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Verified Complaints in Arizona

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

April 1, 2019 12:20pm

In most jurisdictions, verified complaints are only filed in rare occasions or where required by statute as they can raise additional obstacles for plaintiffs. In Arizona, unless a rule or statute specifically states otherwise, complaints need not be verified. (16. A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 8(h)) However, where a verified complaint is required, the complaint “must be accompanied by an affidavit by the party–or a person acting on the party’s behalf who is…

A Look at Arizona’s Wrongful Death Statute and Recoverable Damages

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

February 4, 2019 11:00am

A survival claim is brought by the estate of the deceased and a wrongful death claim is brought by the deceased’s surviving family members. These two claims are not mutually exclusive and can be brought simultaneously. Liability arises from a death in Arizona when but for a wrongful act or negligence the decedent would not have died and been entitled to pursue a personal injury action. (A.R.S. § 12-611.)  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 12 -612, standing…

Medicare Set Aside Enforcement in Liability Cases

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

October 1, 2018 10:00am

Where a plaintiff received Medicare benefits related to an injury resulting from third party negligence, Medicare will make a conditional payment for related medical services to prevent the Medicare beneficiary from paying the bill themselves. Thereafter, if plaintiff receives a settlement, judgment or award related to the claimed injury in the future, Medicare has a statutory right to recover the conditional payment from the proceeds.

Medicare Made Clear: Part A-B-C-D

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Leslie Price

September 5, 2018 9:00am

Medicare Federal Health Insurance is an entitlement program based on earning withholdings taken from your paycheck. In personal injury lawsuits where plaintiff received Medicare benefits related to their injury, Medicare has a statutory right to recover from a third-party for medical services provided to the beneficiary. Further, Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid SCHIP Extension Act, includes mandatory reporting requirements for liability insurers at the time of settlement. For each unreported claim, a responsible reporting entity, is subject to a $1,000 civil money penalty for each day of noncompliance with respect to each claimant. It is critical for defense attorneys to understand who is eligible for Medicare and Medicare’s statutory scheme, including Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

Pressing Pause: Vehicular Manslaughter Criminal Prosecutions and Simultaneous Wrongful Death Suits

Author: Katie Greenbaum

July 9, 2018 9:00am

A variety of criminal acts can be the basis of civil suits for damages. When defending a civil action with potential criminal charges, or an unresolved criminal case, defense handling can get complicated. Specifically, when a civil plaintiff notices the deposition of a defendant who potentially risks self-incrimination. Often, motor vehicle-related deaths result with both a criminal prosecution for vehicular manslaughter and a civil suit for wrongful death. In light of potential criminal charges, it is critical for civil defense counsel to monitor the statute of limitations and delay the civil action accordingly.

California Case Law Update Feb 2018

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Jeremy Freedman

March 5, 2018 12:25pm

EMPLOYMENT – OBESITY DISCRIMINATION

Cornell v. Berkeley Tennis Club, 18 Cal.App.5th, First District Court of Appeal, Division 1 (Opinion filed 12/21/2017)

Plaintiff was a severely obese employee, weighing over 350 pounds, who was fired from Berkeley Tennis Club after having worked there for over 15 years. She alleged multiple claims including three under the California Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) for discrimination related to her obesity disability, failure to accommodate her disability, disability harassment, and retaliation. The trial court granted Berkeley Tennis Club’s motion for summary judgment regarding the FEHA claims on the grounds Plaintiff failed to produce evidence her obesity qualified as a disability. Plaintiff timely appealed.

Satisfaction of Spousal Tort Liability in California: Community Property versus Separate Property

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 2:23pm

When an act or omission of one spouse gives rise to tort liability, California clients, particularly those with large assets, frequently become concerned with the impact of any judgment on the community estate. Typically, the tortfeasor spouse seeks to protect his or her community property from the tortious conduct and only uses available separate property to satisfy any debts.

Howell Update: Another Victory for Defendants

Author: Cayce E. Lynch, Katie Greenbaum

May 31, 2017 10:12am

Last week the California Court of Appeal issued another huge victory to defendants by extending the reach of the landmark California Supreme Court Howell v. Hamilton Meats case to include future medical benefits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (“ACA”).  In 2011, Howell sent shock waves through the insurance industry when the Court examined the “billed vs. paid” rule and concluded an injured plaintiff is limited to recovering the discounted amount private health insurance pays on their behalf for as past medical damages, not the inflated amount medical providers bill health insurance companies for their services.  (Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 541.)  In 2013, the California Court of Appeal extended Howell‘s “paid” rule to apply to future medical expenses and noneconomic damages.  (Cornenbaum v. Lampkin (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1331-1333.)

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