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Va. Cir.: Carrier has no lien on claimant’s third-party settlement

A workers’ compensation carrier has no lien for a negotiated lump-sum settlement of a claimant›s future benefits in a tort action against a third party.

Under Noblin v. Randolf Corp., 180 Va. 345 (1942), and Slusher v. Paramount Warrior, 336 F. Supp. 1381 (W.D. Va. 1971), the lien in this case created under the Worker’s Compensation Act does not include a settlement payment of $182,500, which was voluntarily paid to Plaintiff Stephen Spicer by his employer’s compensation carrier to settle Spicer’s claim for future benefits under the Act on a lump-sum basis.

It is ordered that the lien of Flagship City Insurance Company is $160,744. The recoverable lien is that amount less the insurer’s pro-rata share of the plaintiff’s attorney fees and expenses incurred in the pursuit of the third-party action.

The sum of $160,744 represents medical and indemnity benefits paid to Spicer or his health care providers as of the date of the negotiated lump-sum settlement of his workers’ compensation claim for the sum of $182,500. Spicer has agreed to pay and the insurer has agreed to accept the net sum of $121,115 in full and final settlement of its lien.

Spicer v. Robinson, Case No. 16-99, June 20, 2018. Buckingham Cir. Ct. (Blessing). P. Christopher Guedri for Plaintiff; Diane L. Lynch for Defendants. VLW No. 018-8-065, 3 pp.