December 2013 Subrogation Newsletter
Following an unfavorable decision, New York legislators wasted no time embarking on a rescue mission to save New York’s anti-subrogation statute from ERISA preemption.The statute, originally enacted in 2009, was purportedly an attempt to protect parties to settlements of tort claims from “certain unwarranted lien, reimbursement, and subrogation claims.” Based on the language of the original Act, “unwarranted” seems to have meant “any medical or disability subrogation of any kind whatsoever that the State has not personally created and can legally prohibit.” Faced with the breadth of New York’s restrictions on subrogation and reimbursement in Wurtz, the Eastern District of New York held that the statutory ban was preempted by ERISA and not “saved” by the savings clause. Thus, the law is preempted for self-funded and insured ERISA plans alike.
One of the more common misconceptions one hears in the realm of health and accident subrogation is that, when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, “there is no subrogation in Michigan.” No one can deny that the Michigan No-Fault Act presents an abundance of obstacles for a carrier looking to recover medical and wage loss benefits stemming from a car crash. In spite of those difficulties, health carriers ought to be careful not to categorically write off Michigan auto accident recoveries. Not every rule applies in every case, so staying attentive to facts, coverage, and timing can often lead to diamonds in the no-fault rough.
Just in time for the holidays! Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. announces the formation of its Diversity and Community Outreach Committee. Its first major project successfully collected nearly 50 toys on behalf of Toys for Tots. These toys will be donated to children from underprivileged families in the community, making the holidays a little brighter for those in need. Committee members include: Alejandro Bautista, Stephanie Hill, Lauren Matthiesen, Tim Pagel, and Rich Schuster. The committee is chaired by April Toy and overseen by Ryan Woody.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. would like to thank all our clients and local counsel for a wonderful year and we wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a blessed Holiday Season. Regardless of what Christmas means to you, we hope your Christmas is full of holiday cheer shared with family and friends. For us at Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C., Christmas is just the beginning – a simple, yet wonderful reminder of Christ’s humble beginning as a human child in this world. It’s only a beginning because His birth merely set the stage for the power, glory, and salvation that would be revealed in His life, death, and resurrection come Easter morning. An important part of the holiday season is remembering those who make the holidays meaningful to us. Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. would like to wish you and your family all the happiness and prosperity this Season can bring and may it follow you throughout the coming year!