Insurance write-offs benefit for insured

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled write-offs constitute insurance benefits for which an insured has paid directly, and as a result opposing parties in suits can't introduce evidence of write-offs to reduce damage awards.

In Brandon Stanley v. Danny Walker, No. 41A01-0610-CV-462, the appellate court looked to courts in other jurisdictions for the answer to whether write-offs negotiated by an insurer amount to an "insurance benefit" and should therefore be excluded when calculating the actual extent of a plaintiff's pecuniary loss.

Danny Walker and Brandon Stanley were involved in a car accident in which Walker was seriously injured. The gross charges of Walker's medical treatment were later adjusted downward by write-offs negotiated by his insurance company.

Walker later filed a complaint against Stanley, arguing his negligence caused Walker to receive permanent injuries. At trial, Stanley made an offer of proof on the total of Walker's medical bills, wanting to show the amount of write-offs Walker had received. The trial court sustained Walker's objection, citing Indiana's collateral source statute as the reason for excluding evidence of the write-offs.

Looking to solve the issue of whether to exclude the write-offs, the Indiana Court of Appeals looked to courts in other states, including Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, and Louisiana, which have all embraced the view taken by the Indiana Court of Appeals in this case: Walker should reap the benefits of the write-offs because he paid his insurance premiums.

"... (W)e conclude that fundamental notions of tort law, surviving policy justifications of the common law collateral source rule, and concerns of equity warrant the finding that write-offs secured by insurance companies for the benefit of their insureds, constitute insurance benefits for which the plaintiff or the plaintiff's family has paid directly, and therefore, must be excluded from consideration when calculating the extent of the injured party's pecuniary loss," Judge Carr Darden wrote.

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  1. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  2. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.

  3. (A)ll (C)riminals (L)ove (U)s is up to their old, "If it's honorable and pro-American, we're against it," nonsense. I'm not a big Pence fan but at least he's showing his patriotism which is something the left won't do.

  4. While if true this auto dealer should be held liable, where was the BMV in all of this? How is it that the dealer was able to get "clean" titles to these vehicles in order to sell them to unsuspecting consumers?

  5. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless [ ] Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. GOD BLESS THE GOVERNORS RESISTING! Count on the gutless judiciary to tie our children down and facilitate the swords being drawn across their throats. Wake Up America ...