List of 67 Important Cases Re Liens, Cases 1-7 | San Diego Injury Law Firm

1. Lovett v. Carrasco, 63 Cal.App.4th 48 (1998) Private medical provider's lien claim is not subject to reduction for attorney’s fees

under the common fund doctrine because the lien creates a debtor/creditor relationship.


2.      Hanif v. Housing Authority, 200 Cal.App.3d 635 (1988)

The Court held that where there was a Medi-Cal lien, the recovery was limited to the amount which Medi-Cal actually paid or for which the plaintiff incurred liability.

 

3.      City and County of San Francisco v. Sweet, 12 Cal.4th 105 (1995)

The Court held that a governmental entity's lien for medical services to the indigent under Government Code §23004.1 does not authorize an offset for attorney's fees and costs under the common fund doctrine. This case also analogized to the hospital lien statutes under Civil Code §3045.1 et seq. as not providing for common fund offsets. NOTE: This statute applies to CMS type liens.

 

4.      Kaiser Foundation Health Plan v. Aguiluz, 47 Cal.App.4th 302 (1996)

This case holds that the claimant's attorney stands in a position of a fiduciary to lien claimant once the attorney has knowledge of the lien and may be forced to pay them directly in that he holds the funds in constructive trust for the lien claimant once he has knowledge of its existence. NOTE: Contrast with Zerin, Smith and Gentner below.

 

5.      Farmers v. Zerin, 53 Cal. App.4th 445 (1997)

The court here held that Farmers Insurance could not state a cause of action against the attorney of its insured, to whom Farmers had paid medical payments under the provisions of its automobile policy applicable to a collision. Farmers had sued the claimant's attorney rather than the claimant and this case would in no way limit the insurance carrier's right to sue the claimant directly for repayment.

 

6.      Farmers v. Smith, 71 Cal.App.4th 660 (1999) 4th DCA followed Zerin and rejected Kaiser v. Aguiluz. Attorney has noobligation to insurance carrier asserting a lien against his client.

 

7.      Helfend v. Southern California Rapid Transit District, 2 Cal.3d 1 (1970)

Seminal case regarding collateral source rule--contains great language to the effect that a personal injury plaintiff is rarely overcompensated despite the collateral source rule because he/she has to pay attorneys fees and costs. See also Lund v. San Joaquin RR, 31 Cal.4th 1, (2003); Arambula v Wells, 72 Cal.App.4th 1006 (1999); McKinney v. Portland Cement, 96 C.A.4th 1214 ('02). BAJI 14.10 – pltf to recover “reasonable value” of medical expenses. CACI 3903A “the reasonable cost of reasonably necessary medical care...” Note—People v. Hamilton, 114 Cal.App.4th 932 (2004) recently extended the collateral source rule to restitution claims in criminal court, noting that “it is firmly established as the California rule.” quoting 6 Witkin, Cal. Law, Torts, §1388.

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Auto Accident Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, < /em>California Personal Injury Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights.  It normally sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.