Hackley v. Garofano
No. CV 095031940S, 2010 WL 3025597
(Ct. Sup. Ct., July 1, 2010)
This case involved a 16 year old plaintiff who was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Since the plaintiff was a minor, his father had to bring the action on his behalf. The parties reached a settlement for $7,500, but the carrier refused to release the settlement monies until it was provided with both plaintiffs’ social security numbers and other information so it could determine their Medicare status under Section 111.
However, the plaintiffs refused to release this information on grounds that (a) the injured plaintiff was only 16 years old and that based on his age alone the carrier could determine that he was not a Medicare beneficiary; (b) the father’s social security number was “entirely irrelevant” for Section 111 reporting purposes; and (c) the law firm’s confidentiality policy (established per Connecticut law) prohibited the release of the plaintiff’s social security numbers.
The court rejected all of the plaintiffs’ arguments and ruled that the carrier could condition reimbursement of the settlement funds on the plaintiffs’ provision of their social security numbers in order to determine its reporting responsibilities under Section 111.