Autoi Owners loses fight with chiropractor over No Fault PIP benefits
The Court of Appeals recently upheld a trial judge's refusal to summarily dismiss a chiropractor's claim for PIP medical benefits. Auto Owners sought summary disposition based on the argument that the chiropractor lacked "standing" to sue for the services he had provided to an injured motorist.
The Appeals Court judges recited a long list of cases supporting the standing of a health care provider to seek repayment under the no fault act for medical services provided: some have gone as far as to hold that in issues of "resaonableness and necessity" only the provider has standing and the patient does not. The judges also noted that the cases cited by Auto Owners were inapplicable and cited erroneously. It did not award sanctions for interposing a frivolous defense.
Sadly, in the current political environment, insurers feel empowered to raise any issue, no matter how specious, in delaying and defending injury claims. They know that they have an environment in our courts where they are likely to prevail--even if their position contradicts decades of precedent and reams of common sense. And there is no penalty to the insurer--only the reward of delaying payment.