Health Insurer’s Subrogation Right Survives in New York

As medical costs continue to rise, the health insurer’s role in personal injury actions is certain to increase. In Fasso v. Doerr, the health insurer intervened in a medical malpractice action to recoup the $780,000 it had paid for plaintiff’s medical bills. The Court of Appeals held that a settlement below plaintiff’s claimed damages did not extinguish the health care carrier’s subrogation claim because there was still available insurance coverage. Further, an agreement between the tortfeasor and injured party cannot extinguish the health carrier’s claim without it consent.