The California Court of Appeals handed down perhaps the most important case in favor of injured Californians in the last decade earlier this week when it issued it’s ruling in Howell v. Hamilton Meats and Provisions‚ Inc. The ruling made it clear that the collateral source rule is still California law and that negligent people who cause injuries cannot receive the benefits obtained by their victim’s health insurance companies.
Read the opinion (link above). In the Howell case‚ the trial court allowed a reduction of over $130,000 from a San Diego jury verdict because that was the reduced amount negotiated by Ms. Howell’s insurance company. The Appellate Court held that the negligent commercial truck driver and his employer could not obtain that benefit because doing so would unfairly reward them solely because Ms. Howell had the foresight to obtain health insurance prior to the accident.
This is a tremendous victory for all Californians.