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Liens—Timeliness of Recording Medical Lien

Posted by Ted A. Schmidt | Sep 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

Premier Physicians Group, PLLC v. Navarro, 746 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 29 (August 30, 2016) (J. Bolick)

NONHOSPITAL MEDICAL LIEN MUST BE RECORDED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF FIRST PROVIDING SERVICES

Plaintiff recorded a lien for some $12,000 in medical services provided to Mandy Gipson for injuries arising out of an automobile accident caused by defendant Kimberley Navarro. The lien was recorded within 30 days of when services were last provided Gipson.  Navarro's insurer settled Gipson's personal injury claim but did not honor the lien.  This suit was brought  to collect on the lien. The trial court dismissed the Complaint as untimely finding the lien only valid if perfected within 30 days of the first services provided.  The Arizona Court of Appeals reversed holding the lien was perfected as to services provided within 30 days of the lien being filed even though filed more than 30 days after the first services were provided. The Arizona Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals decision.

A.R.S. §33-932(A) requires providers to record their liens

within thirty days after first providing services. . . .

              Health care services provided in connection with accidents can be

of indefinite duration. Recording a lien within thirty days of providing initial

services places insurers and other parties on notice that any settlements

are subject to a lien. At the same time, the non-hospital provider will

have a lien for charges incurred for the entire service duration. Hospitals,

by contrast, typically provide services within a discrete and identifiable

time frame, thus making it sensible to allow them to record a lien within

thirty days after a patient's discharge.

About the Author

Ted A. Schmidt

Ted's early career as a trial attorney began on the other side of the fence, in the offices of a major insurance defense firm. It was there that Ted acquired the experience, the skills and the special insight into defense strategy that have served him so well in the field of personal injury law. Notable among his successful verdicts was the landmark Sparks vs. Republic National Life Insurance Company case, a $4.5 million award to Ted's client. To this day, it is the defining case for insurance bad faith, and yet it is only one of several other multi-million dollar jury judgments won by Ted during his career. He is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a specialist in "wrongful death and bodily injury litigation".

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