Benefits: Medical Benefits: Lockhart

Moreau v. Transportation Ins. Co. [04/08/14] 2014 MTWCC 9 Lockhart stands for the proposition that medical benefits have a value, and that the value of the medical benefits belong to the claimant.  It does not stand for the proposition that a claimant is entitled to receive both the medical services and their cash value.  Where the claimant received medical services paid for by the Libby Medical Plan, which later rejected Respondent’s offer to reimburse it, the Court concluded that Petitioner was not entitled to receive those funds as this would be a double-recovery.

Briese v. Ace American Ins. Co. [02/20/09] 2009 MTWCC 5 A Lockhart lien is a payment which a claimant makes to his attorney out of his medical benefits and therefore, a penalty may attach to a Lockhart lien pursuant to § 39-71-2907, MCA, because a penalty may be imposed on the “full amount of benefits due a claimant during the period of delay or refusal to pay.”

Kemp v. CIGNA Property & Casualty [12/16/99] 1999 MTWCC 81 Following Lockhart v. New Hampshire Ins. Co., 1999 MT 205, counsel for a medical provider wrote an insurer asserting that the medical provider must be paid its fees without deduction of the 20% attorney fee lien which the Supreme Court had decided must come out of medical benefits when the attorneys work resulted in obtaining medical benefits in a disputed liability case. Counsel attempted to distinguish Lockhart as applying only when other benefits were not sufficient to satisfy the fees. WCC held counsel's argument was frivolous under Lockhart, suggesting it may be sanctionable if made in a case in which counsel actually appeared.