Rewriting The Rules On Introduction Of Collateral Source Payments In Cases Involving Medical Malpractice

Nevada allows defendants to introduce evidence of collateral source payments (i.e. payments received from sources other than the defendant for the injuries/damages alleged against the defendant) in cases involving medical malpractice. However, a recent Nevada Supreme Court opinion in McCrosky v. Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center addressed the unique situation of federal collateral source payments.

In cases involving the federal government, the United States may recover Medicaid payments from a prevailing plaintiff. Unfortunately, this right of recovery was in direct conflict with Nevada Revised Statute 42.021(2), which prohibited a source of collateral benefits from recovering against a plaintiff or being subrogated to the rights of the plaintiff against a defendant. This statutory framework effectively doubly reduced a plaintiff’s ability to recover by  reducing the amount of recovery through the introduction of collateral sources and by having to repay the federal government for treatment rendered through one of its programs. As such, the Nevada Supreme Court struck NRS 42.021 as applied to federal collateral source payments. Now, a defendant may not introduce evidence of federal collateral source payments, even in medical malpractice cases.

Click here to read the opinion.  For more information about the decision and its potential impact, contact Thomas Maroney in LGC’s Nevada office.