Justices side with Florida’s Medicaid program in payment dispute with accident victim
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:28 am
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that state Medicaid programs can seek reimbursement from tort-settlement payments that are allocated for accident victims’ future medical care.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion in Gallardo v. Marstiller. Justice Sonia Sotomayor (joined by Justice Stephen Breyer) dissented.
The issue in Gallardo was what to do when a state Medicaid program pays for injuries if the injured person later recovers a tort settlement from a third party. The case involved a Florida girl who suffered catastrophic injuries when she was hit by a pickup truck in 2008. By a 7-2 vote, the court upheld Florida’s effort to recover the portion of her tort settlement that reflects future medical expenses.
The case involved obscure provisions of the Medicaid program, but it will be important to tort victims, who often win recoveries that cover medical expenses far into the future. The state’s effort to take those funds will help the solvency of the state’s Medicaid program but could leave the injured party without resources to pay for medical care in future years.
Check back soon for in-depth analysis of the opinion.