Motion to Enforce Settlement: Medicare Liens

I’ve never filed a motion to enforce a settlement and I don’t think anyone in my firm has. I think as far as I’ve come is threating to file a motion but it never comes to that.

That streak may not survive as insurance companies continue to overreact to their risk of Medicare or Medicare coming back to haunt them after a settlement. Sure, there are theoretical potential penalties if Medicare and/or Medicaid liens are not dealt with out of the settlement funds. I don’t have a problem with insurance companies trying to reduce their small risk. But some insurance adjusters handling claims in Maryland are cementing their reputation of being unreasonable by taking extreme positions on what post-settlement hoops plaintiffs’ lawyers must jump though to get a check.

Torts Talk, a defense lawyer oriented blog I just stumbled upon, talks about how a Pennsylvania judge dealt with this issue. Plaintiff’s attorney filed a Motion to Enforce a Settlement when the insurance company refused to issue a settlement check after a car accident settlement until the Plaintiff produced documentation confirming the status of any Medicare/Medicaid lien.


On its face, not an unreasonable requests. But the Plaintiff’s lawyer provided the insurance company letters from Medicare confirming that there were no liens. So the insurance company wants to hold on to its money until Plaintiffs’ lawyer double proves a negative from a government bureaucracy? It is just not reasonable to hold up a settlement under these circumstances. The court in this case cited by Torts Talk agrees.

I like reading defense oriented blogs that don’t write every blog post slanted towards demonstrating its defense oriented bona fides by mocking every pro-plaintiff ruling. (Drug and Device Law you are so vain, you probably think this quip is about you.)

  • GEICO’s effort to do this to me
  • 5 things you did not know about subrogation liens
Updated:
  • Of course, there are other sides to the story. I’m having difficulty getting some plaintiff attorneys to admit that anything’s changed. I went as far as sending one of them a copy of the statute and an article about it, and he still won’t release the information to me.

  • Ron Miller

    That’s fair. I agree the law has changed. I don’t mind jumping though a few hoops, either. They just has to be modicum of a logic reason to jump, though.

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