FROM THE LAW OFFICES OF GARAN LUCOW MILLER, P.C.
Volume XXIII, No. 12
April 27, 2011

From the Co-Editors
James L. Borin & Simeon R. Orlowski

BCBS POLICY LANGUAGE PREVENTS DOUBLE DIPPING – Contributor Christian C. Huffman 

In the recent unpublished opinion of Morris v Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (Docket No. 296343, issued April 21, 2011), the Michigan Court of Appeals recognized that although double recovery for medical expenses is generally permitted where both a no-fault and health insurance policy are uncoordinated, it can be precluded by other provisions in the health insurance policy.

Charles Morris was injured in a motorcycle/automobile accident in 2007. At the time of the accident, two policies of insurance were available to pay for Morris’s medical care – an uncoordinated no-fault policy issued by AAA of Michigan and an uncoordinated health insurance policy issued by BCBS. Because Morris’s injuries arose out of an automobile accident, AAA paid for all of Morris’s medical care. However, because the AAA and BCBS policies were uncoordinated, Morris filed suit against BCBS alleging that he was entitled to recover from BCBS an amount equal to what AAA had paid for his treatment. The Circuit Court disagreed and granted summary disposition in BCBS’s favor.

The Court of Appeals agreed with Morris that the double recovery he sought is generally not precluded where both the no-fault and health insurance policies are uncoordinated. But, the Court further recognized that since Morris’s right to recover from BCBS was contractual, whether double recovery was permitted in his particular case required consideration of the entire BCBS policy rather than just the coordination/non-coordination provisions.

In that regard, the Court of Appeals agreed with BCBS that double recovery was precluded by an exclusionary provision stating that BCBS did not have to pay for medical care “for which you legally do not have to pay or for which you would not have been charged if you did not have coverage under this certificate.”

Because it was undisputed that AAA had already paid for all of Morris’s medical care, and thus Morris was not legally obligated to pay anything, the Court of Appeals held that the exclusionary provision prevented double recovery in this instance.

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GARAN LUCOW MILLER

INDY CITY SEMINAR – INDIANA & MICHIGAN LAW

May 18, 2011 at the Marriott Downtown Indianapolis

Garan Lucow Miller, P.C. is pleased to present our sixth annual seminar covering Indiana and Michigan Law on May 18, 2011 at the Marriott Downtown Indianapolis, 350 W. Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225 (317) 822-3500. The day will begin with a continental breakfast and registration at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program. Comprehensive written materials will be distributed to all seminar attendees.

If you are able to attend this complimentary event, please register via e-mail to Eileen Carty at: ecarty@garanlucow.com or phone Ms. Carty at (800) 875-7600 for reservations. We hope to see you there!

8:30 – 8:55 Continental Breakfast & Registration

8:55 – 9:00 Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: David A. Couch

9:00 – 9:30 First Party Indiana Law Updates

Speaker: Gregory M. Bokota

9:30 – 10:00 Third Party Indiana Law Updates

Speaker: Jennifer L. McCloskey

10:00 – 10:30 Using Social Networking Sites as a Discovery Tool

Speaker: David A. Couch

10:30 – 10:45 Break

10:45 – 11:15 Michigan First Party No-Fault (PIP) Updates

Speaker: David N. Campos

11: 15 – 11:45 Criminal Defense in Catastrophic Injury Cases,

& the Impact of Criminal Restitution on Civil Liability and Subrogation

Speaker: L. Ladd Culbertson

11:45 – 12:00 Michigan Third Party Automobile Negligence Updates

Speaker: David A. Couch

12:00 – 12:30 Panel Discussion on Deposition Strategies and Tips for Testifying Effectively

Moderator: David A. Couch

12:30 – 1:00 Question and Answer Session

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GLM DEPOSITION BOOT CAMP

We have a few openings for the Deposition Boot Camp. This complimentary seminar will take place at the Troy Marriott on June 23, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A complimentary continental breakfast will be provided. If interested, please email Eileen Carty at ecarty@garanlucow.com.

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UPCOMING SEMINARS

The Troy Breakfast Seminar will be held on Thursday October 27, 2011 at the Troy Marriott.

Please watch Law Fax for further information.

 

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NEW MSP PUBLICATION

OFFERED BY GARAN LUCOW MILLER, P.C.

The firm’s new MSP Guide, designed to assist no-fault claims personnel in dealing with compliance issues involving the Medicare Secondary Payer program, is now available. Please contact Sean Fosmire at (906) 226-2524 or sfosmire@garanlucow.com for copies.

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ANNOUNCING

GARAN LUCOW MILLER, PC’s

NEW WEBSITE!!!

Take a look, browse around and send us your comments.

We have made it easier to find our office locations, on our home page you will see

“Locations” click on a star and you will be directed to a picture of the office, contact information, managing partners and a list of attorneys. If you click on the list of attorneys, you will be directed to a page with all attorneys in that particular office and their respective e-mail addresses.

The Law Fax is listed under Firm Publications, it is a pull down tab. Once on the law fax publication, click on the volume you wish to view, you will see the article, however on the upper left side of the page you may click on “download publication” and you will be directed to the actual volume.

We have also updated our search engine for the firm publications, if you wish to search for a particular article, for instance “serious impairment”, simply enter these words in the search box located at the top right hand corner and enter. All volumes that address “serious impairment” will appear with the specific search words highlighted for your review.

Again, please browse through, hopefully you will find it very user friendly. If you wish to send your comments/criticisms, please send to ecarty@garanlucow.com. Thank you.

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MONICA GREGOR DRESSLER RETURNS TO GLM

We are pleased to announce the return of Monica Gregor Dressler to the firm from her sojourn in Mexico, three years and three children later. Monica will be working on a part time basis in the Troy office returning to the No-Fault team. You may reach Monica at mdressler@garanlucow.com or 248.641.7600