Overview of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSPA) Until 1980, Medicare was the primary payer for all medical services covered by Medicare except those covered by Worker's Compensation. The MSPA was created in 1980 to attempt to shift costs from Medicare to other private payers. 42 U.S.C. § 1395y (1980). Pursuant to the MSPA, Medicare is the "secondary payer" to insurance plans and programs for individuals covered through (among other things) auto and other liability insurance or no-fault liability insurance. Id. ... Continue Reading
General contractors obtain the services of subcontractors as a common business practice to help construction projects become completed more efficiently. Often, these subcontractors are more capable of performing the specialized work, and in many ways, the construction industry is a subcontractor-driven industry. The addition of subcontractors to a construction project brings additional workers hired by each subcontractor. In the event a subcontractor's employee is injured in the performance of the work at the construction site, a question arises of who may be held responsible for payment of workers' compensation benefits for those injuries. ... Continue Reading
With increasing regularity, our practice continues to encounter employers who utilize transitional charitable light-duty placement when they are unable to accommodate injured workers' work restrictions. However, as a natural evolution there is also an increasing opposition to this practice. Perhaps naively, I find myself wondering; "What's the big deal; it's just charity work?" To me it would seem that the injured worker is getting paid, they are getting out of the house, and they are serving their own communities. ... Continue Reading
When the law surrounding the idiopathic defense to on-the-job injuries is so often misunderstood, misconstrued, and misapplied by judges and lawyers, it can be very difficult for the average claims adjuster or employer to make heads or tails of the idiopathic defense, what it means, and when it applies. The Georgia Court of Appeals recently attempted to provide some clarity in this morass of conflicting decisions and legal theories. In doing so, the Court chipped away at the scope of the idiopathic defense by its ruling in Cartersville City Schools v. Johnson 345 Ga. App. 290, 812 S.E.2d 605 (2018). ... Continue Reading
Married or Meretricious: A Reaffirmation of the Dependency Benefits Doctrine in Georgia Workers' Compensation Death Claims by the Georgia Supreme Court in Reynalda Munoz Sanchez v. Allen Carter et al.
Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court was petitioned to revisit its prior ruling in Williams v. Corbett, 260 Ga. 668, 398 S.E.2d 1 (1990), on whether an unmarried partner in a meretricious relationship was eligible to receive dependency benefits pursuant to the Georgia Workers' Compensation Act when his or her unmarried partner passed away as the result of a compensable workplace accident. In its decision to not grant certiorari in Reynalda Munoz Sanchez v. Allen Carter et al., Case No. S18C0408, decided May 7, 2018, the Supreme Court of Georgia applied stare decisis and upheld the decision of the Georgia Court of Appeals in Sanchez v. Carter et al., 343 Ga. App. 187, 806 S.E.2d 638 (2017), when it determined that the Petitioner for certiorari was not eligible for workers' compensation dependency benefits. ... Continue Reading
The Journal is a publication for the clients of Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP. It is written in a general format and is not intended to be legal advice to any specific circumstance. Legal Opinions may vary when based upon subtle factual differences. All rights reserved.
H. Michael Bagley