On Monday, November 9th, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important case regarding outstanding medical bills for a man injured in an auto accident. At issue is whether or not the injured man has to pay back his insurance company for his medical bills, even after his lawsuit has settled. Our team of auto accident attorneys details this case and its potentially far-reaching implications.
The case, Montanile v. National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, was filed by Robert Montanile, who was hurt in a crashed caused by a drunk driver. His medical bills amounted to $121,000, which his own health insurance plan, National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, paid in full.
Montanile also hired a personal injury attorney to help him recover damages from the drunk driver. He filed sued against the driver, ultimately securing a $500,000 settlement. Once his case settled Montanile’s insurance company requested to be reimbursed for the $121,000 it paid for his medical expenses, which the man refused. After several months of discussions, Montanile’s lawyer released to him the $121,000 (that was being held in a trust), which Montanile spent.
Meanwhile, the benefit plan sued Montanile for the full amount of his medical expenses under what’s often called the “most complicated statue in the entire U.S. Code,” the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA.
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