Collateral Source Reduction and Right of Subrogation

In Marciano v. Jimenez, (SC 19547), released yesterday, the Connecticut Supreme Court held a collateral source reduction is improper where there is a right of subrogation for an amount that is less than the collateral sources. The court construed, C.G.S. §52-225a, which provides that ‘‘[i]n any civil action . . . wherein liability is admitted or is determined by the trier of fact and damages are awarded to compensate the claimant, the court shall reduce the amount of such award which represents economic damages . . . except that there shall be no reduction for . . . a collateral source for which a right of subrogation exists . . . .’’ The Court held the statute to be plain and unambiguous, interpreting “a right of subrogation” as “any” right of subrogation for any amount, and holding the exception to be mandatory. As such, the Court held there should have been no collateral source reduction. In this case, the right of subrogation was held by an ERISA based health insurance plan. But the Court’s interpretation of the statute should certainly apply equally to other bases for rights of subrogation such as Medicare. Attorneys Dowd and Levesque represented the plaintiff.

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