March 2019 Subrogation Newsletter
Sometimes You Need More Than A Handshake: Documenting Waivers of Workers' Compensation Subrogation Liens and Credits
A recent Pennsylvania federal court decision reminds us that when settling third-party cases involving workers’ comp subrogation interests, it’s important to understand all the steps necessary to fully document and enforce any settlement agreement that involves a waiver or termination of any future workers’ comp benefits.
English is the official language of nearly 100 countries, not including the U.S., which doesn’t have an “official language.” America is one of the most linguistically-diverse countries in the world, which explains why we have a lot of confusion about how some words are pronounced or spelled. The word “judgment” joins a long list of words shared between the U.S. and our parent country, Great Britain.
In Youell v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2018 WL 6816772 (Ind. App. 2018), the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a decision that continues to leave property subrogation involving landlords and tenant up in the air and very subjective, with the “intent” of the parties being determined on a case-by-case basis looking to the terms of the lease and any other admissible and relevant evidence.
The Arizona Court of Appeals announced a year ago that A.R.S. § 23-1023 was not a statute of limitations under Arizona law in regards to the requirement that an employee must file a third-party action within the first year after an accident or obtain a “reassignment” from the employer to do so in the second year. Jackson v. Eagle KMC, LLC, 418 P.3d 997 (Ariz. App. 2018)(opinion vacated, Jackson v. Eagle KMC, LLC, 2019 WL 73631 (Ariz. 2019)). On January 2, 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court vacated that decision, confirming that the law of the foreign state under which benefits were paid determines the subrogation and assignment rights of the employer and employee.
We are pleased to announce that this month our New Orleans office celebrated its five year anniversary with the firm. The Louisiana office is overseen by MWL partner, Jim Busenlener. For many years, Jim was one of MWL’s local subrogation counsel in Louisiana. Jim has nearly three decades of experience representing insurers in subrogation, coverage, professional liability, and defense litigation, as well as maritime and commercial litigation. Jim is joined by associates Sara Huffman and Lauren Davis, paralegal Katy Ohlsson, and legal assistant Nancy Gray.