Civil Procedure Personal Injury

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A Change in Direction for Change in Condition?

On January 20, 2016, the South Carolina Court of Appeals handed down its opinion in Russell v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2016 WL 231216, and held that claimant is not required to prove a change of condition by objective...more

Supreme Court Interprets ERISA to Limit Remedies Available to Plans to Subrogate and Recover Overpayments

Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan is the fourth decision by the U.S. Supreme Court addressing the subrogation rights of self-insured ERISA-covered health plans. Three...more

Court of Appeals Overturns Defense Verdict In Medical Malpractice Conditional Consent Case: Carter v. The Pain Center of Arizona

After a fall, Carter met with Dr. Towns, who recommended a sacrococcygeal ligament injection for her pain. When Carter expressed anxiety about the injection, Towns offered to sedate her for the procedure. When Carter returned...more

ERISA Plans Should Act To Reinforce Reimbursement Rights In Light Of Recent SCOTUS Decision

Group health plan administrators should take actions to address the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that an ERISA plan cannot enforce its equitable lien, which had been established through the plan’s reimbursement...more

Product Liability Update: January 2016

Supreme Court Holds Defendant Cannot Moot Putative Class Action by Making Unaccepted Offer of Judgment for Complete Relief to Representative Plaintiff - In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857, 2016 U.S. LEXIS 846 (S....more

Court of Appeals Addresses Insurance Agent Negligence Claim; Plaintiff May Claim Emotional Damages

For years, the Murrays bought minimum limits vehicle insurance, including minimum UM/UIM from agent Jones. Then they gradually began increasing their limits. They testified that when they discussed UM/UIM coverage with Jones,...more

Supreme Court: For ERISA Plans, Time May Be Money

A new U.S. Supreme Court decision is a reminder that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans must act promptly if they want to assert a lien to secure a participant’s obligation to reimburse medical expenses or...more

New Hampshire Supreme Court Holds Excess Insurer Has No Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Stratford Ins. Co., 2016 N.H. LEXIS 8 (N.H. Jan. 26, 2016), the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, addressing a question certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the...more

NCAA Settlement Could Promote Concussion Prevention and Treatment, but Leaves Member Institutions on the Hook for Future Lawsuits

On January 26, U.S. District Judge John Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted preliminary approval of a new settlement of consolidated class action litigation involving the NCAA...more

Class Action Results in Hefty Bill: C$2-Million in Punitive Damages

In the recent decision Biondi c. Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (SCFP-301), the Superior Court of Quebec (Court) ordered the Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (Union) to pay C$2-million in punitive...more

Supreme Court Sends ERISA Plans Racing to the Courthouse for Subrogation Recoveries

The Supreme Court of the United States recently handed down a decision that opens the door for participants in ERISA-covered benefits plans to stop a lawsuit against them in its tracks by doing something that most people love...more

Hurry up and Spend the Money?

It’s like a simple set of facts on a law school exam with an answer that defies logic. And, yet, Supreme Court precedent has brought us to this illogical conclusion. Facts: Participant agrees to reimburse the plan money it...more

Preserving the Chain of Evidence After an Auto Accident

The moments immediately following an auto accident can be stressful for drivers and passengers, especially when they sustain injuries. An accident scene can become a confusing hub of activity when police officers, tow trucks,...more

Pennsylvania: Public policy prevents punitive damages from being recoverable as compensable damages in bad faith or breach of...

In an issue of first impression, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that punitive damages awarded against an insured in a prior personal injury suit are not recoverable as compensable damages in a later breach of...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Limits ERISA Plans’ Ability to Recover Benefits Paid to Injured Employees Who Later Receive...

It’s a common scenario when dealing with a benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA): an employee participating in the plan is injured by a third-party, the plan pays covered medical...more

Supreme Court Issues Further Clarification on Equitable Relief Remedies Available Under ERISA

ERISA Section 502(a)(3) empowers plan fiduciaries to file suit “to obtain … appropriate equitable relief … to enforce … the terms of the plan.” In 1993, the Supreme Court of the United States interpreted this ERISA provision...more

Supreme Court Limits ERISA Healthcare Plan’s Reimbursement Rights: What Montanile Really Means

Last week, the United States Supreme Court held that an ERISA healthcare benefit plan with reimbursement rights can only obtain “appropriate equitable relief” when enforcing its lien against a third-party settlement, thus...more

Supreme Court: Health Plan Recovery Of Expenses Can Be Thwarted By Spendthrift Participant

In an 8-1 decision issued yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a health plan’s right of recovery against a plan participant who obtains an award from a third party found responsible for the participant’s injuries can...more

U.S. Supreme Court Limits ERISA Plan’s Subrogation Rights Where Participants Have Dissipated Funds Recovered from Third Parties –...

Over the years, the U.S. Supreme Court from time to time has explored the scope of equitable relief available under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) in circumstances where an employee benefit plan...more

Texas Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Inapplicable

In its recent decision in In re: ATP Oil & Gas Corporation, 2016 Bank. LEXIS 201 (S.D. Tex. Bankr. Jan. 20, 2016), the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas had occasion to consider the application...more

SCOTUS Rejects Plan’s Right to Dissipated Assets

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an ERISA plan has no right to recover benefits paid on behalf of a participant where the participant has already dissipated settlement funds received from a third party. In...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Montanile Applies Principles of Equity to Reach an Absurdly Inequitable Result Regarding ERISA Plan...

“A” gets hit by a drunk driver and incurs $121,044 in medical expenses. The ERISA Plan agrees to pay the expenses if “A” contractually agrees to reimburse the Plan for any recovery obtained as the result of any legal action...more

Supreme Court Provides More Guidance Regarding Health Plan Subrogation Claims

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court handed down yet another case addressing health plan subrogation. From the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. (547 U.S. 356) (2006),...more

Insurance Recovery Law - January 2016

Despite Finding Policy Application Misrepresentation, Jury Rules Against Policy Rescission - Why it matters: A federal jury concluded that Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company did not have a valid basis to rescind the...more

Pennsylvania High Court Reinforces Nuisance Claim Bar Under the Right To Farm Act

On December 21, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided the case Gilbert, et al. v. Synagro Central, LLC, et al., Pa Supreme Court No. 121 MAP 2014 (December 21, 2015), which interpreted a provision of the Pennsylvania...more

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