Personal negligence - insurance companies can step in and take back the proceeds from the award...thank the federal government for this one according to the article...at many as two thirds of insurance policies are subject to the ERISA law...good read on the ERISA law...BD
Minnesota schoolteacher Tom Carey mortgaged his house in order to finance a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors and hospital whose medical blunders resulted in the prolonged, agonizing and painful death of his wife, Barbara. When the doctors settled, his wife's health insurance company tried to take it all away. A radiologist missed a spot on his wife's CT scan. The spot the doctor missed showed that his wife's cancer had returned. This mistake allowed the cancer to grow for another year. By the time it was discovered, the tumor was the size of a football. At this late point radiation was the only chance of saving her. Unfortunately however the radiation was so strong that it ate up her intestines. Therefore, all the food that she ate went into her entire body because her intestines were like jelly.
When Barbara's health insurance company got wind of Tom's medical malpractice lawsuit, it slapped a $1.4 million lien against the potential proceeds of the suit.
Barbara's health insurance company insisted on receiving $60,000.00 from the proceeds of the malpractice settlement before it would drop its lien. Tom had no choice but to pay up.
Although most state laws prohibit insurance company from taking money back from their insureds from the proceeds of a personal injury negligence settlement, federal law trumps state law and the insurance companies always win.