The purpose of the tort compensation system is to make an injured party whole; no less, but no more. With that concept in mind, Connecticut first codified its “collateral source” reduction rules in 1985, which were designed to prevent an injured party from obtaining a “double recovery” of economic damages already paid to the injured party, or paid on the injured party’s behalf through an outside source, such as insurance.1 In Marciano v. Jimenez, however, the Connecticut Supreme Court interpreted section 52-225a to declare that when “any” right of reimbursement or subrogation exists to any portion of the claimed economic damages, there should be no collateral source reduction.2 As a result of this precedent, trial courts now routinely deny collateral source reductions in an overbroad manner. As of today, in any case involving the presence of a lien placed on the lawsuit for medical expenses paid, such as in cases with plaintiffs covered by Medicare or Medicaid, the Marciano decision has been interpreted to require the denial of any collateral source reduction. This includes the portions of the bill that were contractually written off by the provider and were never incurred by plaintiff. Judicial interpretation of section 52-225a in this manner, however, is inapposite with the legislative intent behind the statute’s enaction. A plaintiff’s recovery of financial damages for medical expenses that were never incurred or owed is the type of windfall benefit section 52225a was designed to avoid. In light of such harsh results, the Marciano decision needs to be rectified upon reconsideration of the decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court or through legislative action.
Frank J. Garofalo III, INSURANCE LAW—COLLATERAL SOURCE REDUCTIONS IN CONNECTICUT: HOW INSURANCE “WRITEOFFS” NOW LEADS TO WINDFALL JUDGMENTS – AN ANALYSIS OF THE MARCIANO DECISION AND ITS IMPACT, 43 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 144 (2022), https://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol43/iss1/6