Lessons from a Recent RTGR “Take Nothing” Lien Trial Win
- January 16th, 2021
- Lauren Zalona
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RTGR went to trial against a notorious South-bay medical lien claimant and secured a “take nothing” award. The lien was based on dates of service for a denied shoulder claim, filed just prior to the C&R which included the denied claim and a companion case (an injury to a finger). The defense issued a timely denial to the shoulder claim and also continually objected to the lien claimant’s invoices, notifying the lien claimant that the claim was denied and no payments were due. The accepted finger claim and the denied shoulder claim (in which the lien was filed) both settled via C&R with a Thomas Finding granted by the Judge in the Order Approving the C&R on the denied claim as there was no medical-legal opinion on the denied shoulder claim.
At trial the lien claimant entered it’s own medical reports as proof of injury and defense offered the denials and the invoice denials. The Judge found that lien claimant was to “take nothing” as they did not meet their burden to show industrial injury. This case is a reminder that the burden lies with the party holding the affirmative on an issue and that timely denials and objections to treatment invoices on denied claims can go a long way if litigation becomes necessary!Even though liens are not usually settled/litigated until after the case-in-chief is settled, it is crucial to take appropriate steps early to ensure the best position for a favorable settlement or a strong defense at trial. If you have questions about how to handle lien claims please reach out to your local RTGR Office.