Articles Posted in Health-Care Liens

The issue in this case was how to calculate the lien-payment math in a personal injury lawsuit that involved treatment at the county-owned Stroger Hospital. The Illinois Appellate Court ruled that health-care service liens must be calculated from the total amount a plaintiff recovers, not from the amount after attorney fees and costs have been deducted.

There were actually two cases that were consolidated from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Each involved plaintiffs injured in car accidents and treated at Stroger Hospital. Each plaintiff settled the case and then moved to adjudicate their health-care service liens, arguing that legal fees should be deducted from the sum before calculating what they would owe the county for their medical treatment.

The law in Illinois caps the total amount of health-care liens at 40% of the settlement or verdict amount. When liens reach that threshold, lien-holding health-care professionals get a 20% cut, while any health-care providers get the remaining 20%.

Continue reading

The Illinois Appellate Court weighed the application of the Illinois Health-Care Services Lien Act in an underinsured-motorist case. On Nov. 5, 2009, in Murphysboro, Ill., a car driven by Lori Maramba crossed the center line and struck a vehicle driven by David McRoberts. Caitlyn McRoberts and Kim McRoberts were passengers with David McRoberts, all of whom suffered injuries and damages. The defendant had a liability insurance coverage limit of $50,000. The McRoberts family collected all of that and additionally made claim under their underinsured-motorist benefits policy. The underinsurance allowed for the payment of an additional $50,000 to the McRoberts family.

The medical bills paid to the McRoberts family exceeded the settlement. That included the payment of both the tortfeasor’s insurance policy and the McRoberts family’s underinsurance policy.The total amount of the medical bills incurred was in excess of $321,000. 

Several of the health-care providers filed liens in compliance with the Health-Care Services Lien Act. The plaintiffs, the McRoberts family, filed a petition to adjudicate the medical liens on Dec. 1, 2011. The trial court held a hearing on the petition on Dec. 9, 2011. The trial judge allowed for application of the Health-Care Services Lien Act wherein 40% of the settlement amount of both the underlying tortfeasor insurance policy and the underinsurance were applied at 40% of the settlement. That means 40% of the $50,000 of the underinsurance policy was also distributed in proportional shares to the lien holders who had filed appearances with the court.

Continue reading