MWL Subrogation And Insurance Litigation College
At Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. we strongly believe education is the key to a successful defense or recovery program and the more educated and well-trained our clients are, the more productive we can be in terms of our representation and the results we can produce. MWL’s Subrogation and Insurance Litigation College provides our clients with an opportunity to receive the most up-to-date training that insurance professionals can receive. Our instructors are experienced insurance litigation and subrogation trial lawyers who make the complicated understandable and easily digestible.
Our Texas CE-accredited live webinars are presented every other month. These live webinars are complimentary and anyone is welcome to attend. Our newsletters and website will keep you informed of our upcoming webinars. Our recorded webinars, located below, are available for viewing on demand at no cost. Note: The Texas Department of Insurance will not provide Texas CE credits for viewing our recorded webinars – only our live webinars. For questions regarding our webinars or seminars, please see our FAQ page, your answer may be there.
Texas Residential Construction Liability Act 101
Presented By: Mark Solomon
September 21, 2021 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (CDT)
WC – 101 Introduction To Workers’ Compensation Subrogation
With 50 separate bodies of workers’ compensation law, this area of subrogation remains one of the most confusing and difficult to master. This introductory level course focuses on the basics of workers’ compensation subrogation – Who can bring a third-party action? Who qualifies as a third-party? How is a recovery allocated once recovery is made? Is the carrier’s lien reduced by the worker’s attorney’s fees and litigation costs? How and when can a carrier receive statutory credit for monies recovered by the worker and a reserve take-down.
WC – 201 Advanced Concepts In Workers’ Compensation Subrogation
Best viewed after WC-101, this advanced course gets into the most complex, yet equally important aspects of workers’ compensation subrogation – contractual limitations to subrogation, waivers of subrogation, indemnity and hold harmless issues, statutory employer defenses, Exclusive Remedy Rule exceptions such as the Dual Capacity Doctrine and intentional act exceptions, just to name a few. Additional subjects covered are subrogating medical and legal malpractice, conversion of liens, application of the Made Whole Doctrine, employer contribution actions, traps and pitfalls in construction settings, and borrowed servant and staff leasing industry issues.
WC – 301 Subrogating Workers’ Compensation Across State Lines
This course can be viewed before or after WC-101 and/or WC-201. In today’s multi-state and global economy, it is commonplace for employees hired and situated in State A to travel to State B and get injured there, and subsequently receive benefits under State A or perhaps even State C. The interplay between the laws of multiple states presents not only a complicated and confusing scenario for the most experienced subrogation professional, but also a unique opportunity to finesse the application of subrogation law from the state in which the third-party suit is filed, which may offer negative drawbacks likely to result in a greatly reduced recovery or no recovery at all. Specific examples of actual cases are discussed and resolved using the conflict of law rules of the forum state in which the suit is filed.
WC – 401 Subrogation Investigation of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Routine investigation in workers’ compensation claims rarely focuses on the issues and facts that truly need to be nailed down in order to substantiate third-party liability. This is because the myriad of potential third-party issues facing subrogation professionals are deflating and can involve legal issues beyond their expertise. This session looks at the nuts and bolts of investigating workers’ compensation losses, and how and when to focus on particular issues, including product liability, borrowed servant, warranty, evidentiary, and contractual issues. This session focuses on helping the subrogation professional or vendor effectively investigate work-related injuries at the most critical stage of a workers’ compensation subrogation claim.
WC – 501 Documenting Future Workers’ Compensation Credits
In most states, when an employee makes a third-party recovery, the workers’ comp carrier usually has certain rights of recovery and/or reimbursement, together with a specific right to a credit against its obligation to pay future workers’ comp benefits based on the amount of the claimant’s third-party net recovery, or some formula set forth by state law. Plaintiffs’ lawyers continue to throw every obstacle in the paths of subrogation carriers, seeking to diminish or eliminate altogether your right of recovery. Carriers cannot always assume that simply because there is a recovery, they can stop making future benefit payments. Unfortunately, most states have certain requirements and statutory or regulatory filings which must be made before a carrier has a legitimate and contestable right to stop making benefit payments and take down a large reserve. This course focuses on understanding and properly complying with those requirements.
WC – 601 – Iowa Workers’ Compensation Subrogation: Steps To Avoid Subrogation Traps
Iowa’s workers’ compensation statute is perhaps one of the most complicated in the country. Unlike most workers’ compensation schemes, Iowa’s statute creates a variety of rights – that may or may not arise depending on the situation – which can be lost or waived due to relatively short notice deadlines. Identifying, preserving, and asserting these statutory rights becomes even more complicated when accidents occur outside of the Cyclone State. This webinar will give an overview of the rights, duties, and deadlines pertinent to securing recovery, and provide a road map to avoid common pitfalls along the way. This recorded webinar will benefit claims professionals in all levels of experience. Presented by Stephen A. Smith on June 12, 2019.
WC – 701 Illinois Workers’ Compensation And Employer Contribution
As part of the social contract with employers, employers are liable for unlimited medical expenses and lost wage benefits for employees injured in the course and scope of employment. In exchange, they receive statutory immunity. They cannot be sued by employees or other tortfeasors for the work-related injury. That is, unless you are an employer in Illinois. The radical departure from exclusive remedy protection in the Land of Lincoln has led to extreme examples of large statutory liens being waived or seriously compromised due to the ubiquitous threat of employer negligence – even when there isn’t any. Workers’ comp subrogation practitioners in Illinois must be familiar with the nuances of employer contribution and the problems it creates when injected into the already unstable social formula known as workers’ compensation. This webinar focuses on the nitty-gritty details of employer contribution in Illinois, how it affects subrogation liens, its interplay with the Illinois Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act, the judicial creation of the “Kotecki” cap, how, when, and why the cap can be waived, and an examination of the difficult decisions a carrier has to make when faced with a large workers’ compensation lien and the defense of the employer under its Employer Liability coverage. It covers specific recommendations and suggested practices for the subrogation practitioner as well as the liability adjuster facing potentially unlimited exposure of its insured employer. Special Guest Panelist: Attorney Heath Sherman, with Leahy, Eisenberg & Fraenkel, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois (Licensed in State of Illinois).
WC – 801 Challenges and Trends in Workers’ Compensation Subrogation
Gary L. Wickert offers his views on trends in workers’ compensation subrogation, the erosion of exclusive remedy, and claims challenges presented by employee leasing and other issues he believes claims professionals should be aware of and considering as they go forward.
WC – 901 Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Subrogation
A thorough and instructive look at the handling of longshore subrogation from first report to settlement and trial. This webinar focuses on the nuts and bolts of the nature of longshore claims, how and why we are subrogated and/or entitled to reimbursement when a third-party tortfeasor’s negligence causes the injury or death, who can be sued, and practical tips and best practices for getting the most you can under various loss scenarios. Topics include working 8(i) settlements into your subrogation recoveries, future credits, apportionment issues, interplay with Jones Act, third-party actions against the shipowner, and how and when the longshore carrier benefits from being the first to file suit. Recent developments and case law are discussed, along with examples on how to apply them to your claim files. This webinar will benefit claims professionals in all levels of experience. Presented by Gary L. Wickert and James T. Busenlener on April 11, 2018.
WC – 1101 Introduction to California Workers’ Compensation Subrogation
In this course we will discuss many nuances of California workers’ compensation subrogation, including statutory subrogation rights, who can bring a third-party action, notice requirements, what workers’ compensation benefits are recoverable, ways to protect subrogation rights, when to intervene and not to intervene, allocation of third-party recovery, how employer negligence effects this allocation, the Exclusive Remedy Rule, Dual Capacity Doctrine, and many other issues affecting subrogation. This webinar will be beneficial to all claims professional in all levels of experience who have workers’ compensation subrogation responsibilities in the Golden State. Presented by Katherine A. Sandoval on April 14, 2021.
WC – 1102 Advanced Concepts of California Workers’ Compensation Subrogation
In this advanced course, we will go into the more complex aspects of California workers’ comp subrogation, such as employer negligence and how it impacts your subrogation lien, allocation of third-party recovery, allocation of attorneys’ fees and costs, what happens when the lien exceeds the third-party recovery, how future credit works, third-party compromise and release, waivers of subrogation, borrowed servant doctrine, jurisdiction of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and other issues affecting subrogation. This webinar will be beneficial to all claims professionals in all levels of experience who have workers’ comp subrogation responsibilities in the Golden State. Presented by Katherine Sandoval on May 11, 2021.
PR – 101 Introduction To Property And Casualty Subrogation
Fire and casualty and large-loss property subrogation isn’t burdened by the same confusing and evolving labyrinth of state statutes, regulations and case law that hampers workers’ comp or health insurance subrogation. However, it does require, more than any other area of subrogation, prompt recognition of subrogation potential, a working knowledge of certain areas of state law (including the Made Whole, Common Fund and Economic Loss Doctrines), and an exigent investigation strategy that stresses the important investment which subrogation represents. In fact, it involves so many doctrines it is not surprising that property subrogation must be practiced and implemented religiously in order to maximize your subrogation recoveries. From recognition of subrogation in difficult fact settings to effective and thorough, yet cost-effective, investigation of natural disasters, this course focuses on training the claims professional on when, how, and why to thoroughly investigate property losses for subrogation potential – even when the potential third party seems to be nothing other than an Act of God. Common mistakes made by our clients in the initial investigation of subrogation potential are discussed – though the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
PR – 201 Investigation And Subrogation Of Large Fire Losses
From small residential fires to catastrophic industrial explosions – successful subrogation in fire losses begins the moment 911 is dialed. This course focuses on the investigation and preparation of a fire subrogation case, with particular emphasis on product liability. Investigation checklists, cause and origin experts, such as mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers. Getting the right expert, at the right price, and having them ask the right questions at the right time, are critical to successful subrogation.
PR – 301 Subrogating Against God
The nemesis of most insurance companies is the natural disaster. Hurricanes and floods have enough destructive potential to put many insurance companies out of business. With no obvious subrogation potential or third party liability, these claim payments are seemingly money down the drain. However, tireless investigation, creativity, and research can reveal recovery potential in even the most tragic of 100-year storms. This course focuses on how to investigate and ferret out third-party recovery potential where none seems to exist. Rainstorms, hurricanes, wind storms, tornados, and the like, have traditionally been chalked up as “Acts of God”. After Hurricane Katrina, however, the nation is on notice to be prepared for the worst of the worst. Failure to be prepared may lead to third-party potential. If liability is there, this course will help you find it.
PR – 401 Understanding The Economic Loss Doctrine
Fire or other damage to a motor vehicle, industrial machine, motor home or other product is a common occurrence resulting in billions of dollars of insurance claim payments. Subrogating against a manufacturer for a defect which causes that loss inevitably runs head on into the buzz saw known as the Economic Loss Doctrine. This course thoroughly reviews what this Doctrine is, how it affects subrogation and liability claims, and how to avoid its devastating effects. Specific examples are discussed and a survey of the Economic Loss Doctrine’s application in all 50 states can be found HERE.
PR – 501 Landlord/Tenant Subrogation In All 50 States
Each year, tenants start fires that destroy apartments, condominiums, retail stores, and industrial complexes causing billions of dollars in damage. But the road to recovery from the negligent tenants by the subrogating carrier for the landlord is loaded with trips, traps, and pitfalls. In many states, exculpatory language, waivers of subrogation, and common law prohibitions, which declare a tenant to be an implied co-insured of the landlord’s carrier, all present significant obstacles to making recoveries. This course surveys the laws of all 50 states regarding these issues, and reviews proper investigation and subrogation techniques for maximizing recoveries where none seemingly exist.
PR – 601 Construction Defect Litigation
Every year millions of dollars of property damage result from construction defects and contractor or architectural/design error. This burden falls on the insurance industry which must pay its insured’s claims for property damage to residential and commercial buildings. This course covers the nuts and bolts of construction defect subrogation and the variety of specific statutes, limitations, and notice provisions which subrogation professionals must be aware of to successfully recover their claim dollars.
PR – 701 Product Liability From A Litigating Engineer’s Perspective
Today’s subrogation professional faces a myriad of potential products liability claims, from property damage due to faulty water supply lines to worker’s compensation claims due to injuries from inadequately guarded or defective equipment. Learn product liability law from an experienced litigation lawyer, who also is a mechanical engineer with practical experience. Updates in product liability law are examined and developments in current product liability litigation are discussed. Cheaper and faster do not always mean better and trends in product design for some of the most common causes of loss are explored. This presentation should appeal to all subrogation professionals, in any stage of their career, from the adjuster just learning the ropes to the seasoned subrogation specialist.
PR – 801 Subrogating Claims Involving Asian Manufacturers
Subrogating or litigating claims involving defective products manufactured in Asia is a growing area of interest in the insurance industry. Most webinars on this topic only discuss the basics of litigating such claims – jurisdiction over foreign companies, service under The Hague, etc., followed by a list of reasons why litigating against foreign manufacturers is costly and difficult. Noticeably absent are solutions to the ultimate problem: How do you actually recover money? In this webinar, you’ll learn why the standard approach on claims involving such manufacturers is not simply ineffective, it has skewed perceptions of what’s possible. We’ll discuss international strategies that actually work to bring money in the door on Asian defective product subrogation claims. You’ll gain a better understanding of: (1) when litigating in the U.S. is appropriate and when it’s not, (2) why Asian business culture matters, (3) basics of Chinese and Taiwanese law, (4) what “levers” to pull to resolve claims successfully, and (5) why being creative across the industry is key to better results. This webinar is presented by Senior Litigator Richard Schuster, head of MWL’s Asian Claim Recovery Program (“ACRP”), who is a national product liability litigator proficient in Mandarin Chinese, has spent five years in the industry in Asia, and has deep ties to the insurance and manufacturing sectors critical to resolving these claims.
PR – 901 Failure Of Plastic Plumbing Products
Plastic plumbing products are all around us: in the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, garage, and basement. This webinar will cover why plastic plumbing products are prone to failure and the steps necessary to identify and prosecute these types of losses. Typical forensic methods for causal identification will be discussed. Multiple examples of failed plastic plumbing will be shown explaining why they failed, typical arguments from manufacturers and installers used to obstruct a claim, and how to counter these arguments to successfully recover your subrogation dollars. This webinar is presented by Aaron Plamann, an experienced litigation lawyer who is also a mechanical engineer with practical experience, and a special guest speaker, Antoine Rios, Ph.D., a plastics engineer with The Madison Group.
PR – 1101 Introduction To Cargo Subrogation
This webinar will introduce the subrogation professional to the basic concepts of subrogating cargo claims under the Carmack Amendment and Carriage of Goods Sea Act (COGSA). The course will identify the major pitfalls that can befall an unsuspecting claim professional, such as notice requirements, preemption of state law claims, and limitations of liability, which can affect recovery. This course will also cover investigation techniques and how to preserve relevant documents and evidence to establish a prima facie case.
PR – 1102 Brass Plumbing Fittings: How and Why They Fail and How You Can Recover in Subrogation
This webinar teaches subrogation professionals (from new hires through supervising managers) how to maximize recoveries on brass fitting failures. It discusses exactly what brass is, how it differs from other materials, why brass plumbing fittings fail, how to investigate losses stemming from the failure of brass plumbing fittings, and how to recover the property damages paid on claims involving brass plumbing fittings. It also covers what items should be looked for when investigating a property damage claim due to a failed brass plumbing part, what evidence should be retained from the loss site, what you should know when submitting a claim to a manufacturer, and what some of the typical defenses that manufacturers and installers use in defending subrogation claims. This webinar is co-presented by Mike Jacob, P.E., a Principal Engineer with Veritas Engineering Laboratories.
MS – 101 Contribution Actions
In most states, when your insured is a joint tortfeasor and you settle with the plaintiff, discharging the common liability of multiple tortfeasors and paying more than your pro-rata share thereof, you are entitled to pursue a right of contribution against the remaining joint tortfeasors to recover their pro-rata share of the judgment or settlement paid. This course trains the liability claims handler in identifying those situations in which such a right of contribution exists and what must be done to pursue it. Year after year, the failure to pursue joint tortfeasors for a pro rata share of the liability settlement you have made represents millions of dollars in lost recovery opportunities.
MS – 201 Understanding And Avoiding Spoliation
Spoliation claims cost our industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Not only are carriers exposed to spoliation tort claims in jurisdictions which recognize them, but careless investigation and the resulting spoliation of valuable evidence also cost the industry untold millions in lost subrogation, recovery, and reimbursement opportunities. Spoliation law is developing rapidly and affects every aspect of the claim process, from notice of claim, claims handling, loss investigation, coverage issues, liability defense, and subrogation. Understanding the nuances of spoliation from state to state and knowing what steps are essential to avoiding its perils are essential to responsible claims handling. This course illustrates the creation and evolution of spoliation law, using Wisconsin as an example, and provides a snapshot of spoliation laws in all 50 states.
MS – 301 Medicare Set-Asides And The Subrogation Professional
The insurance and litigation worlds have been turned upside down and exposed to Draconian fines and penalties as a result of confusing, conflicting and uncertain Medicare Secondary Payer Statute liability, Medicare Set-Aside regulations, new reporting requirements established by the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) and new regulations and procedures established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This webinar provides an overview of MMSEA obligations for insurers, subrogation professionals, lawyers, and self-insured entities and focuses and discusses the new reporting requirements and what steps should be taken to ensure compliance and minimize liability. Special Guest Panelist: Attorney Russell S. Whittle, Gould & Lamb, LLC, Bradenton, Florida (Licensed in State of Florida).
MS – 401 State Sovereign Immunity & Tort Caps
Sovereign immunity and tort caps have significant implications for public entity pooling – pools without them can face substantial uncapped payouts, while pools with outdated limits may find themselves engaged in additional litigation. Join one of the world’s leading experts on insurance subrogation for an overview of sovereign immunity and tort caps across the nation, and hear one pool’s specific experience with managing sovereign immunity and tort cap structures in their state. This is a AGRIP webinar that Gary Wickert co-presented with Kirk Mylander, CIS General Counsel, on November 14, 2017 that can be viewed on YouTube.
MS – 501 Ethics For Adjusters And Attorneys In The Claims Handling Process
In Texas, there are no formal rules, policies, or professional conduct standards formalized for licensed insurance adjusters, so determining how one should act in the course of handling losses on the liability and recovery aspect can be vague. This webinar covers the basics ethics that licensed attorneys are expected to be held to and how to apply those standards to a licensed insurance adjuster, including the duty of good faith, unfair settlement practices, and implications of failing to pursue subrogation on auto losses in Texas. The goal is to show adjusters that by holding themselves to the ethical standards of attorneys, they will be serving their insureds and general public in a way that will reflect positively on the industry as a whole. Presented by Mark A. Solomon on January 22, 2020.
SU – 101 Top Ten Subrogation Mistakes Carriers Keep Making
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes,” Oscar Wilde famously said. Having represented the subrogation interests of insurance companies and self-insured companies around the world for the past 34 years, I’ve seen enough bad subrogation decisions to create a concrete list of the ten most often repeated mistakes when it comes to effectively recognizing and pursuing subrogation. Frequently, these mistakes are disguised as corporate efforts to save money, streamline, or consolidate effort. Quite often, they turn into very expensive lessons. Whether we learn from these lessons is the true test of both our desire to optimize the recoveries we make and the lengths we will go to in order to provide the service – and in some states the “duty” – to our insured, for they often pay the price for missed subrogation opportunities. Across all lines of insurance, our mistakes and failures are gifts and guideposts in our learning and growth as insurance industry members. But, we can only take advantage of them if we recognize them. In this webinar, we highlight and discuss ways to avoid repeating the ten mistakes most costly and commonly committed in the fast-growing and demanding world of insurance subrogation.
SU – 201 Recognizing Subrogation And Third-Party Liability
Far too many subrogation professionals come from liability and casualty backgrounds and naturally carry with them a defense-oriented myopia regarding third-party liability. Trained to see most claims as frivolous in nature and skeptical about liability as a default, they are in need of this course, which is basically a first-year law school torts class condensed into two hours. Theories of liability and basic concepts of negligence and causation are discussed, and fact scenarios in which third-party liability is traditionally overlooked or ignored are reviewed.
SU – 301 Subrogating In The Midwest
The first half of this course will cover workers’ compensation with an emphasis on Midwest states. With 50 separate bodies of workers’ compensation law, this area of subrogation remains one of the most confusing and difficult to master. It will cover: Who can bring a third-party action? Who qualifies as a third-party? How is a recovery allocated once recovery is made? Is the carrier’s lien reduced by the worker’s attorney’s fees and litigation costs? How and when can a carrier receive statutory credit for monies recovered by the worker? The second half of this course will cover subrogation of auto claims with an emphasis on the Midwest states. Due to the myriad, overlapping, and even contradictory state laws regarding auto insurance and subrogation, the responsibility for national auto subrogation becomes virtually unmanageable without proper training. This course will assist you in subrogating workers’ comp and auto subrogation claims throughout the Midwest states.
SU – 401 Subrogation, Debt Collection, And Consumer Protection
Over the past decade, the law of subrogation has begun to branch out in a new and potentially problematic direction – debt collection and consumer protection. Spurred on by the efforts of third parties and insureds to collaterally attack valid subrogation claims, numerous federal courts have taken up the question: Does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) apply to subrogation recovery efforts, and, if so, when? Similarly, several states have addressed similar claims relative to their own debt collection, consumer protection, and trade practices laws. At this critical juncture, it is imperative that anyone engaged in the pursuit of subrogation claims, whether in-house claims personnel, third-party administrators or attorneys, make an effort to learn the current state of the law, when and how the FDCPA might apply, and what may be required if and when it does. This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the FDCPA, prevailing case law pertaining to its application to subrogation activities, and a summary of similar state law issues beginning to take root across the country.
SU – 501 Complete Guide to Selecting, Hiring, and Using the Right Experts in Subrogation Cases
The necessity of utilizing expert witnesses in claims adjusting, recovery investigation, and subrogation litigation has risen exponentially over the last 20 years. When an expert is necessary, where experts can be located and selected, and how they can be cost-effectively utilized so as to maximize subrogation recoveries remains a complex and expensive question for most insurance and subrogation professionals. This 90-minute webinar cuts through the confusion and mystique of when and how experts become “needs” as opposed to “wants”, and how to properly and inexpensively use them when a subrogation claim cannot succeed without them. This webinar will benefit the new to seasoned subrogation claims professional.
SU – 601 Defeating The Made Whole Doctrine
It is ironic that subrogation’s biggest nemesis is the area of American jurisprudence which carries with it the most false premises and largest lack of understanding. Defeating a rule which is seemingly impossible to overcome and yet serves to totally eliminate subrogation potential guaranteed to insurance carriers by contract, the Made Whole Doctrine has metastasized into a cancer upon the entire field of subrogation, spreading to areas it was never intended to touch, such as workers’ compensation. This course breaks down the basics of the Made Whole Doctrine in a variety of jurisdictions and teaches theories and tactics that can be used to defeat the doctrine, or avoid its application from the very start.
SU – 701 Motor Vehicle Laws And Liability
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 18,000 vehicle accidents every day in the U.S., which breaks down to 750 every hour, or 13 every minute. Experts estimate one out of every three Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related automobile accident in their lifetime. The economic cost of motor vehicle accidents in America is more than $50 billion annually. This course reviews basic motor vehicle laws and the subrogation of automobile accidents. The development of an auto accident case is tracked from its occurrence through trial. Additional discussions include negligent entrustment, dram shop liability, and product defects which result in accidents or aggravated injuries in an accident.
HE – 101 Intro To ERISA And Health Insurance Subrogation
This course serves to introduce a claims or subrogation professional to the basic concepts of health insurance subrogation and the many legal issues it envelops. From non-ERISA to insured ERISA to fully self-funded ERISA plans, this course familiarizes the subrogation professional with health care subrogation, beginning with basic concepts and premises to an overview of the interplay between ERISA’s preemption, saving and deemer clauses. Subrogation professionals will learn how to read and understand plan language and are introduced to the concepts of subrogation and reimbursement in the health insurance plan context.
HE – 201 ERISA Preemption
Preemption is the key to why subrogating ERISA-covered employee welfare benefit plans is different and more powerful than ordinary insurance subrogation and understanding preemption is the key to successful ERISA subrogation for your recovery team. This course delves into the nuances of ERISA’s preemption, saving and deemer clauses. It looks at what they mean, which state laws are preempted, and why. Often over-simplified by trials lawyers, even a basic understanding of this complicated subject will give the insurance professional a distinctive advantage in negotiating recovery of benefit payments made by your plan. Specific state laws are reviewed to determine which laws are preempted and which are not.
HE – 301 Subrogating Fully-Insured And Non-ERISA Plans
Not all employee welfare benefit plans are ERISA-covered, and many ERISA-covered health plans are not self-funded. It is just as important for subrogation professionals to know and understand how to effectively and efficiently pursue subrogation and/or reimbursement rights of a non-ERISA or fully-insured ERISA plan, as it is to be familiar with the mechanics of ERISA itself. This course addresses the vagaries of subrogating these types of plans. Lawyers do not realize or believe that fully-insured ERISA plans should enjoy the many benefits of ERISA preemption, even though they do not enjoy the broad preemption rights of self-funded plans. This course will address the nuances of subrogating fully-insured plans, which may be able to avoid harmful state laws where the laws do not “regulate insurance”, as well as those involving non-ERISA plans, which may enjoy state laws which allow the parties to a health plan to contract around such harmful state laws.
HE – 401 Subrogating Occupational Accident Policies In All 50 States
Occupational accident benefits (sometimes referred to as Accident and Health or Truckers Insurance) are routinely mistaken for workers’ comp benefits resulting in confusion, reduced recoveries, or no recovery at all. This course focuses on teaching subrogation professionals what an occupational accident plan is, and how state insurance law will treat our subrogation rights. Throughout this course, we will discuss a detailed strategy on handling and negotiating with trial lawyers who are bent on destroying subrogation rights involving such plans. Finally, we will debunk the urban myth that occupational accident policies do not qualify for coverage under ERISA.
HE – 501 Improving Plan Subrogation Language
This webinar will assist subrogation professionals and plan underwriters in addressing weaknesses in their plan’s subrogation language which can potentially cost the plan millions of dollars. The recent Supreme Court decision in Montanile has reawakened interest in subrogation opportunities and reinforces the importance of proper plan drafting. Every health plan should be reviewed to verify that it provides you with the ammunition and tools necessary to successfully recover your plan payments when there is a third party responsible for causing the injury. This webinar will provide examples of how insufficient plan language may cost the plan untold millions. In the world of insurance and litigation where words matter, the addition or deletion of a few words can make all the difference in the world. We will emphasize how trial lawyers are litigating even the slightest weakness in plan language and exploiting it at the plan’s expense. This interesting webinar lays bare some of the easy fixes which can help prepare you for litigation. Presented by Nancy Case on September 21, 2016.
HE – 601 Understanding And Defeating The Made Whole And Common Fund Doctrines
The equitable Made Whole and Common Fund Doctrines are perhaps the most ill-understood and erroneously applied concepts in all of subrogation. Trial lawyers’ organizations consistently misunderstand these affirmative defenses to subrogation and courts around the country regularly misapply them to contractual subrogation rights as opposed to simple equitable subrogation rights. This course provides an overview of the doctrines and takes a critical look at the plan language necessary to overcome their application in all federal circuits. This course assists ERISA plan subrogation professionals in avoiding these doctrines by preempting state laws which apply them and assists those who handle non-ERISA and fully-insured plans understand the variety of state laws which still allow a plan to contract around the application of these doctrines.
HE – 701 Advanced ERISA And Health Insurance Subrogation
If it isn’t covered in HE-101 through HE-102, it will be covered in this course. This is the advanced version of HE-101 and makes understandable perhaps the most confusing area in all of subrogation. This course covers subjects such as jurisdiction, conflict and complete preemption, “regulation of insurance”, and the interplay between health insurance subrogation and workers’ compensation laws, no-fault automobile insurance laws, lien reduction statutes, collateral source rules, and a number of state anti-subrogation statutes. The course also discusses subrogating against uninsured motorists benefits, coordination of benefits, constructive trusts, and HIPAA.
HE – 801 2012 ERISA And Health Insurance Subrogation Updates
This course explores ERISA and health insurance subrogation decisions and legal developments changing the landscape of ERISA and health insurance subrogation in 2012. Since the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, 547 U.S. 356 (2006), self-funded ERISA health plans have generally succeeded in obtaining reimbursement, but that has not stopped claimants’ attorneys from offering novel legal theories in an attempt to defeat Plan reimbursement claims. In fact, since Sereboff was decided, we have seen some of the most creative and outrageous legal arguments and maneuvers. We are going to take a look at the significant legal developments in the past twelve months, with an emphasis on the Supreme Court’s June 25, 2012 decision to take up US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen, and further clarify the meaning of “appropriate equitable relief”. We will also highlight other novel legal arguments that are being made by counsel for the Plan members throughout the country so that claims professionals will not be blind-sided when they encounter them.
HE – 901 Road To Recovery: Michigan No-Fault for Health, Accident and ERISA Subrogation
For subrogation professionals, the Michigan No-Fault Act is legendary for its complexity and tendency to thwart recovery. However, “no-fault” does not have to mean “no options.” Far too many health and accident carriers and ERISA plans are bearing the burden of accident-related medical and wage loss expenses when, in all actuality, another party is liable for the loss. Sadly, countless claims with real recovery potential are being abandoned every year based on lack of knowledge or misconceptions about the Act. This webinar is designed to provide health and accident subrogation professionals with a comprehensive — and comprehensible — “road map” from loss to recovery, with some alternate routes off the beaten path of traditional tort-based subrogation. Contrary to popular wisdom, recovery is out there for auto accident-related benefits in Michigan; find out where it is and how to get there by viewing this recorded webinar.
HE – 1101 Medicare Advantage Update: Enforcing Your Rights Under The Medicare Secondary Payer Act
This webinar will discuss several recent decisions involving the rights of Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) and their enforcement rights under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. It will also focus on MAO’s rights against both primary plans and the enrollee and provide practical guidance for steering your MAO case through litigation to a successful resolution.
HE – 1102 License To Steal: The Supreme Court’s Decision in Montanile
On January 20, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued their written opinion in the long-anticipated ERISA subrogation case of Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, 2016 WL 228344 (Jan. 20, 2016). The U.S. Supreme Court was asked to decide whether a Plan beneficiary is obligated to reimburse his or her health insurance Plan for medical expenses it paid, when the beneficiary settles a third-party tort case, but spends all the money. And, decide it they did. To counter this new “loophole” for Plan members and protect your right to recover your Plan dollars, we have very specific recommendations and suggestions moving forward. In this 30-minute webinar, we will discuss the Court’s decision, provide recommendations on addressing the implications from the decision, and, more importantly, address your questions.
HE – 1103 FEHBA Subrogation Update 2017
For years, a great debate has raged over whether state subrogation laws are preempted by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959 (FEHBA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 8901 – 8914. The FEHBA provides a vast number of federal employees and retirees with subsidized healthcare benefits through contracts between the Office of Personnel Management and private health insurance carriers. Per federal statute, certain aspects of those contracts may preempt state law, but there has been serious conflict over which provisions can preempt which laws, perhaps most prominently in the area of subrogation. The past few years have seen a flurry of activity in the state and federal courts, as well as regulatory action, with some very interesting developments. This webinar will provide a comprehensive, insightful overview of the ongoing conflict, from the statutory, regulatory, and litigation background to the current status of the most important cases on appeal and remand. Whether you are new to the FEHBA or a well-versed aficionado, you will benefit from this presentation.
AU – 101 Automobile Subrogation In All 50 States
This webinar covers the nuts and bolts of automobile subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. It surveys the laws of every state and provides descriptions of every type of automobile coverage imaginable, as well as the statutory, case law, and regulatory authority governing every aspect of auto subrogation. While the task of covering the wide range of laws, regulations, and court decisions which impact auto subrogation on a national basis in any great length will be impossible in a two-hour time frame, this webinar will introduce many concepts necessary for successful auto subrogation on a multi-state/national level and will undoubtedly assist in maximizing your subrogation recoveries.
AU – 201 Arizona Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of auto subrogation in all 50 states touching on every topic imaginable. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more.
AU – 301 California Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of auto subrogation in all 50 states touching on every topic imaginable. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at Los Angeles International Airport, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Golden State of California, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. Updated Recording – Presented on November 5, 2020 by Attorney Katherine Sandoval.
AU – 401 Colorado Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of auto subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at Denver Intercontinental Airport in Denver, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Centennial State of Colorado.
AU – 501 Florida Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of auto subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at Miami International Airport, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Sunshine State of Florida, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. Special Guest Panelist: Attorney Brooks Rathet, with Bromagagen & Rathet, PA, Jacksonville, Florida (Licensed in State of Florida).
AU – 601 Illinois Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of auto subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Prairie State of Illinois, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. Special Guest Panelist: Attorney Bradley Jeanblanc, with Feiereisel & Kasbohm, LLC, Chicago, Illinois (Licensed in State of Illinois).
AU – 701 Louisiana Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of auto subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Pelican State of Louisiana. Presented by James Busenlener, Managing Partner of MWL’s New Orleans Branch Office.
AU – 801 Michigan Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of automobile subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at Detroit Metro Airport, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Great Lakes State of Michigan.
AU – 901 New Jersey Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of automobile subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at Newark Liberty International Airport, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Garden State of the State of New Jersey. Special Guest Co-Presenter: Attorney Steven Kraus, with the Law Offices of Steven G. Kraus, Warren, New Jersey (Licensed in New Jersey).
AU – 1101 New York Automobile Subrogation
Our initial 2-hour webinar in our series, “Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States: The View From 35,000 Feet”, covered the nuts and bolts of automobile subrogation in all 50 states, touching on every topic imaginable, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. In this webinar, we will descend to 1,000 feet, eventually land at JFK International Airport in New York, and go into great detail on the nuances of auto insurance subrogation in the Empire State of New York.
AU – 1201 Texas Automobile Subrogation
This one-hour webinar focusing on the nuances of Texas automobile subrogation, including PIP, Med Pay, UM/UIM, property claims, deductible reimbursement, no-fault subrogation, suspension of driver’s licenses, and more. Whether you are sharpening your subrogation tools or new to the industry, this is a webinar you’ll want to view.
AU – 1301 Med Pay/PIP Subrogation
PIP and Med Pay subrogation remains one of the most confusing and continually-changing areas of subrogation in the insurance industry. Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage under an auto insurance policy pays for the medical expenses of an insured and their passengers after an accident. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is usually associated with no-fault insurance. In no-fault states, there is little reason for an insured to purchase both Med Pay and PIP coverage, because PIP provides coverage equals to and beyond Med Pay (although PIP often has a deductible and Med Pay does not). Some states provide one but not the other. What should be a straightforward right of Med Pay and PIP subrogation and/or reimbursement has evolved into a confusing patchwork of laws, varying from state to state. Subrogation rights may depend on policy language but are usually dictated by state case law or statute. PIP subrogation is even more complex. Some states provide for complex formulas, limited arbitration rights, mere reimbursement rights, or detailed procedures to be followed. Failure to comply means no reimbursement. Effective PIP and Med Pay subrogation depends on quality continuing subrogation education. The following seminars/webinars are intended to help train subrogation professionals on the details of state-by-state Med Pay and PIP subrogation.
AU – 1401 SUBROGATION MAGIC: Creating Something Out Of Nothing MCS-90 Claims Against Uninsured Operators
Trucking insurers issuing motor carrier policies that contain MCS-90 Endorsements may be overlooking significant subrogation and recovery opportunities. MCS-90 subrogation is an 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 MCS-90 Endorsements is essential for any adjuster or subrogation professional working in the transportation insurance field. This webinar will expand your knowledge of transportation claims, teach you the intricacies of the MCS-90 Endorsement, such as why it exists, the pragmatic application, and effect on the trucking industry. It will also teach you how to use MCS-90 to create coverage when coverage seemingly doesn’t exist and understand the right to reimbursement that exists after payment of a claim under MCS-90. This webinar will benefit claims professionals in all levels of experience. Presented by Ashton T. Kirsch.
AU – 1501 State of Washington: Med Pay and PIP Subrogation
This webinar focuses on the details of PIP and Med Pay subrogation in the State of Washington – it is really a tutorial on the handling of PIP and Med Pay subrogation nationwide. Washington’s Made Whole Doctrine under the Thiringer case is similar to the Made Whole Doctrines of most states. However, this webinar delves into the complexities encountered when plaintiffs’ counsel attempt to nullify or destroy your subrogation rights. It looks at the impact of not being made whole, attorneys’ fees, comparative fault, and what settlement within the third-party policy limits has on your PIP and Med Pay subrogation rights. Special Guest Panelist: Attorney Eric D. Virshbo, with MacMillan, Scholz, & Marks, P.C., Portland, Oregon (Licensed in the State of Washington).
AU – 1502 Washington Automobile Subrogation After Daniels v. State Farm
This webinar concentrates on the recent Daniels v. State Farm subrogation decision and its harmful effect on auto subrogation in Washington. It reviews all aspects of Med Pay, PIP, and collision/property subrogation in Washington, and then analyzes these components in light of the new decision. From the Common Fund Doctrine to the Made Whole Doctrine, to the interplay between them, this webinar will provide a thorough overview of Washington auto subrogation and will end with a summary of best recommended practices for auto subrogation moving forward. Presented by Gary Wickert and guest panelist Attorney Eric D. Virshbo, with MacMillan, Scholz, & Marks, P.C., Portland, Oregon. (licensed in Oregon and Washington).
ID – 101 Interpreting Insurance Contracts
The integrity of the insurance industry and its commitment to honoring legitimate claims for which it is contractually or legally responsible is offset by the industry’s concomitant desire to avoid payment of claims and damages for which it is contractually obligated and for which there is no insurance coverage – this has caused a dramatic rise in coverage litigation. In order for a claims professional to maintain profitability, it is imperative to know how an insurance contract is constructed and how to interpret it. This is an introductory course for insurance claims professionals who have responsibility for or occasion to deal with coverage issues relating to third-party defense litigation, first-party claims litigation and/or reservations of rights scenarios. It provides a general overview of the construction and interpretation of basic insurance contracts, including the duties and obligations of the insurer and insured and the contractual relationship that exists between them, general terms and conditions, common issues faced in interpreting insurance contracts, proving the existence and terms of insurance policies, missing insurance policies, ambiguities, and the factors most courts will look at to evaluate the rights and duties of insureds and insurers.
ID – 201 Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Insurance
In most states, UM/UIM insurance coverage issues continue to result in protracted litigation. This course will assist the claims professional in understanding these issues and how to combat them. We begin with reviewing the history of UM/UIM coverage and then address topics such as who is an insured, what is an uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle, contractual provisions, legal state of stacking and reducing clause provisions and a carrier’s rights of subrogation against a UM/UIM insurance policy.
ID – 301 Insurer’s Duty To Defend
An understanding of an insurer’s duty to defend is central to understanding the obligations and duties of any insurance company. This course discusses how to determine if an insurance policy exists, an insurer’s duty to defend, when an insurer’s duty to defend is triggered, consequences of a failure to defend, the excess insurer’s duty to defend, and extinguishing the duty to defend. Also discussed are options available to an insurance company when coverage is contested.
ID – 401 Bad Faith Litigation
A majority of states have adopted the tort of first-party bad faith. This course will review the elements of bad faith claims including damages available to an insured who is successful in pursuing such a claim. Additional topics covered are insurer’s duty of good faith and fair dealing, conflict of interest, insurer’s duty to third-party claimants, insurer’s duty to its excess insurer, tort actions, policy defenses, and recommendations and strategies for handling claims so as to avoid allegations of bad faith.
ID – 501 Insured’s Duties And Responsibilities
When a claim is made against an insured, certain obligations of that insured arise for coverage to be extended. This course looks at the obligations of an insured in the context of first-party or third-party claims, the insured’s duty to cooperate, failure to cooperate, notice requirements, misrepresentations, breach of warranty and failure to pay premiums.
ID – 601 Coverage Issues
In the past decade, the number of disputes between insurers and insureds over policy coverage has increased exponentially. Millions of dollars have been spent by corporate America and the insurance industry to contest and litigate the obligation of insurers to defend and indemnify insureds held liable to other parties, the state or federal government for environmental impairment and other insurance obligations. This course looks at some of the common coverage issues as well as a summary of how courts have dealt with these conflicts. Additional topics covered are expectations of the parties, insurable risks, assignment and transfer of insurance policies, consent of the insurer, reorganizations and acquisitions, liability created by statute, insurability of punitive damages, burden of proof, ambiguities and the general rules for resolving ambiguities.
ID – 701 Automobile Liability Insurance
Automobile accidents result in the largest number of claims nationwide. This course reviews many of the areas that are frequently litigated in the venue of automobile liability insurance coverage. Topics discussed include “permissive use”, “ownership, maintenance, and use”, “loading and unloading” and “occupying” of vehicles. Typical automobile coverage topics will also be reviewed.
ID – 801 Fire And Property Insurance
Property insurance coverage does not deal with the duty to defend and indemnify an insured but rather with the loss to an insured’s own property. This course discusses the types of property coverage available to an insured, what perils are covered, trigger of coverage, damages and equitable relief, property damage and economic loss, and typical property insurance exclusion clauses.
ID – 901 Contribution Litigation
Whenever there is more than one tortfeasor involved in causing the personal injury or property damage of another, a determination must be made as to the causal negligence of all parties. Once that determination is made, contribution claims may result in reimbursement to an insurance company for payments made on behalf of an insured. This course will discuss topics such as when to file a contribution claim, as well as the elements necessary to establish such a claim.
ID – 1101 Defending Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Claims
This course examines how to effectively defend workers’ comp claims in Wisconsin. Wisconsin was the first state to enact a constitutional workers’ compensation law back in 1911 and, thereafter, many other states have fashioned workers’ comp programs after Wisconsin. This course will cover workers’ comp investigation procedures, Wis. Stat. § 102.29, apportionment and allocation of third-party recoveries, disputed claims procedures, conditions of liability, what is “arising out of employment”, how to determine compensability, benefits, retraining, medical expenses, and attorney’s fees and costs. Also discussed is the interplay between workers’ comp defense and workers’ comp subrogation, including workers’ comp subrogation rights, evaluating workers’ comp subrogation files, statutory credit/advances and a brief synopsis of the subrogation laws of the states that surround Wisconsin. In addition, and, most importantly, when to retain defense counsel and what to look for in a good insurance defense firm, along with many practical tips to assist you in handling your workers’ comp defense claims aggressively and cost-effectively.