I hate medical lien claims when it comes to my clients. And that is because, in New York, the law is unsettled as to when and how an insurance company that provided medical care to an injured party can recoup its payments. Lawyers hate uncertainty.
Today, in Fasso v Doerr, the Court of Appeals tried to tackle the issue. I say “tried” because the legislation is unclear, leaving a vacuum for the court to work in.
The details of this problem will bore most readers to tears, but if you are a practitioner (or policy maker/wonk) you should click on that link and read.
Part III of the decision is the request to the Legislature to clear this mucky area up.
Updated: As noted in the comments by Roy Mura, he has done a long treatment of this case over at his blog, Coverage Counsel. If you find the issue of permissive intervention by insurers to be of interest, as well as the issue of equitable subrogation rights by an insurer that they may have (and if you practice personal injury law you have to be up to date on this, even if you hate the subject), then head over there for a reading of Mura’s post.