Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Petition for Interpleader and Health Care

Today I came across another reason why I think we need a national health care system. I represented a couple and their children who were struck very hard by careless driver. The insurance company filed a Petition for Interpleader.

An Interpleader is a procedure in the law whereby you have too many claimants given the amount of insurance. In this case, there were six claimants, one of which died in the accident, the accident was so severe that the two children are still receiving medical treatment several months later. I was told by the attorney for the insurance company that we are going to have to tell the children that their medical treatments, although probably necessary, will have to come to an end. The amount of insurance will not make any of the injured parties whole; the proceeds will be split among the injured parties and medical providers.

As a result, the medical providers, as a practical matter, will have to take a big hit. The family of the deceased victim will not receive anywhere near the expected damages from their loss and damages. The children's medical treatment will be cut short and their parents will have to bear the cost of their continued medical care.

If we had a national health care system, we would no longer have to make the choice of whether to cut short necessary medical treatment as a result of an accident, injury, or illness. The legal maneuver of Interpleader provides yet another anecdotal story of why we need it.

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