Tag Archive for Compensation

Former Employees of Montana University To Receive Compensation Over Medical Insurance Claims

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Former employees who worked for Montana University are set to receive compensation due to a settlement the class of plaintiffs reached with the university. The plaintiffs alleged they were denied medical insurance claims due to a clause the university had in its contract that conflicted with Montana state law. Montana University operated their own health insurance program. Montana has a “made whole” statute that says the person injured has taken care of before the insurance companies hammer out which one is responsible for paying for the treatment. Montana University’s clause stated they were not responsible for paying if another insurance policy was available. As a result, many of the employees who found themselves paying out of pocket for treatment that should have been paid by the university. A group of former employees got together and filed a lawsuit against the university. A settlement was reached where the university will begin compensating the plaintiffs. The university also removed the clause prohibiting spending on their employees. Some news reports state compensation can run from a couple of hundred to $120,000 to some plaintiffs. In December, a hearing has been scheduled to follow up on the compensation proceedings. An estimated 45,000 people may be eligible for compensation.

Catholic Church Sex Abuse Settlements Continue

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Various dioceses within the Catholic church continue to settle with victims of sex abuse at the hands of church officials and clergymen. Recently, the diocese of Camden settled two decades old sex abuse allegations. The settlement amount wasn’t revealed, but some outlets have reported the victims received five figures. According to published stories about the scandal, the male victims were abused in the 1950s and 1960s respectively. The abuse took place when the victims were adolescents. They received their compensation later in life. The sex abuse scandals have been haunting the Catholic Church for decades. The explosion of allegations, revelation of cover ups, and announcements of huge settlements have all damaged the reputation of the church. In addition, they have been big financial blows to the church who have had to pay millions to the victims.

The Camden settlements are just the latest in a string of settlements that the church has reached with victims for decades. The 2015 film Spotlight dramatized the journey journalists from the Boston Globe went through to report the allegations and stories of the victims. Aside from the film, the global scandal has been written, talked about, and discussed in many forms of media. Currently, there are lawsuits moving forward in court on this issue. While the topic has not been as widely covered as it once was when the scandal first broke, it is still deemed newsworthy. Catholic Sex Abuse scandal has effected and continues to affect individuals and families haunted by the trauma. The abuse and subsequent cover up went on for so long that it will still take decades before it dies down. Future settlements will probably be made because of the negative impact the sex abuse scandal has had on the Catholic Church. Victims are seeking compensation and justice for the abuse they suffered and continue to receive it even after a long period of time passes. The Camden settlements just show that the Catholic Church has a long way to go handling this issue.

Photo: St. Antoine Catholic Church, Photo Credit: Andrey

The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association & Medical Malpractice

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An infant can be hurt before it actually is born. Childbirth is a very intense and traumatic event for both the mother and child. There are cases where the infant is hurt during and that can cause neurological injuries after it is born. There could be a myriad of reasons why the child is hurt during the childbirth experience and sometimes it can be due to the hospital and/or other medical officials. In those situations where a medical professional or establishment is at fault, lawsuits are sure to follow. The state of Florida came up with a way to avoid what they call “the costly legal proceedings and compensate the effected families”. The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association or NICA was created by the Florida Legislature in 1988. NICA’s compensation plan pays for the medical care of infants with certain kinds of neurological injuries. The goals of NICA were to foster obstetrician services by physicians, fix what the issues they saw with medical malpractice insurance, and provide direct assistance to the injured children.

In general, Medical Malpractice is a huge driver of litigation in the courts. Especially in a place like Florida, where the demographics of the population would mean the residents would need more medical services. For years there have been movements against lawsuits against medical malpractice. The opponents tend to be huge hospitals and insurance companies that are constantly being sued in court over the malpractice allegations. So they have pursued and supported litigation seeking to limit the scope of medical malpractice. They were even successful through legislation in getting caps placed on medical malpractice awards. In 2003, the medical malpractice law was overhauled and the caps were put in place. That severely limited what a family could get should they pursue litigation. That legislation may have caused some families not pursue litigation on medical malpractice because of the caps. In 2014, The Florida Supreme Court in a 5-2 ruling struck down the caps on medical malpractice awards. The justices said “the caps saved a modest amount for many by imposing devastating costs on a few.”

While the medical malpractice caps have been removed, the issue of medical malpractice and NICA came together when article was published by The Florida Bar Journal in 2011. The title of the article was Twelve Ways To Avoid A Determination Of NICA Compensability In A Medical Malpratice Case.  In the article, the author Jon Gilbert lists the factors a plaintiff attorney should apply to a case where it is deemed acceptable in a NICA court for determination on compensation.