An insurance company may try to hedge its financial bets by claiming an immediate set-off for future benefits it may be obligated to to pay, such as lost wages or medical bills, when an injured worker receives a settlement from a third party. However, the insurer is only entitled to a set-off for compensable benefits and not for either non-compensable expenses or even for compensable expenses if they are not foreseeable.
A Massachusetts Appeals Court rejected a motion by EastGuard Insurance Company for such a set-off and affirmed the trial court’s allocation of funds from settlement of a worker’s claim for on-the-job injuries and award of the full amount allocated for the claimant’s pain and suffering.
The court rejected EastGuard’s motion because it offered only “equivocal evidence” of the potential for compensable future expenses for lost wages and medical expenses for management of the worker’s pain resulting from his injuries. Continue reading →