December 2017 Newsletter
As the weather starts to turn colder (at least here in the Northern states), our thoughts turn to the holidays and all the joys of the season. Unfortunately, it can also bring on property loss claims involving fires caused by Christmas trees, fireplaces, candles, etc. As with any investigation into the cause of a fire, care must be taken in the initial inspection to identify and recover all potential devices that may have caused the fire.
There is an “uneasy peace” between liability carriers and PIP carriers with regard to PIP subrogation. The uncertainty and potential cost-ineffectiveness of PIP subrogation, combined with the fact that doctors prefer the reimbursement rates from health plans over those of PIP or Medicare, means that Hawai’i sees relatively little PIP subrogation and reimbursement. Notwithstanding all the confusion and disagreement overshadowing PIP subrogation and reimbursement, there is a little known “loophole” that makes PIP subrogation simple and straightforward in certain cases.
On December 11, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court handed injured employees and struggling small businesses in New Jersey a huge victory. In Vitale v. Schering-Plough Corp., A-20-16; 078294 (N.J. December 11, 2017), the Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s ruling that a contractual limitation on the right of an employee to sue a third-party tortfeasor was unenforceable as against public policy. The Supreme Court affirmed that decision, preserving the employee’s right to sue and the employer’s (and its workers’ compensation carrier) right to reimbursement from that lawsuit, despite a written waiver which the employee agreed to.
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. We 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!