Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District
May 19, 2021, Decided
[*1125] Kuntz, J.,
Gulfstream Park Racing Association appeals the circuit court's Final Judgment for Margaret Volin in this trip and fall case. We address one of Gulfstream's arguments on appeal. Gulfstream argues the circuit court erred when it allowed Volin to introduce evidence of the amount billed by medical providers instead of the discounted amount Medicare paid in full satisfaction of her medical expenses. ] Years ago, we held that "[w]hen a provider charges for medical service or products and later accepts a lesser sum in full satisfaction by Medicare, the original charge becomes irrelevant because it does not tend to prove that the claimant has suffered any loss by reason of the charge." Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp. v. Lasky, 868 So. 2d 547, 551 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003) (on rehearing). We have consistently applied that holding and do [**2] so again today. Thus, we reverse the judgment and remand for a new trial on damages. We also certify a question of great public importance to the Florida Supreme Court.
Volin sued Gulfstream for negligence after she fell on Gulfstream's property and broke her hip. Volin was 72 years old at the time of her fall and claimed that before her injury she planned to continue working as a part-time cashier at Winn-Dixie until she reached 80 years old.
Gulfstream moved to preclude Volin from introducing the gross amount of her medical bills into evidence because Medicare satisfied her medical expenses for a lesser amount. Volin responded that under the Florida Supreme Court's decision in Joerg v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 176 So. 3d 1247 (Fla. 2015), she could introduce the gross amount of her medical bills. The circuit court denied Gulfstream's motion, finding that it would handle any collateral source setoffs post-verdict.
At trial, Volin sought to recover the gross amount of her past medical bills, totaling $ 101,402.55. She also sought to recover $ 35,835.22 in lost past wages and $ 25,272.08 for the loss of future earning capacity. Finally, Volin requested $ 750,000 for past noneconomic damages and $ 650,000 in future noneconomic damages.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
326 So. 3d 1124 *; 2021 Fla. App. LEXIS 7168 **; 46 Fla. L. Weekly D 1146; 2021 WL 1997278
GULFSTREAM PARK RACING ASSOCIATION, INC., d/b/a GULFSTREAM PARK RACING AND CASINO, a Florida corporation, Appellant, v. MARGARET VOLIN, Appellee.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Michael A. Robinson, Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE-17-008209(13).
Disposition: Reversed and remanded; question of great public importance certified.
damages, medical expenses, medical bill, provider, benefits, billed, setoff, collateral source, gross amount, cases, collateral source rule, lesser amount
Public Health & Welfare Law, Social Security, Medicare, Eligibility, Torts, Remedies, Damages, Proof, Civil Procedure, Compensatory Damages, Collateral Source Rule, Insurance Payments, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Affirmative Defenses, Setoffs, Government Benefits, Evidence, Admissibility, Conduct Evidence, Payment of Medical Expenses, Compensatory Damages, Types of Losses, Medical Expenses