LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Federal: Carrier’s Subrogation Claim May Not Be Removed to Federal Court

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held the issue of whether a workers’ compensation insurance carrier was entitled to subrogation following a settlement between a third party and the insurance beneficiary employee arose under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act and, therefore, the matter...

Texas: State Supreme Court Answers Complex Question as to Credit Allowed to Carrier in Third Party Action with Multiple Beneficiaries

Under Texas law, consistent with that in the large majority of states, a workers’ compensation carrier has a subrogation interest in a third-party civil action to the extent of its prior payments for benefits and to treat the amount recovered as an advance against the carrier’s future payment...

Wisconsin: Trial Court Can Compel Injured Employee to Accept Settlement of Third-Party Civil Action

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin affirmed a decision compelling a plaintiff/injured employee to accept a settlement offered in a third-party civil action he had filed against an alleged tortfeasor. The employee, who worked for the Village of Fontana, had filed a civil action against Northland Equipment...

Delaware: Affiliation Between Insurance Companies Is Insufficient to Block Insurer’s Right to Join in Third-Party Action

A Delaware court has allowed the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer to intervene in a personal injury action filed by an injured employee against the firm that provided janitorial services to the employer, finding that the insurer has a subrogation interest in any recovery by the injured...

15 Minutes (Fifteen Seconds, Really) Could Have Saved The Gecko More Than 15% On Car Insurance

Coverage Opinions hardly ever addresses automobile or subrogation cases. Here I address both. But wait, stay with me. This is an interesting one. It also speaks to an overarching issue concerning how insurers treat policyholders in a certain claim setting. The issue before the Indiana Court of Appeals...

District Court Holds that an Insurer’s Claim for Equitable Subrogation Against an Insured’s Co-Defendant Failed Because the Insurer Did Not Claim the Co-Defendant Caused the Underlying Damage at Issue

Guidry v. U.S. Department of the Interior , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24787 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 25, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In Guidry , the district court held that, in an action where an underlying co-defendant (the “conservancy”) breached a contract by...

Owner May Sue Negligent Tenant for Uninsured Loss: Suit Against Tenant Not Subrogation

Almost every commercial lease of multi-unit structures contain waivers of subrogation or an agreement that the building owner’s fire insurance is purchased for the benefit of both the owner and the tenants. Since it is improper for an insurer to sue its own insured courts across the country have...

Texas Workers' Compensation: A Model of Stability Now on the Verge of Possible Change

Entering 2014, the Texas workers’ compensation system seemed to be a model of stability; something that would have been impossible to imagine only ten years ago. There was little controversy in the system and no major administrative rule changes were needed. In fact, other states began to look...

Subrogation is Only Either a Tort or Breach of Contract Action: Insurance Irrelevant to Subrogation Action

Subrogation lawsuits seek recovery from a tortfeasor who caused damage to property, the risk of loss of which was insured, and allows the insurer to step into the shoes of its insured to recover from the tortfeasor what the insured could have recovered had the insured not been insured. In Certain Underwriters...

Pennsylvania: Waiver of Future Subrogation Rights Must Be Clear and Explicit

Where the employer joined into a third-party settlement agreement that stated the employer agreed to a payment of a sum certain “in full satisfaction of the defendant/employer’s (and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier’s) right to subrogate against the third party settlement...

Missouri: Commission Exceeded Authority in Ordering Subrogation Payment

A Missouri appellate court held that the state’s Industrial Relations Commission’s power to order an employee (and his spouse) to repay some $41,000 in medical benefits following the successful settlement of a third-party civil action for an amount far exceeding the subrogation lien could...

Missouri: Court Takes Away a Subrogation Credit

The Commission went too far to resolve a subrogation dispute after a third party settlement and violated due process of the claimant’s spouse when she was not a party to the comp claim. Graham v. Latco Contractors , 2015 MO App. Lexis 379 (lexis.com), 2015 MO App. Lexis 379 (Lexis Advance) (April...

Pennsylvania: Work Comp Insurer May Not File Subrogation Action in its Own Name

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that notwithstanding the strong subrogation rights conferred upon employers or their workers’ compensation insurers, they have no direct right of action against a third-party tortfeasor under 77 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 671, where the injured employee has taken...

Georgia: Employer’s Subrogation Lien Fails Where No Proof That Injured Employee Had Been Made Whole

Unlike the situation in many other states, the subrogation lien of a Georgia employer and/or its insurer attaches to third-party recovery by the injured employee only after the injured employee has been fully and completely compensated for his economic and noneconomic losses [see OCGA § 34–9–11...

West Virginia Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Landlords’ Homeowner’s Insurance Policy to Tenant’s Insurable Interest

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (“WVSCA”) recently rejected a circuit court decision finding that a tenant is an “equitable insured” under his landlords’ homeowner’s policy, which had precluded the landlords’ insurer from pursuing a subrogation claim...

Massachusetts: Employer’s Subrogation Rights Do Not Extend to Worker’s Pain and Suffering Recovery

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that while an employer is entitled to a lien on an employee’s recovery from a third party for work-related injuries under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 152, § 15, the lien does not attach to damages paid by a third party for an employee’s pain and...

West Virginia: Insurer Has No Subrogation Interest Since Benefits “Paid” Under Policy Were Less than Employer’s Large Deductible

Under the West Virginia subrogation statute [W. Va. Code § 23–2A–1], a party is entitled to a lien only to the extent that it has actually paid a sum of money. Accordingly, where a mining electrician suffered catastrophic injuries when he was struck and run over by an underground shuttle...

Illinois: In Third Party Action, Employer Owes 25 Percent Attorney Fee on Value of Future Medical Care

Where attorneys for an injured worker bring a successful action against a third party to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by the worker in the course of his employment, thereby enabling the worker’s employer to obtain reimbursement of the compensation benefits that it is obligated...

Montana: Oklahoma Employer May Not Intervene to Recover its Lien Until Worker is Made Whole

Relying upon § 90 of the Restatement (Second) Conflict of Laws, a divided Supreme Court of Montana held that because of the strong public policy against subrogation in the state, courts in Montana will not entertain actions involving workers’ compensation subrogation prior to an injured worker’s...

Idaho: Negligent Employer is Not Entitled to Subrogation Rights Involving Employee’s Third-Party Tort Claim

Idaho’s 1987 adoption of comparative negligence [see Idaho Code § 6–801] and the abrogation of joint and several liability did not affect the rule established in Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Adams , 91 Idaho 151, 417 P.2d 417 (1966), that an employer who is concurrently negligent...

Arizona: Comp Carrier’s Lien May Be Equitably Reduced Even When Worker’s Dependents Settle for Less than Policy Limits of Third-Party’s Coverage

Where an injured worker (or the worker’s dependents) have accepted workers’ compensation benefits and have further sought to recover over against one or more third parties that are responsible for the worker’s injuries, that worker—or his or her dependents—may obtain a judicial...

Kansas: Widow’s Motion to Characterize Wrongful Death Recovery as Exempt from Subrogation Rules Found Barred

Where a surviving spouse of a worker killed in a work-related car accident filed a wrongful death action in a state court and joined a separate federal wrongful death action filed by her son, and the parties eventually settled the claim with the federal court approving not only the settlement, but the...

Illinois: Employer’s Right to Workers’ Compensation Lien is Absolute

Under the plain language of 820 ILCS 305/5(b) (2016), an employer's right to reimbursement of the full amount of benefits paid or to be paid to the injured or deceased worker is absolute; it may not be diminished or, as in this case, strikes by a trial court based upon allegations that the employer...

Pennsylvania: Employer Gets No Subrogation Rights for Recovery under State’s Motor Vehicle Responsibility Law

In Pennsylvania, as in most states, an employer or carrier who has paid out workers’ compensation benefits enjoys a strong statutory subrogation right in any third-party recovery that the injured worker may enjoy. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that the State Police, as the employer of...

Texas: Comp Carrier May Not Rush in Through Back Door to Claim Lien on Settlement Proceeds

In Texas, as in most other states, an employer and/or workers’ compensation insurance carrier enjoy strong subrogation rights that allow recovery of the workers’ compensation outlay against third parties that may be responsible for all or part of the worker’s injury and resulting damages...