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Hospital has no claim against insurer in Tennessee judgment

September 24, 2012

A Fort Wayne Hospital that treated a person injured after a Tennessee vehicle crash may not enforce a lien against a judgment of a Tennessee court that awarded damages to the motorist.

John G. Smith was injured in a Knoxville, Tenn., car crash in 2007, and a couple of months later he underwent surgery at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. Smith sued the driver of the other vehicle in the wreck and was awarded a judgment of $22,000 through Geico, the other driver’s insurer.

Parkview filed a hospital lien in Allen County, but the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday agreed with a ruling of Allen Superior Judge Nancy Eshcoff Boyer that the hospital’s claim against Geico should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

In Parkview Hospital, Inc. v. Geico General Insurance Company  02A04-1201-PL-5, the court noted that I.C. 32-33-4-1 sets clearly the requirement for claiming a hospital lien: “In order to claim the lien, the hospital must at the time or after the judgment is rendered, enter, in writing, upon the judgment docket where the judgment is recorded, the hospital’s intention to hold a lien upon the judgment, together with the amount claimed.”

“An Indiana court may decide that Smith’s personal liability for medical services is not extinguished, and there is an amount due and owing, but may not reinstate obligations of (the other driver) or his insurer extinguished by compliance with the Tennessee judgment,” the court ruled.



 

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