Insurance Benefit Assignment
Issue: Can an injured victim bind a tortfeasor’s insurance provider to reimburse a medical provider for the victim’s treatment?
Facts: Victim was injured by Tortfeasor in a car accident and sought treatment from Chiropractor, who required Victim to sign an “Assignment of Rights” for medical expenses. After Victim obtained a settlement from Tortfeasor’s Insurance Company, Chiropractor sued Tortfeasor’s Insurance Company for unpaid medical bills. The trial court granted summary judgment for Insurance Company on multiple grounds.
Appellate Decision: The intermediate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Insurance Company because Victim had no right to assign the benefits of Tortfeasor’s insurance policy by statute or common law, and there is no contractual privity between Chiropractor and Insurance Company.
Review Granted: June 19, 2014.
Prediction: Ben thinks the Supreme Court will affirm for the reasons offered by the lower courts. This case appears to be a gross overreaching by the Chiropractor, which the Court is not likely to tolerate.