the jurisdiction they are subrogating in and be prepared to determine and/or prove that certain property holds some unique historical, cultural, or personal value transcending any sentiment the property might hold to its owner. This is sometimes the best way to help courts and juries place a value on some items of damaged or destroyed personal property based upon its actual or intrinsic value. A link to a chart depicting the law in all 50 states with regard to the award of damages to personal property without a typical market value is provided in this article.
On August 8, 2016, the 11th Circuit issued its opinion in Humana v. Western Heritage, 15-11436 (11th Cir., August 8, 2016). It is a major victory for Medicare Advantage Organizations (MOAs) and a major blow to liability insurers. Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer attorney, Ryan Woody, filed an amicus brief for America’s Health Insurance Plans arguing in support of Humana and in favor of an MAO’s right to bring a private cause of action.
Insurance subrogation professionals are routinely faced with minimum limits scenarios that complicate otherwise straightforward subrogation cases. When a third-party liability carrier’s insurance limits are insufficient to pay the claims of multiple claimants, the carrier must begin to assess the hierarchy of the claimants. In order to do this, the carrier must be familiar with the specific laws and procedures in their jurisdiction regarding multiple claims. No matter how you slice it, each state has its own way of distributing the pie.
TAKING SUBROGATION SHORTCUTS MEANS GETTING CUT SHORT: New Louisiana Decision Highlights Pitfalls Of Not Intervening
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. has consistently advised its Louisiana clients to always intervene in third-party tort suits to recover workers’ compensation benefits, as some published opinions have suggested that a workers’ compensation carrier waives its right of recovery if it does not intervene after receiving notice of suit. A recent case from the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals highlights another danger in not intervening.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. (MWL) is pleased to announce that Richard Schuster is now a partner of the firm. Rich focuses his practice on large loss subrogation and product liability cases. He has deep ties to Asia making him one of the subrogation community’s most trusted sources when issues involving foreign products or claims arise. Proficient in Mandarin Chinese, he joined MWL in 2012 after practicing for several years in Asia helping international manufacturers with product liability cases, supply chain agreements, and other business challenges. MWL is very proud and privileged to have Rich become partner in what our clients recognize as one of the premier insurance litigation law firms in the nation.
Nancy A. Case will be presenting a live webinar on Improving Plan Subrogation Language on September 21, 2016 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (CDT). This webinar is free to attend and will assist subrogation professionals and plan underwriters in addressing weaknesses in their plan’s subrogation language which can potentially cost the plan millions of dollars. For more information on this webinar and/or to register for it, click HERE.