September 2017 Subrogation Newsletter
According to a 1999 study commissioned by the Alliance of American Insurers (AAI), if you were to build a $25,000 vehicle using only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, it would cost you over $100,000. There is an ongoing debate over the use of non-OEM parts and the laws and regulations overseeing the use of them in repairing damaged vehicles are confusing and inconsistent. Insurance professionals must be aware of the current legislation and regulations within each state regarding use of aftermarket (non-OEM) crash parts in order to properly adjust each claim. This article contains a link to our newest 50-state chart on this topic that takes a closer look at the specific laws and regulations in each state.
There is seemingly no end to the attacks on a workers’ compensation carrier’s rights of subrogation and reimbursement when a third-party is liable for a work-related injury. In New Jersey, however, the Supreme Court will soon be deciding whether an employee is prohibited from suing a customer of his employer, when forced to sign a waiver of this right as a condition of employment. On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, lawyers for Philip Vitale and Schering-Plough Corporation — through successor Merck & Co. — argued their case to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
The game of musical chairs regarding the Illinois law that requires mandatory arbitration of auto physical damage subrogation claims is finally over. The music has stopped and the statute has been repealed. The needless expense and waste of time associated with the statutory requirement of mandatory arbitration between auto carriers for property damage subrogation claims involving amounts less than $2,500 is now a thing of the past.
Arizona Allows Court To Reduce Workers’ Compensation Lien On Third-Party Settlement Due To Employer Fault
As of August 31, 2017, with the Arizona Supreme Court decision in Twin City Fire Insurance Co. v. Leija, No. CV2012-004506 (Ariz. 2017), workers’ compensation carriers everywhere will have to be more proactive and engage subrogation counsel much sooner, in order to protect their subrogation and/or reimbursement dollars. The workers’ compensation carrier will be put to the burden of proving that the employer wasn’t at fault. If the carrier wasn’t involved in the discovery during the litigation as a result of intervening through subrogation counsel, its chances of prevailing will dwindle to almost nothing. Arizona now becomes like California, where subrogation counsel must be involved early in order to avoid and/or be prepared for the employee settling around the carrier.
New Orleans Area Massive Roofing Nail Spill on Interstate Results in Hundreds of Property Insurance Claims
On September 26, 2017, a truck spilled thousands of roofing nails on Interstate 10 in Metairie, Louisiana (a suburb of New Orleans). Hundreds of vehicles rolled over the nails and sustained punctured tires, resulting in replacement of tires that may total as much as $1,000 per vehicle. As a result, Louisiana auto property insurers may receive many new claims for replacement tires, towing charges, and rental vehicles.