Beaten Baseball Fan Now Being Sucker-Punched By Insurance Company
Baseball fan Bryan Stow has faced one challenge after another since that fateful day in March 2011 when he was brutally attacked while watching a Los Angeles Dodgers game at Dodgers Stadium. The reason is extremely juvenile; the man and his three friends were wearing San Francisco Giants shirts. The men were harassed while in the stands. The harassment and threats then moved to the parking lot, which was where 46-year-old Stow was severely assaulted by two men. The injuries were so severe that he was hospitalized for seven months and even induced into a coma in order to save his life.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the stadium’s insurance company is now trying to takeaway the Giant fan’s compensation award. ACE Property and Casualty Insurance Company – which insures the Dodgers – could receive $1.6 million. Meanwhile, Stow – who was awarded $18 million from his assailants and the Dodgers – has yet to receive a penny of his compensation.
This is possible through a little-known legal maneuver called subrogation. When an insurer pays for medical expenses, it may find ways to get repaid by the liable parties. It sounds unfair, but it’s legal. In fact, the law states that Medicare and Medicaid are to be informed of any settlements that beneficiaries receive so that they can go through the subrogation process and recoup money spent.
In Stow’s case, both his health insurance carrier – Envision Healthcare – and ACE Property and Casualty Insurance Company are seeking repayment for medical treatment. The man’s assailants are responsible for $4 million of the award, but the odds are unlikely that the men will pay up. So once it’s all said and done, Stow will be lucky to receive $5.8 million – much less than the estimated $30 million required to pay for a lifetime of medical care.
Stow’s life has taken a much different turn from the life he led as a paramedic before the attack. He is wheelchair bound, unable to walk. He now must take a whopping 56 pills a day in order to fight off seizures and other effects from the head injuries. His head is covered in scars. Fluid continues to fill his brain, so a shunt in his skull drains the fluid. He must wear special stockings to prevent the occurrence of blood clots that could threaten his life. The men responsible for the attack did plead guilty to the attack and are currently serving jail time for their actions. They could be free in a matter of years, while Stow will likely be disabled for life.
As personal injury lawyers, we have handled hundreds of complex subrogation issues on behalf of our clients. A lot of accident victims come to us, after receiving a subrogation notice from their health insurance provider, Medi-Cal or Medicare. Unless someone has been injured in an accident before, they usually don’t realize that their health insurance company expects to be reimbursed out of any settlement for care they provided to treat accident-related injuries.
That is why hiring a personal injury attorney soon after an accident is so important. A personal injury lawyer can protect your right to compensation, and make sure that your entire settlement is not turned over to your health insurance provider. If you have been injured in an accident, call us for a free case evaluation so that we can evaluate your claim and right to compensation.