July 2013 Newsletters
In many respects it is as daunting and elusive as the search for the Holy Grail. All 50 states allow for recovery of workers’ compensation benefits paid to or on behalf of a claimant injured in the course of his or her employment. Not a single one, however, enunciates precisely which payments or costs paid by a compensation carrier constitute “compensation” and can be recovered. The result is industry-wide confusion and an ongoing debate and argument with claimants’ attorneys over what can and can’t be included in a carrier’s lien for recovery purposes.
Waivers of subrogation continue to be the bane of effective subrogation programs. Every once in a while, however, a ruling comes along which restores your faith in common sense and the meaning of simple words. The Oklahoma Court of Appeals decision in Frank’s Tong Service, Inc. v. Juan Lara, 2013 WL 7809847 (Okla. App. 2012) is such a case.
Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demanded that Chrysler recall 2.7 million 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys after a probe into rear-end crashes and fires that caused at least 44 deaths and many more injuries involving the vehicles. According to NHTSA, plastic gas tanks located behind the rear axles can be punctured, leak fuel, and catch fire when the vehicles are hit from behind, which they believe to be a “defect that presents an unreasonable risk to safety.” Chrysler initially refused the request, saying it believes that NHTSA’s findings are based on an “incomplete analysis of the underlying data.” Needless to say, significant subrogation issues arise somewhere in the middle of this legal standoff.
Referring a subrogation file to MWL is as easy as 1–2–3 with our website’s new SUBROGATION REFER A FILE feature. Referring your file to us online using this feature means getting your file in the hands of an experienced subrogation attorney in seconds.