An enlightening and, frankly, depressing story from Bloomberg about how Bryan Stow, who was beaten nearly to death outside of Dodger Stadium in 2011 and subsequently received a nearly $14 million jury award, has yet to see hardly any of the money and, eventually, will only receive a bit under $6 million. This despite the fact that most familiar with his case believe he’ll have some $30 million in medical and caregiving expenses during the remainder of his lifetime.
Why? The beauty of insurance subrogation, which allows insurance companies to recoup the money they paid to cover losses from any subsequent settlements. That is, yes, you pay your $X hundred a month for health insurance, but if you need to use it — like Bryan Stow did after his attack — the company can then come to you and take a chunk of your lawsuit recovery to recoup its losses. Which you may not consider to be the company’s “losses” as opposed to “the expenses it agreed to pay in exchange for premiums,” but if you think that, boy are you naive about how the insurance law works. The Bloomberg article walks you through it, however, to explain how this is all legal and, frankly, par for the course.
But it is unjust. Especially given that, because of some odd business machinations, one of the companies that is, indirectly anyway, getting a chunk of Bryan Stow’s legal settlement is the insurance company that covers the Dodgers. Yes, the same Dodgers who have to pay Bryan Stow as a result of their negligence.
Nice system we have, eh?