McCarroll v. Livingston Parish Council – After Review, the Ruling on the Field Stands

Reading this case reminds me of instant replay in football. The Louisiana Court of Appeal, First Circuit, upheld the Office of Workers’ Compensations (OWC) finding that the entire settlement should be vacated by saying, “Based on our thorough review of the record, we cannot say that the OWC manifestly erred in vacating the Order of Approval… Accordingly, we find no error in the OWC’s finding… For these reasons, the OWC judgment vacating the settlement is affirmed”. In other words, there was no indisputable, conclusive evidence to reverse the OWC’s ruling so the ruling on the field stands.

The facts in this case are rather intricate. Basically, a settlement agreement was approved by the OWC on March 9, 2009 with a misunderstanding as to who would pay for a February 16, 2009 cervical fusion surgery. Mr. McCarroll thought that Medicare and the insurer would pay. Medicare did not pay, apparently because, it was a pre-settlement expense that was the responsibility of LWCC. LWCC refused to pay because it believed the surgery would be paid out of the MSA settlement monies that it awarded to McCarroll, which specifically included monies to pay for the surgery.

The matter went to trial on April 24, 2013 with the sole issue of who was responsible for the surgery bill that occurred prior to the settlement date. The trial court judge vacated the settlement finding LWCC misrepresented, although unintentionally, that Medicare would pay for the cost of the surgery that exceeded the MSA funds.

The defendants appealed and The Louisiana Court of Appeal, First Circuit, affirmed the trial courts decision to vacate the settlement, finding that there was no indisputable evidence to reverse the ruling.

Click here to view McCarroll v. Livingston Parish Council and LWCC, Court of Appeal, First Circuit decision.


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