Friday, March 20, 2015

Judge Kosik of PA Federal Middle District Court Addresses Interplay Between Future Medical Expenses Claim and Medicare

As Tort Talkers may recall, a hot topic trending right now under Pennsylvania civil litigation law is the interplay between alleged damages for future medical care and the collateral source doctrine.
 
For other Tort Talk posts covering this area of the law click HERE and HERE.

This issue came up in the Federal Middle District of Pennsylvania case of Coyne v. Midland Steel Warehouse, No. 3:13-CV-02728 (M.D.Pa. Feb. 20, 2015 Kosik, J.), in which the Plaintiff’s expert intended to offer testimony that Plaintiff’s gross future medicals were around $150,000. 
 
However, according to defense counsel, at the time of the accident, and obviously going forward, Plaintiff, due to her age, was Medicare eligible.  Defense counsel reported that Medicare had actually paid for the Plaintiff's medical care up to the time of trial and was asserting a lien for a fraction of the gross cost. 

Based upon this scenario, the defense filed a Motion in Limine in which the following issues were raised. 
 
First, the defense sought to have the alleged future medicals capped to the Medicare amount.
 
Second, and in the alternative, permission was requested by the defense to cross-examine the Plaintiff’s expert on the Medicare amount.
 
Third, the defense additionally requested permission to produce a rebuttal expert to discuss the Medicare pricing of the alleged future medical care.

According to the copy of the Order only (without Opinion) secured from this case, Judge Kosik granted the defense motion in part and permitted the defense to cross-examine the Plaintiff’s expert and/or call a Medicare expert. 
 
According to defense counsel, the case settled on the eve of trial.
 
The prevailing defense counsel on the motion in Coyne was Attorney John Croumer of the Lancaster, PA office of Post & Schell and I send thanks to him for bringing this notable decision to my attention.
 
Anyone desiring a copy of the Order in question, may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

 

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