Arkansas Dept of Health v Ahlborn - limits on Medicaid liens
Personal Injury News Items
In the recent case of Arkansas Dep't of Health and Human Services v. Ahlborn, S.Ct. No. 04-1506 (U.S.S.C. May 01, 2006), the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal Medicaid and anti-lien law precludes a state Department of Health and state AGs from recovering more out of a tort claimant's settlement than that portion of the settlement which actually represents reimbursement for medical payments. State third-party liability provisions attempting to recover a greater amount (such as 100% of medical expenses paid) are preempted by the federal law. Hence, for example, if the plaintiff's PI monetary settlement is only one sixth of the value of the plaintiff's claims, Medicaid can take no more than one sixth of the recovery.
Game Truck Georgia was recently hit with a $4.7 million judgment for injuries arising out of a game of "bubble soccer". But this was after they had pleaded with their insurer to settle those same claims for a pretrial offer of $1 million - which was within their policy limits. Their insurer, Atlantic Specialty Insurance, declined those offers and forced the case to trial. Now the attorneys for Game Truck Georgia are chasing their own insurance company for its bad faith refusal to settle - a refusal which led to the insolvency and desctruction of their business.
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