The injured employee was a victim of a head on collision and claimant’s attorney, as well as the 3rd party carrier, Liberty Mutual, were promptly notified of our client’s workers’ compensation lien. During third party case settlement discussions, we agreed with claimant’s attorney to accept $82,423 towards the lien, on the condition that our client be entitled to receive the balance of it’s lien of $137,000 from the UM policy, which we had also placed on notice. Subsequent to pursuing the UM carrier, Peerless, its counsel notified us there was a workers’ compensation exclusion included in the UM/UIM policy. We identified a NH statute (NH Statute § 281-A:13) that stated “Any provision in any agreement which requires employers or the employer’s insurance carrier to waive any right of subrogation granted pursuant to this chapter is herby prohibited”. However, the UM carrier continued to dispute, and we ultimately prevailed against their Motion for Summary Judgment. At a subsequent mediation in NH, which we attended in person, the UM carrier agreed to pay $900,000.00. During the mediation claimant’s attorney demanded we reduce our client’s lien to $100,000.00. We advised him that we would only consider if he would reduce his contingency fee by an equal percentage. The claimant’s attorney declined and eventually agreed to satisfy the full remainder of the lien. The result of this case was a full statutory recovery.
by Nick Tesh