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COA affirms when interest on payments from state fund begins to accrue

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court ruling in a dispute over what interest rate is charged and when it begins to accrue on payments due from the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund to successful medical malpractice claimants.

M.O. won a medical malpractice lawsuit and was awarded $1.25 million by the jury. The health care provider paid $250,000, so M.O. added the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund as a party to recover the remaining judgment. In June 2011, the trial court ordered the fund to pay M.O. $1 million, which it did in September 2011. Then M.O. filed a motion for postjudgment interest; the trial court held M.O. is entitled to interest at an 8 percent rate to be paid by the fund and it began accruing as of Jan. 15, 2011.

M.O. and the fund believe different statutes apply regarding the correct postjudgment interest rate. M.O. argued that Indiana Code 34-13-3-18 (1998) is appropriate; the fund claimed that I.C. 24-4.6-1-101 (1993), the statute the trial court relied on, is the correct statute.

In M.O. v. Indiana Dept. of Insurance, Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund, No. 53A05-1112-PL-682, the COA relied on Poehlman v. Feferman, 717 N.E.2d 578 (Ind. 1999), to affirm the trial court ruling. I.C. 24-4.6-1-101 applies to M.O.’s case, Senior Judge John Sharpnack wrote, and that statute dictates that 8 percent is the correct postjudgment interest. The judges also cited Poehlman to support the trial court’s finding that Jan. 15, 2011, is the correct date for interest to begin accruing. In Poehlman, the Supreme Court concluded that postjudgment interest accrues upon the fund’s liability for damages “beginning on the first biannual payment date applicable to the claim.”

A patient that seeks payment from the fund must send a certified copy of the final judgment to the fund. Once the fund agrees to or is ordered to pay a patient’s claims for damages, the commissioner of the Department of Insurance submits a voucher to the auditor of the state, who issues payments from the fund biannually.

M.O. submitted a certified copy of the jury verdict against the health care provider to the fund on Oct. 12, 2010. The next payment date under Indiana Code 34-18-6-4 was Jan. 15, 2011.

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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