Our firm recently added an important victory on the side of families and workers dealing with injuries. A copy of the Court’s order can be read HERE.
Attorney Philip Waystack recently represented a North Country couple who were injured in an automobile collision caused by the negligence of the defendant. The plaintiffs claimed their medical bills as damages in the case. The defendant argued that the full cost of the medical bills should not be admissible on the issue of damages. The defendant essentially wanted a credit for any amount of the medical bills that were written-off, or discounted, through negotiations between the medical providers and the plaintiffs’ health insurance company.
There is currently a split of authority in the lower courts of New Hampshire on the issue of whether the lesser negotiated amount paid by health insurance companies is the relevant measure of damages, as opposed to the initial face value of the medical bill.
The Court, in an order written by Coos County Superior Court Justice Peter Bornstein, agreed with the plaintiffs, and held that (1) the face value of a medical bill is relevant and admissible on the issue of the reasonable value of medical services, and (2) any discounts or write-offs health insurance companies obtain are a benefit within the meaning of New Hampshire’s collateral source rule and, therefore, are inadmissible at trial and cannot be used to reduce the plaintiffs’ damage award.
Until the New Hampshire Supreme Court resolves this dispute there will continue to be a lack of clear direction on this important issue. We are glad that we were able to obtain this victory and assist other trial lawyers throughout New Hampshire who are litigating this ongoing issue.
Attorney Frizzell recently became the Coos County representative for the New Hampshire Association for Justice. “For over 30 years, NHAJ (formerly N.H. Trial Lawyers Association) has been developing and leveraging the knowledge and skills of trial lawyers to preserve public access to the courts, protect individual rights, and promote justice for all.” NHAJ also promotes and monitors legislation at the state house in Concord to safeguard the rights of accident victims, workers, and their families.
Attorney Garrison published an article titled Criminal Law: Debtors Prisons in NH and the Rules Proposed to End Them on January 20, 2016 in the NH Bar Association’s Bar News.
To read this article, CLICK HERE.
A client, without counsel, plead guilty to a serious motor vehicle offense. Later, the client received notice that he was eligible to be “certified a habitual offender” and lose his driving privileges for 1-4 years. This is a serious issue because if one is caught driving while certified a habitual offender, he could face a 2.5 year prison sentence.
Realizing the seriousness of this issue, the client retained Attorney Garrison of Waystack Frizzell. Attorney Garrison negotiated with the State and obtained court approval to vacate the convictions, thereby avoiding client’s certification as a habitual offender.
Attorney Frizzell recently concluded representation of an elderly gentleman struck at a pedestrian street crossing by a distracted driver. Client suffered a fractured hip, resulting in permanent injuries and a loss of part time income. We avoided the insurance company’s defense of failure to use available crosswalks, due to our timely interviewing of witnesses to verify the fault of the driver, rather than the client. Case settled prior to suit for full amount of available insurance policy limits.
A copy of the order can be read here: ORDER.
Waystack Frizzell is currently representing a client in ongoing civil litigation regarding property damage at a residence in Berlin, New Hampshire. As part of this litigation, it has retained an expert engineer from HEB Engineers.
Attorneys litigating a completely unrelated case in southern New Hampshire (Merrimack County) have sought to compel the disclosure of Waystack Frizzell’s expert file. Attorney Philip Waystack objected, arguing that the report is confidential and not discoverable in unrelated cases. Attorney Waystack traveled to Concord and argued before Superior Court Justice Richard B. McNamara regarding this issue. The Court agreed with Attorney Waystack, and denied the motion to compel the expert’s file. Please see the full text of the Court’s order by following the link at the beginning of this post.
A copy of the Court’s order can be read here.
The Carroll County Superior Court issued a ruling on Friday dismissing all parts of the pending lawsuit which included complaints by two county commissioners against former Carroll Commissioner Asha Kenney of Wakefield, and her complaints against them. Back in June 2014, Commissioner David Sorensen of Conway and Commissioner David Babson of Center Ossipee, filed a petition with the Superior Court seeking removal of then-Commissioner Kenney. At the time, the two commissioners explained that their removal petition was necessary because of many complaints brought by several county employees against then-Commissioner Kenney, including claims of harassment and right-to-know violations. Then, Commissioner Kenney filed a countersuit back at Sorensen and Babson, claiming that they were mismanaging several county administration issues.
Former Commissioner Kenney did not seek re-election, and her replacement Dennis Miller took office in January 2015. Attorney Sandra Cabrera of the Waystack Frizzell law firm in Berlin, New Hampshire, then filed a motion on behalf of Sorensen and Babson to dismiss Kenney’s complaints against them, arguing that since Kenney was no longer a commissioner, she no longer had standing to bring the removal petition against the other commissioners. Judge Charles Temple of the Superior Court agreed, also ruling that the claims to remove Kenney were no longer ripe, since she was no longer a commissioner. As a result of these two rulings, the pending lawsuit is completed.