Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Party Auto Carriers Held to Have Duty to Reduce Medical Expenses Before Paying

In the notable Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas decision of Pavelko v. Unitrin Direct Auto Ins., No. 11190 of 2012 (C.P. Lawrence June 12, 2014 Cox, J.), Judge Craig Cox overruled a defendant first party auto insurance carrier's preliminary objections allowing an insured to proceed on a claim that the first party carrier's failure to pay reduced medical expense in accordance with Section 1797(a) of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law resulted in a premature exhaustion of the insured's first party medical benefits.

The Lawrence County trial court ruled that first party carriers had a duty to follow the law and pay the properly reduced amounts.  In his decision, Judge Cox rejected the carrier's contention that this failure to re-price medical expenses did not amount to a valid cause of action.
Anyone wishing to review this first party decision may click HERE.
I send thanks to Attorney Scott Cooper of the Harrisburg law firm of Schmidt Kramer for bringing this case to my attention.

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