Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reporting Threshold of $5,000 In Mass Tort Cases With Multiple Settlments

Regarding dollar reporting threshold of $5,000, in mass tort cases or where there are multiple settlements paid out over time, is the reporting requirement for $5,000 in aggregate or only for a single $5,000 payment or above?

The answer is that the reporting threshold is considered in the aggregate, but where exceeded, each payment is to be reported separately. For liability settlements, the threshold for settlements, judgments, awards or other payments on or after January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011 is any amount up to and including $5,000. In response to your question about how the threshold amount is applied, Section 11.4 of Version 2.0 of the User Guide states that “Where there are multiple TPOCs associated with the same claim record, the combined, cumulative TPOC amounts must be considered in determining whether or not the reporting threshold is met. However, multiple TPOCs must be reported in separate TPOC fields as described later in this guide.” This section goes on to state that “The threshold dollar and date ranges apply to the date when the threshold is met (the most recent TPOC Date). The COBC will use the most recent TPOC Date supplied on the claim report when checking the threshold ranges. Timeliness of reports will be determined based upon the applicable date for the TPOC which caused the threshold to be met (the last, latest, most recent TPOC Date reported on the claim record).

Section 11.10.2 of the User Guide reinforces the above and states that “…the sum of all TPOC amounts must be used when determining whether the claim meets the applicable reporting threshold. Use the most recent, latest TPOC Date associated with the claim when determining whether the claim meets the interim reporting thresholds defined in Section 11.4.”

Section 11.5 of the User Guide provides a detailed description of how multiple TPOCs need to be reported. The definition as used in the User Guide references above for TPOC is the Total Payment Obligation to the Claimant. The TPOC refers to the dollar amount of a settlement, judgment, award or other payment in addition to/apart from ongoing medicals. A TPOC generally reflects a one time or lump sum payment. A complete definition of TPOC is in Section 2 of the User Guide.

Sylvius von Saucken