Weekly Law Resume - March 3, 2011: Damages - Reduction Of Medical Specials To Amounts Paid

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Ingrid Cabrera v. E. Rojas Properties, Inc. Court of Appeal, Second District (February 24, 2011)

This case follows a recent string of cases addressing the application of the collateral source rule to plaintiff's recovery for past medical expenses. The issue addressed is whether plaintiff is entitled to recover the amount billed by plaintiff's medical providers or the amount actually paid by the insurer.

Plaintiff Ingrid Cabrera was injured when she fell down a staircase owned by defendant E. Rojas Properties, Inc. Prior to trial, the parties stipulated that Cabrera's medical providers billed her $57,534.45 for services rendered and that her health insurance paid $8,914.26 for those services. The parties further stipulated that amounts paid by the insurer were accepted by the medical providers as payment in full and that no additional amount was owed to Cabrera's medical providers. Procedurally, the parties stipulated that the evidence submitted to the jury would include the billed amounts, not the paid amounts, and that the jury would be instructed that the billed amounts were "reasonable and necessary." The stipulation provided that Rojas Properties would file a post-verdict motion to reduce the recoverable amount of plaintiff's medical expenses to the amount paid by the insurer.

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