Friday, June 11, 2010

Asbestos Exposure Claims

The vast majority of cases, at our firm, are asbestos exposure cases. Are defendants required to report when the last exposure alleged is prior to December 5, 1980?

Provided you have a formalized screening process designed to prove the last date of exposure occurred on or before December 4, 1980, a Responsible Reporting Entity will not have a reporting obligation under the MMSEA. Medicare may have a recovery claim only where there was asbestos exposure on or after the effective date of the MSP statute, December 5, 1980. Medicare's claim would be for all Medicare reimbursed services on or after December 5, 1980, which are related to the liability settlement, judgment, or payment. Medicare's recovery claim is based upon specific Medicare reimbursed services rather than some percentage of the liability settlement, judgment, or payment. Further, Medicare has stated in liability recoveries, (but not Workers Compensation), that if the asbestos exposure ended before December 5, 1980, Medicare will not pursue recoveries from asbestos liability settlements, since the MSP liability provisions were not effective until that date. However, please note that once a post-1980 exposure date is determined, Medicare requires that exposure claims are submitted based on the date of first exposure.

Sylvius von Saucken, Esq.