Medical Expenses-Ruben Lopez v. Daimler Chrysler Corporation, 2009 DJDAR 17060 (December 4, 2009)

 Plaintiff, who suffered permanent brain damage in an automobile accident moved to reduce the lien for medical expenses sought by the California Department of Health Care Services arguing that it sought to collect more that the portion of the settlement that constituted reimbursement for past medical expenses.  Finding that the department failed to provide the evidence to refute the plaintiff’s evidence of damages, the trial court found that the department was entitled to a percentage of the total lien amount, reduced for its statutory share of costs.  The department argued on appeal that the trial court erred by placing the burden of proof on the department to justify its evaluation of the lien.  Although the trial court asked the department to submit its reasons for valuing the lien, the department did not do so. Thus, the trial court acted within its authority to determine that the department’s lien based on the evidence submitted by the plaintiff alone in support of evaluation.

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