October 2013 Subrogation Newsletter
If you think the recent Congressional civil war over cutting entitlements and spending, raising the debt ceiling, and funding Obamacare was a melee, welcome to the ongoing dispute in Pennsylvania over whether a workers’ comp carrier can initiate the filing of a third-party lawsuit. It’s the usual suspects: trial lawyers vs. subrogation professionals. However, an upcoming appeal from the new Superior Court Opinion in Liberty Mutual v. Domtar Paper Co., 2013 WL 5423850 (Pa. Super. 2013), may provide the right case at the right time, and resolve the issue once and for all.
In what will go down in legal history as one of the clearest and most forthright decisions in recent memory, the Florida Supreme Court has issued an opinion which limits the application of the Economic Loss Doctrine (ELD) to cases involving product liability.
On July 10, 2013, the Missouri legislature enacted Senate Bill 1. As a result, subrogation has been eliminated for any claims resulting from a toxic exposure occupational disease. Not only will carriers and employers bear the burden of this legislative effort to save money for the floundering Second Injury Fund, but the new Act also provides for a supplemental surcharge (against employers) not to exceed 3%, to be added to the existing 3% surcharge to finance the Fund beginning in 2014 to run through 2021. The new law is effective on January 1, 2014.