Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...
A union health fund can take $236,700 from a wrongful-death settlement paid in connection with a deceased worker whose medical expenses were covered by the fund, a federal appeals court ruled ( Mackey v. Johnson , 2017 BL 293552, 8th Cir., No. 16-1886, 8/22/17 ).
The Minnesota Laborers Health & Welfare Fund can recoup the full amount it paid for the participant’s lung cancer treatment out of the settlement his sister received from the hospital that allegedly mishandled his care, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held Aug. 22. The settlement agreement was unclear as to whether it included medical expenses, but other evidence showed that those expenses were included in the settlement amount, the Eighth Circuit said.
The case presents an example of the thorny issues that can arise when a person’s accidental death or injury leads to settlement from the at-fault party after the person’s health plan pays for medical care—a situation addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 and 2016.
In this case, the Eighth Circuit said the health fund could assert its subrogation rights against the settlement, even though the settlement agreement didn’t specifically identify medical bills as one of the included expenses. That’s because the participant’s sister initially sought medical expenses in her lawsuit against the hospital, and because she told a federal judge that this claim had been settled, the Eighth Circuit said.
Judge Steven M. Colloton wrote the decision, which was joined by Judges James B. Loken and Jane Kelly.
McGrann & Shea represents the health fund. Meshbesher & Spence represents the participant’s sister. Gislason & Hunter represents the hospital.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jacklyn Wille in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)