Glorious day for injury victims!

Posted on Mar 16, 2010
On March 16, 2010, our 28 year old disabled client reaped the benefits of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision entitled, Arkansas Department of Health & Human Services v. Ahlborn, 457 U.S. 268, 126 S.Ct. 1752 (2006) in virtually eliminating a very substantial Medicaid lien against his settlement proceeds.

In a nutshell, our client received a settlement offer in a premises liability case venued in Binghamton for $450,000, but faced the possibility that a Medicaid lien in the sum of $294,718.75 would force him to reject the offer.   I fought the Medicaid lien by arguing that in New York the courts determine the ratio between the settlement and the full value of the case and apply that ratio to the amount of the Medicaid lien to arrive at the amount the State is entitled to seek.

The Supreme Court, Broome County, accepted the Ahlborn formula and placed a full value of $11,000,000 on our client's case.  The settlement of $450,000 was based on lack of insurance coverage and liability issues.  Applying the Ahlborn formula, the ratio between the settlement and the full value of the case led to a reduction in the Medicaid lien from $294,718.75 to $12,056.65, thus allowing our client to settle.

The decision in Ahlborn gives injured victims's great ammunition for reducing Medicaid liens that did not previously exist.  Before Ahlborn, the Medicaid agencies demanded payment in full of the Medicaid liens and this often prevented personal injury victims from recovering a dime.

Today, Ahlborn was successfully applied to our client's case and finally, Medicaid is faced with the new reality that its rights to recover its lien is very limited.  A GREAT day for injury victims!

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