June 2016 Subrogation Newsletter
Trucking insurers issuing motor carrier policies containing MCS-90 Endorsements may be overlooking significant subrogation and recovery opportunities. MCS-90 subrogation is a fascinating and under-utilized means of recovery that can significantly increase an insurance carrier’s bottom line. Understanding the history behind and developing a working knowledge of these Endorsements is essential for any adjuster or subrogation professional working in the transportation insurance field. This article outlines the importance of embracing MCS-90 reimbursement in your practice and the essential nature of giving these files attention immediately upon making any payment under an MCS-90 Endorsement.
Exclusive remedy protection is being handed out to non-employers like candy on Halloween by courts and legislatures across the nation and Ohio is the latest state to join the giveaway. On April 19, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled for the first time that on construction projects costing over $100 million and constructed in less than six years, all contractors and subcontractors (vertically and horizontally) will enjoy the exclusive remedy protection afforded the actual employer of an injured employee. Seriously-injured employees looking to hold negligent and careless employers liable for causing life-ending or life-altering injuries in Ohio will now be turned away without recourse. Subrogated carriers seeking to place significant economic losses on the party responsible for creating them, in order to help keep the employer’s experience modifier low and hold down workers’ compensation premiums for small businesses in Ohio, will likewise be left without recourse.
Until recently, the District of Columbia workers’ compensation subrogation statute, found at § 32-1535, was silent on how or whether attorneys’ fees/costs are to be charged or apportioned when the worker files suit. When an employer or workers’ compensation insurance carrier initiates an action or negotiates a settlement when it is received and assigned, because the employee has failed to file a claim within the first six-month limitation period, the statute clearly allows the employer or insurance carrier to recover off the top reasonable attorneys’ fees/costs. As of May 12, 2016, however, the statute was amended to include a new subsection.
Lauren M. Davis has joined the insurance litigation team at Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. as an associate attorney in our New Orleans branch office. Formerly a litigator with Hangartner, Rydberg, and Terrell and a defense attorney with Sutterfield & Webb, LLC, in New Orleans, Lauren joins the MWL subrogation team with experience in and insight into the nuances of insurance litigation in today’s complicated civil litigation climate. She brings experience to bear on a growing need in subrogation matters handled throughout North America, but remains humble about the never-ending process of learning and growth. “I am no smarter than the next lawyer,” Lauren humbly says. “But, I do pride myself on producing excellent results cost-effectively, and I look forward to the opportunity to tap into a vast resource of experts, research, local counsel, and experience that MWL has to offer in order to get the best possible results for my clients.” On behalf of the partners, associates, legal assistants, and support staff here at MWL, we would like to welcome Lauren to our firm.