Success with Integrity

February 20, 2020


Workers’ Compensation Subrogation

An often overlooked area, for employers and insurance companies, is subrogation.  Under Section 319 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer has the right to recover benefits paid to a claimant where the claimant, from the same work injury recovers in a third party case.  Subrogation is a vehicle through which employers and carriers can recover at least some of the benefits that they have paid out in their workers’ compensation program. 

In workers’ compensation cases where there is a large lien (for example over $100,000.00) it may be fruitful to consider retention of counsel to protect your subrogation interest.  Such services might range from mere "monitoring" of the third party action and correspondence with the claimant’s attorney in the third party action to attendance at depositions during the discovery process as well as inspections at the employer’s work place. 

In certain cases, counsel can also protect the employer’s interests which may be separate and apart from recovering the benefits paid to the claimant.  The employer’s other interest would be protection of their trade secrets and other proprietary rights in the workplace when outside parties come in to do inspections in the third party case.  This would include counseling the employer’s workers who may be called to testify in depositions in third party case and making sure that they testify in a way that is consistent with employer’s interest including the protection of trade secrets and other proprietary information which should not be disclosed in a third party case. 

It is important, especially in the case of a large lien, that the employer and their insurance carrier or third party administrator be well informed about the status of the case including what the chances are for recovery and what the settlement value is.  In many instances the counsel for the claimant/plaintiff may not be fully cooperative in keeping the employer and the insurance carrier informed about the third party case and specifically about the strengths and weaknesses of the case.  After all, the counsel for the claimant in this scenario is trying to maximize the recovery for his individual client and minimize the amount that the client/claimant will have to pay back to the employer or insurance company. 

If we can be of any assistance in these types of matters please feel free to contact us.  We have many years of experience representing employers and insurance carriers in these types of cases.  Our experience includes in protecting the employer’s business and proprietary interests in third party cases. 

The articles posted at this site have been written by William H. Lynch, Jr., Esquire.  They are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or suggestions.  Any copying, reproduction, or use of this article, in whole or in part, without the written express permission of the Law Offices of William H. Lynch, Jr. is strictly prohibited.  For a specific legal question or case referral, kindly call or email Bill

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