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As the DePuy recalled hip replacement device lawsuits are entering into the money phase of the lawsuit cycle, insurance companies are beginning to make claims for the patients’ portion of the settlement money.

Johnson & Johnson’s very own Depuy recalled the ASR Hip Replacement System last year that caused many patients who had the recalled hip implant device to suffer great pain. The amounts of complaints and lawsuits regarding the recalled hip implant reached over the 5,000 mark, according to Barry Meier, in his article in the New York Times.

There were about 3,500 patients who filed a lawsuit which involved the recalled hip implant device. The recalled model was placed into 40,000 patients in the United States alone. Currently, DePuy is covering the costs related to the recalled hip implant device.

In these types of situations, health insurance companies make claims for a portion of the patient’s settlement payment. The process can be quite confusing because the insurance company is supposed to pay a patient’s medical bills. However, those payments made by the insurance company can be returned to the insurance company so they can be reimbursed. They are allowed to recoup the expenses they paid for a patient. The process is called subrogation and is based on the notion that the insurance company has a right to be paid back or indemnified for the bills they have made for the patient. In effect, the insurance company steps into a patient’s shoes. The insurance company then avoids filing their own lawsuit.

The insurance companies usually notify the patients through their lawyers that they expect to be reimbursed from any settlement money the patient receives.

If you or someone you love is facing this type of situation with subrogation, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney experienced in the field who is able to negotiate with the insurance company.

One Comment

  1. Mark Bello

    Darren: Excellent post! The subrogation process is not limited to situations like the Depuy recalls. One of the important things lost in the phony "tort reform" debate is that successful lawsuits often result in the reimbursement of health insurance paid medical benefits. These lawsuits do not cost the health care system money; most of the time, they provide full or partial reimbursement for medical expenses, thus assisting in RECOUPING dollars lost in the health care system. So, those who express "shock" when a multi-million verdict is rendered should keep in mind that a substantial part of that verdict will go to reimburse carriers, physicians and hospitals for medical care. Thanks for posting about this important issue. Regards, Mark

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