Typo in Settlement Document (& Greed) Leads to Claimant’s Loss of MSA Funding

Commentary, Medicare Set-Aside Blog, Medicare Set-Asides on December 30, 2014 | Posted by Jennifer Jordan, JD, MSCC

Mistakes happen. This would not be the first time I’ve seen the word monthly substituted for annually in a settlement document involving a structured settlement. But what makes this case interesting is that the claimant actually lost all of his annuity payments when he tried to enforce the express terms of the settlement agreement. And so the story goes…

Tyrone Shropshire settled his workers’ compensation claim in June 2010 with a blatant typo in his settlement agreement. The Order of Approval was signed by the WC judge and was never appealed. In July 2012, Mr. Shropshire filed a Form 1008 Disputed Claim for Compensation with the OWC seeking monthly payments which he alleged he was entitled. Not only did the OWC see that the payment was clearly intended to provide annual funding of his MSA, but they also determined that he willfully made false statements and representations for purposes of obtaining additional WC benefits which constitutes fraud in violation of La. R.S. 23:1208. The WC judge voided the annuity and relieved the employer/insurer from any further payment obligations to claimant. On appeal, the court could not find any error in the WCJ’s decision and upheld the ruling.

Although a win for the insurer, why do I suspect the taxpayer is footing the bill for his medical care now???

 

TYRONE SHROPSHIRE VERSUS ANCO INSTALLATION

NO. 2014 CA 0902

COURT OF APPEAL OF LOUISIANA, FIRST CIRCUIT

2014 0902 (La.App. 1 Cir. 12/23/14); 2014 La. App. LEXIS 3028

December 23, 2014, Judgment Rendered