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June 10, 2024

Audish v. Macias

Plaintiff was injured in an automobile accident.  At trial, plaintiff’s lifecare planner estimated that plaintiff’s future medical expense would be over $1.4 million.  The lifecare planner, however, admitted on cross-examination that she based her calculations on amounts charged by medical providers, not the amounts actually paid by insurers for the treatments.  Thereafter, plaintiff’s expert further admitted—over objection—that plaintiff would become eligible for Medicare at age 65 and that insurers often pay less than the amount billed for medical services.

The Court of Appeal held the trial court properly admitted evidence regarding Medicare and that the evidence did not violate the collateral source rule.  “[M]ultiple courts have concluded, under similar circumstances, that it is permissible—or even necessary–for a trial court to admit evidence concerning a tort plaintiff’s future eligibility for health insurance and the anticipated amounts the insurer would be expected to pay for the patient’s future medical needs, evidence that is relevant to the reasonable value of future medical care.”

Horvitz & Levy submitted a publication request to the Court of Appeal in this case.