December 2014 Subrogation Newsletter
Subrogating against a criminal is not always a profitable venture. An often-ignored area of recovery for insurance companies with a right of subrogation is the possibility of obtaining court-ordered restitution from a criminal defendant as part of their sentencing. Subrogation professionals are concerned with whether a subrogated carrier is entitled to restitution. The answer to this usually hinges on whether the particular state involved has defined “victim” to include indirect victims such as insurance companies.The right of an insurance company to recover restitution is sometimes set forth in a state’s statutes, but more frequently it is declared in an appellate decision interpreting that state’s restitution laws. A chart which details the restitution laws in all 50 states can now be found on our website’s Subrogation Charts page.
While MWL attorneys are actively pursuing subrogation and reimbursement claims around the country for health insurers and plans alike, we are increasingly being asked to defend clients from out-of-network lawsuits by providers. Recently, MWL attorneys, Ryan Woody and Emil Ovbiagele, successfully defended a health plan that was sued in Colorado for failure to fully pay an out-of-network provider’s charges. Defending these claims can be a lot more difficult as a court may decide that the ERISA preemption may or may not apply. Health plans and TPAs for these plans can expect to see a rise of these types of cases. Thus, they must be proactive and have a formidable plan for defending these claims.
Many of our readers know how frustrating it can be to secure a judgment against a tortfeasor company only to see that company close down. However, an increasingly common scenario sees that same “company” resurrect itself as a new company shortly afterwards. Normally, the law protects successor corporations from the liabilities of its predecessors, and this can hamper collection efforts. MWL has dedicated itself to understanding the law of corporate successor liability and applying its exceptions towards our clients’ recovery efforts. Recently, MWL attorneys, Ryan Woody and Richard Schuster won an important victory for Auto-Owners Insurance Company before the Western District of Wisconsin. The history of the case is interesting.
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!