Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recoverable Medical Damages-The Howell v. Hamilton Meats Case

Well, the California Supreme Court has finally spoken on the apparent conflict between the so-called "Hanif Rule" and the long-established "Collateral Source Rule." The Court succinctly framed the issue in its opening paragraph, and provided:
When a tortiously injured person receives medical care for his or her injuries, the provider of that care often accepts as full payment, pursuant to a preexisting contract with the injured person‘s health insurer, an amount less than that stated in the provider‘s bill. In that circumstance, may the injured person recover from the tortfeasor, as economic damages for past medical expenses, the undiscounted sum stated in the provider‘s bill but never paid by or on behalf of the injured person? We hold no such recovery is allowed, for the simple reason that the injured plaintiff did not suffer any economic loss in that amount.

I'll have more on this as I digest the full measure of the 18 page decision.


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