This article has been published in "The Advocate", a monthly publication of the Arizona Association for Justice/Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, October 2008 issue, @2008 by Steven J. Bruzonsky, Esq.
LIEN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
Recently I have devised and used the following cover letter and lien settlement agreement in settling several lien claims, whether ERISA healthplan, ARS 12-962 or Medicare Advantage. Please note in particular the fourth paragraph of the agreement, in that the first sentence of that paragraph alone protects the client in regard to the health insurer not denying any future claims presented for accident or non-accident, or past or future, medical bills; and the second sentence of that paragraph is further redundant in this regard. Of course, you first must determine the basis and legitimacy of the lien claim, and in some cases you may simply tell the lien claimant to take a hike or offer and negotiate a very small settlement.
My cover letter and lien settlement agreement, for your use, is as follows:
LAW OFFICES OF STEVEN J. BRUZONSKY
1152 E. GREENWAY ST., STE. 5 MESA, AZ 85203 480-969-3003 FAX: 480-962-5879
Faxed to ________________
[Name, Address, Phone of Subrogation Claim Representative]
Re: Our Client/Your Insured:
Date of Accident:
Your File No.:
Agreement to Settle Lien Claim of _____________ for $_____________
Please have the appropriate person of your company sign below and return this Agreement to me by fax, as this Agreement confirms our discussion and agreement re settlement of this lien. Upon receipt of the below signed agreement, we will promptly remit payment (as soon as settlement funds are received or immediately if funds are held in our Trust Account). Thank you for your courtesy and assistance.
Very truly yours,
Steven J. Bruzonsky cc: client
HEALTHCARE LIEN COMPROMISE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
represented by ____________________, a subrogation/lien collection company
represented by Attorney Steven J. Bruzonsky
Date of Accident: _______________
Brief Description of type of lien claim:
Amount of Settlement: $_________________
The parties to this Agreement are the above Lienholder and Insured, represented by their agents noted above, and the agents represent that they are authorized on behalf of their principal to enter into this Agreement and bind their principal to the terms of this Agreement.
Lienholder claims a subrogation interest and lien against Insured's personal injury settlement resulting from the above Date of Accident. Lienholder agrees that in consideration of payment of the above referenced Amount of Settlement by Insured, that said payment will be in in full satisfaction of Lienholder's subrogation and lien claim for payment of any and all past or future health, medical or other benefits which are or may be accident-related.
It is understood and agreed that this settlement is a compromise of a doubtful and disputed lien claim, that payment made is not to be construed as an admission that the lien claim is a legally valid one, and that compromise of this lien claim is made to avoid litigation and the expense thereof.
Lienholder hereby agrees that in consideration of the monetary settlement paid by Insured, that Lienholder shall not claim any subrogation interest or lien related to the above referenced date of accident as a basis to withhold or deny any past or future health, medical or other benefits; and that Lienholder shall continue to honor and pay per the terms of the Insured's health insurance company any and all claims presented,
Lienholder and Insured further declare and represent that no promise, inducement or agreement not herein expressed has been made, that this Release contains the entire agreement between the parties hereto, and that the terms of this Release are contractual and not a mere recital. Lienholder and Insured have read the forgoing agreement and fully understand said agreement.
Steven J. Bruzonsky
Attorney for Insured
I am authorized by Lienholder to enter into this Agreement binding Lienholder, and I hereby enter into this Agreement on behalf of Lienholder.
(Position or Title)
Please fax to Attorney Steven J. Bruzonsky at 480-962-5879 and mail original.