The Court of Appeals of Georgia today released an opinion in the case of Austell HealthCare, Inc., v. Scott
(Case No. A10A2346, March 11, 2011). John Hadden and Timothy Santelli represented Dan Scott, who was injured in an automobile collision while on the job. After recovering workers' compensation benefits, Mr. Scott filed suit against the at-fault driver and ultimately recovered a $76,000 settlement. The workers' compensation insurer then attempted to obtain reimbursement for approximately $59,000 in medical costs and lost wages it had paid to him. Georgia law provides for reimbursement of this type, but only where the injured person is fully compensated for his or her injuries.
In affirming the trial court's order dismissing the reimbursement claim being made by Austell HealthCare and Travelers Indemnity Company of America, the Court of Appeals held that an insurer has the burden of proving that the worker has been fully and completely compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering as a result of a judgment or settlement. In this case, the insurer had failed to do so, having been unable to present any evidence of full compensation.Note: Readers are reminded that despite success in this case, every case is different, and past results do not guarantee future success.