California Supreme Court to Hear Hamilton

Supreme Court to decide whether plaintiffs may recover damages for the full amount of billed medical services or only the lower amounts actually paid by health insurers.

March 10, 2010

Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc.
(2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 686, review granted March 10, 2010 (S179115)

The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Court of Appeal erred in holding that, under the collateral source rule, a plaintiff in a personal injury action may recover as economic damages the full amount her health care providers billed for their services even though the providers agreed to accept as payment in full much smaller amounts paid by the plaintiff’s health insurer.

The defendant’s petition for review, which was granted without limitation, asks the Supreme Court to consider not only whether the Court of Appeal misinterpreted the collateral source rule, but also whether the collateral source rule in its entirety should be abolished in California.

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