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%.