Financial Responsibility Law

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Financial Responsibility Law

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW-SUBROGATION-HEART AND LUNG ACT BENEFITS

City of Philadelphia v. Zampogna, 2017 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 1077 (December 27, 2017) Leavitt, P.J.  The City of Philadelphia appealed an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, granting declaratory judgment in favor of a City employee.  The trial court held that Section 1720 of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law prohibited the City from subrogating its payment of Heart and Lung Act benefits to the employee from his third-party tort recovery.  The Commonwealth Court affirmed the order of the trial court.  The City had petitioned to intervene in the employee’s tort action to protect the subrogation lien it intended to assert against any recovery.  The third-party tort action settled, and the money was placed in escrow while the parties litigated the City’s entitlement to its asserted lien.  The City then initiated a declaratory judgment action to establish its right to recover the Heart and Lung Act benefits it paid to the employee from his settlement.

As indicated the Commonwealth Court agreed with the trial court and held that under the law no subrogation was allowed.  The 1990 amendment to Section 1720 of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law did not restore a public employer’s right to subrogate Heart and Lung Act benefits.  Those benefits remain subject to the anti-subrogation mandate of Section 1720.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]