SCOTUS to North Carolina: “Ya Gots To Do Better Than This!”

The Supreme Court of the United States (aka “SCOTUS” aka “The Supremes“) recently handed down a decision that will bring profound changes in the way North Carolina disburses settlement proceeds in catastrophic injury claims.

Before this month’s decision, whenever a person on Medicaid was injured by someone else’s carelessness, but there was not enough funds recovered from the careless party to pay for all of the injured person’s expenses and damages, attorneys were required to pay back to Medicaid basically one third of all those funds.

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(Not SCOTUS)

No more.  In the case of Wos v. E.M.A., the High Court decided that “North Carolina’s scheme is “arbitrary” and often leads to results where a person already badly harmed gets injured even further by the civil justice system.  The Court summarized the essential problem with North Carolina’s practice this way:

“The state law has no process for determining what portion of a beneficiary’s tort recovery is attributable to medical expenses. Instead, the State has picked an arbitrary percentage and by statutory command labeled that portion of a beneficiary’s tort recovery as representing payment for medical care… 
 
The State offers no evidence showing that its allocation is reasonable…and the law provides no mechanism for determining whether its allocation is reasonable in any particular case. 

 Read more in my March 2013 LEGAL TRENDS e-newsletter.

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About Mike Daisley - Civil Litigation Attorney, Mediator, Writer, Licensed Lay Preacher (Episcopal Church, Diocese of North Carolina)

Mike Daisley is a civil litigation attorney and Certified Mediator in Charlotte, North Carolina, and owner and president of "DaisleyLegal" a virtual law firm focused on helping victims of drunk driving injuries and other careless individuals and corporations. He devotes a significant time of his practice as a mediator in North Carolina's Superior Courts, using his 35 years of litigation experience to counsel and assist opposing parties to resolve their disputes and lawsuits cooperatively, avoiding the high expenses and time commitments involved in going to trial. In addition to his commitment to Civil Trial Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mike is also an avid writer, and has a wide array of interests outside of his legal practice, including stints as a columnist for The Charlotte Observer, political analyst for WCNC-TV and WBT Radio. Mike’s biggest passion outside the law is learning and writing about theology, and especially the role doubt plays in faith, the role faith plays (or should play) in politics, and (as he puts it) the “beauty and deep mystery” of the liturgy. Mike is a lifelong Episcopalian, and often jokes that means "I am a raging agnostic at least two or three days a week.” In 2019, he was appointed by the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina as a licensed Lay Preacher in the Episcopal Church. (A sample of Mike’s preaching can be heard here: http://www.stmartins-charlotte.org/content.cfm?id=2245&download_id=269#attached_content) To discuss the possibility of teaching, lecture, sermon or interview requests (or to make any comments or suggestions about the “WithGladness” blog) you may contact Mike at any Office email : Mike@DaisleyLegal.com Personal email: MikeDaisley@outlook.com Office voicemail: (704) 554-2306 Mike Daisley & Associates, LLC 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 400 Charlotte, North Carolina 28209
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