Attorneys Anthony Cox and Greta Matzen, with the Dallas-based law firm of Hermes Sargent Bates LLP, announced they obtained a summary judgment of damages stating that Section 41.0105 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code limits a Party’s recovery to the amount paid by a collateral source, such as workers’ compensation. According to the attorneys, this is believed to be the first time a Harris County judge has decided Section 41.0105 applies to limit a Party’s recovery of medical bills.
Section 41.0105 limits a Party’s recovery of medical expenses to those expenses that the Party actually “pays or incurs.” In Benavides v. Zurich American Insurance Company, the claimant/plaintiff had sought to recover medical expenses for the amount the medical provider billed, despite that the Workers’ Compensation Act reduced those bills under fee guidelines promulgated by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
In granting summary judgment, the court reasoned that just because a medical provider sends a bill does not mean that a Party is entitled to recover that amount. Of particular importance, the court determined Section 41.0105 did not limit the recovery of paid medical bills as a “collateral source,” but rather that the section applies as a substantive limitation on a Party’s damage claim.
Benavides v. Zurich American Insurance Company, Cause number 2005-36200, is pending in Harris County District Court.
Source: Hermes Sargent Bates LLP
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