August 2017 Subrogation Newsletter
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. (MWL) proudly announces the opening of its new branch office in California located at 500 N. State College Blvd., Suite 1100, Orange, California 92868, with convenient access to state and federal courts in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Central Valley. While our national subrogation program still produces tremendous results for our clients by utilizing a Local Counsel Network of contracted law firms strategically located throughout all 50 states, Mexico, and Canada, the volume of recovery work we have pending in California calls for this new branch office on the west coast. The California office will be overseen by MWL’s newest partner, Hector Salitrero, who has for years been handling MWL subrogation work in the Golden State. Hector is licensed to practice law in all state and federal courts in California and is also licensed in Wisconsin.
The Anti-Subrogation Rule (ASR) may be applicable in any case where the tortfeasor has liability insurance with an insurer who is related to or the same as the subrogated carrier. The public policy underlying the ASR, the stated purposes for its application, and the exceptions to its application, must all be understood thoroughly in order to effectively subrogate and to avoid the elimination of subrogation in cases that it otherwise could have been avoided. Knowing which is which can make the difference between a large subrogation recovery and no recovery at all. A link to our 50-state chart that provides an overview of the ASR and sets forth the exceptions to and nuances of its application in each state can be found in this article.
Every year, property insurers write checks totaling nearly $15 billion in response to fire losses, large and small. Fire claims average nearly $50,000 and are the most expensive type of claim filed, followed by hail claims at $11,000. Claims professionals are often slow to remove their claims hat and put on their Sherlock Holmes costume, despite subrogation responsibilities which demand immediate and effective investigation into who was responsible for causing a fire. To make matters worse, the very first decision subrogation professionals must make – choosing an expert – is both the most critical and the one most frequently gotten wrong.
New legislation has just been introduced in Congress regarding driverless cars. H.R. 3388, or the “DECAL Act,” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in late July and was immediately considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill aims to change the rules for highly automated vehicles (HAVs), and contains a savings clause for common law preemption, but fails to properly protect statutory causes of action. Trial lawyers’ organizations, such as the American Association for Justice (AAJ), are working to educate Congress about the importance of preserving remedies for injured consumers.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. (“MWL”) is pleased to announce that Isaiah Richie has joined our insurance litigation team as an associate attorney in our Wisconsin office. Richie is licensed to practice in Colorado and Wisconsin and his practice will focus on insurance litigation, especially nationwide insurance subrogation involving health insurance, Medicare Advantage Plans, workers’ compensation, auto insurance, and property and casualty. Formerly a clerk at the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Arizona Court of Appeals, Isaiah brings with him the precise blend of multi-state experience which is the hallmark of MWL’s 50-state insurance litigation program. His appellate court experience has led to a keen understanding of the fact that the power of the lawyer is the uncertainty in the law. He’s anxious to help that uncertainty work in favor of MWL’s clients.