June 2014 Subrogation Newsletter
Earlier this year, the Arizona Court of Appeals essentially rewrote § 23-1023, Arizona’s workers’ compensation subrogation statute. The way the Legislature reworded the statute was confusing and made no sense. However, on April 15, 2014, the Arizona Legislature passed, and Governor Jan Brewer signed, H.B. 2094, which amended § 23-1023 to add back language that once again makes clear that if an employee does not file a third-party action within the first year after a work-related injury that right is assigned to the workers’ compensation carrier.
A recent decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has dramatically expanded a longshore harbor workers’ compensation carrier’s rights of subrogation in Jones Act cases. The decision in Chenevert v. Travelers Indemnity Co., 2014 WL 902873 (5th Cir. 2014) declares for the first time a longshore harbor workers’ compensation carrier has a right of recovery against an employee’s Jones Act recovery.
My oldest son was recently in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor with Army and Air Force Exchange Service. He was one of thousands of employees of civilian contractors working overseas and subject to workers’ compensation under the Defense Base Act (DBA) and War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA). The U.S. has military personnel deployed in over 150 countries and they’re all supported by civilian contractors and their employees. This statistic alone underscores the financial importance of WHCA carriers being familiar with the Act’s reimbursement laws and procedures and taking full advantage of them.