The Mississippi Supreme Court recently dropped a bombshell and announced that in order to be reimbursed for its statutory workers’ compensation lien, a workers’ compensation carrier or employer must intervene into the third-party action. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Shoemake, 2013 WL 1831793 (Miss., May 2, 2013). If it does not do so, its subrogation claim is waived.
A 2012 Texas federal court decision has brought into focus the ability of an ERISA Plan to file a state subrogation tort action. While dealing specifically with a Contribution of Benefits issue, the federal court decision in Central States v. Health Special Risk, Inc., 2013 WL 2656159 (N.D. Tex. 2013) has given ammunition to anti-subrogation elements claiming that an ERISA Plan has no right to file a subrogation suit, no matter what the Plan language says.
On March 19, 2013, the Delaware Supreme Court examined sloppy amendments the Delaware Legislature made to § 2363 back in 1993 and formally announced for the first time that a workers’ compensation carrier is not subrogated to uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) benefits, regardless of whether or not the UM/UIM policy insures the employee or employer. One of the biggest problems we experience in our state Legislatures is the sloppy drafting of laws by inexperienced non-lawyers who do not think about the ramifications of the words they use. The 1993 amendments are a prime example.