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Set of Wrong Assumptions

April 26, 2007

The Illinois Appellate Court has just dealt a terrible blow to plaintiffs injury cases. From the case:

“Plaintiff, Sheila M. Wills, seeks review of the trial court’s order reducing the jury’s personal-injury award for compensatory damages from $80,163.47 to $19,005.50. Plaintiff claims the collateral-source rule applies and entitles her to the recovery of the amount of medical expenses billed, not the amount of medical expenses actually paid at a discounted rate. Defendant Inman E. Foster, Jr., the tortfeasor, argues the collateral-source rule does not apply to this case because the medical expenses were paid through Medicare or Medicaid, which provides health benefits to certain needy individuals. Plaintiff did not incur liability for her medical expenses, did not bargain for her coverage, and did not pay any premiums as part of a contractual relationship. Therefore, defendant claims the governmental medical benefits do not qualify as a “collateral source” under the collateral-source rule. We affirm.”

Huh? Did the injured not pay premium? And what is that item on each and everyone’s paycheck which comes in a form of a deduction for Social Security Services? And, is there not a “social contract” between the government and the citizenry that binds the two together? And… isn’t it true that Medicare or Medicaid have a right of reimbursement should an injured person collect compensation from a third party for injuries sustained?

This decision is simply based on a set of wrong assumptions. A re-hearing should be in order…

Read the decision here (pdf).

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