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Lien manual published by Chris Nichols

Well, it finally happened- I'm officially a published author now (and editor!)

The NC Lien Manual is now on the shelves, the one I edited and wrote chapters for and that was published by the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers and Lexis.  Before you think that I'm pitching my own product, you should know that 100% of proceeds go to NCATL to further the fight for people's rights, not to me!

Here is the link Nichols_lien_manual_2 to check it out: NC LIEN MANUAL

Here is what Lexis says:

Description

New Publication!

The Personal Injury Liens Manual is a brand new publication that is intended to help simplify the complexity that characterizes personal injury liens, and to provide information you need to secure maximum net recovery for your clients.

Edited by Christopher R. Nichols, a leading personal injury attorney and Academy member, the first edition is authoritative, comprehensive, and user-friendly. The 380+ page manual contains 6 chapters and provides fingertip access to more than 35 sample forms, letters, and complaints, and includes dozens of practice tips and pointers from the experienced authors. It also contains the text of relevant state and federal statutes, regulations, and case law.
www.NicholsTrialLaw.com 1.800.906.5984

Is the SEHP entitled to payment from Medical Payments Coverage?

As the State Employee Health Plan gets makes more and more subrogation claims, we will find situations that have not been contemplated by the statute.
One such situation would be where a client has not had legal representation, and a medical payments insurer makes payment directly to the SEHP before an attorney becomes involved.  Here is how I think this should be addressed.
SEHP not entitled to med pay coverage
One argument to make is that SEHP should not have ever received the med pay.
The statute talks about liens against settlement from "liable third parties" and we know that SEHP does not expect reimbursement from worker's comp (not a liable third party) nor from the client's UM/UIM (not a liable third party).
So if the med pay is from your clients own insurance, it is not from a "liable third party". 
Because of that, the client should clearly get a credit for the med pay paid to SEHP, AND it should not count as part of the overall settlement (i.e: if the settlement was 30k, plus $1800 in med pay, then SEHP should figure the reduction amount (10k cap here) on the 30k, NOT $31,800)
AN EXAMPLE OF FIRST PARTY MED PAY
Thus:
30,000  TOTAL SETTLEMENT
Assume:
10,000 Attorney fees  (1/3 of settlement you obtained)
100,000 SEHP lien claimed
30,000 TOTAL SETTLEMENT
-10,000 Attorney fees
20,000 NET
 
SEHP should get no more than 50% of the net after reasonable procurement costs (1/3) and so they are entitled to 50% of $20,000, or $10,000 as full and final satisfaction of the lien.
From the $10,000, subtract $1,800 previously paid, so a final payment of $8,200.
Reasoning behind "liable third party"
One of the reasons they collect only from "liable third parties" is that the patient/client/plan member is the one paying premiums for the medpay/UM/UIM, not SEHP.  Thus, the SEHP should not get the benefit of the client's insurance.
Their argument is contrary to the plain language of the statute, and also to the past administration of the lien.
Now, if the medpay came from the liable third party (maybe a passenger as client), then that argument may not work as well.  In that case, they should still deduct the previous payments from the lien, BUT, I think they would count the medpay as part of the total settlement.  Using the example above, it would look like this:
THIRD PARTY MED PAY
30,000 Settlement
1,800  med pay from liable third party
31,800 TOTAL SETTLEMENT
Assume:
10,000 Attorney fees  (1/3 of settlement you obtained)
100,000 SEHP lien claimed
31,800 TOTAL SETTLEMENT
-10,000 Attorney fees
21,800 NET
 
SEHP should get no more than 50% of the net after reasonable procurement costs (1/3) and so they are entitled to 50% of 21,800, or $10,900 as full and final satisfaction of the lien.
From the $10,900, subtract $1,800 previously paid, so a final payment of $9,100.
-Chris Nichols
www.NicholsTrialLaw.com 1.800.906.5984