Worker's Compensation Insurer Lacks Standing To File Its Own Suit
Posted Scott B. Cooper on Feb 20, 2013 in News
Posted on Feb 20, 2013
Attached is a copy of a recent trial court opinion in a case involving a worker's compensation insurer that filed its own independent third party claim seeking to recover medical bills it paid as a result of a accident involving an employee and a third party where the employee did not file a separate action. The case is Sedgwick Claims Management v. Capriotti's, Inc., No. 12-0227 (C.P. Carbon Jan. 18, 2013).
The trial court writes that although Section 671 of the worker's compensation law provides an employer with a right of subrogation, it does not provide standing to an employer or the worker's compensation carrier to independently sue a third party tortfeasor. The employer and insurer's right to subrogation is derivative of the injured victim's lawsuit. Thus, in order to enforce its subrogation rights the carrier can only proceed on behalf of the injured employee.
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