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No sanctions for removal in Medicare lien case

Federal court may not be the place to resolve a dispute over a Medicare lien for a personal injury settlement, but a federal judge has refused to impose sanctions for bringing the issue to his court.

In an order entered Thursday, U.S. District Judge Samuel Wilson denied a motion for sanctions where the auto accident defendant’s lawyer invoked federal jurisdiction for an action to force an insurance company to pay an agreed settlement amount. The insurance company had balked at payment until the exact amount of a Medicare lien was nailed down.

Wilson remanded the action in February and retained jurisdiction to consider a motion for sanctions. “After reviewing the applicable case law and the specific circumstances of this case, the court finds such an award would be unwarranted,” Wilson wrote in his order.

As for the delayed settlement payment, plaintiff’s lawyer Eric Yost reported the insurance company sent payment soon after the case was remanded back to state court.

By Peter Vieth

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