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North Carolina Trial Law Blog

NC Lawyer seeks Declaratory Judgment on Ahlborn and NC Medicaid

Lawyer Seeks Federal Ruling on NC Medicaid Law

My friend Carlos Mahoney of Glenn, Mills and Fisher of Durham has filed a Federal DJ action seeking a ruling on whether NC Medicaid (Department of Health and Human Services) is actually following the law (since Ahlborn) in the way it attempts to collect from personal injury settlements.

You can see my previous discussion on what Ahlborn means to NC lawyers here.

Good Newspaper Coverage

Carlos' suit was actually covered by the local newspaper, and covered well, in my opinion.

Here is a clip:

Official sued for blocking injury settlement

By John Stevenson, The Herald-Sun
August 24, 2006   11:20 pm

DURHAM -- N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Carmen Hooker Odom is being sued on grounds that she allegedly imposed an unconstitutional Medicaid lien on $75,000 owed to an 11-year-old Durham girl injured in a motorcycle accident.

The suit, drafted by lawyer Carlos Mahoney and filed this week in the Durham Division of U.S. Middle District Court, identifies the child only as "D.J.M."

According to the suit, the $75,000 was part of a settlement to reimburse D.J.M. for pain, suffering and permanent scarring that arose after she was hit by a motorcycle in Durham on June 25, 2005.

The suit contends that the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the state's Medicaid program, has no right to the money because it was not intended for medical expenses. But Odom imposed a lien on the settlement funds anyway, apparently to recover $11,190.45 spent on D.J.M.'s hospital and physician bills, the suit says.

You can read the full story here:  Herald Sun

I'm crossing my fingers that the Federal Court will make sure that Ahlborn is being applied correctly and that the North Carolina Supreme Court will use this as yet another reason to take another look at Ezell.

Chris Nichols

www.NicholsTrialLaw.com

www.NicholsTrialLaw.com 1.800.906.5984

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