Sunday, July 31, 2016
TINA L. TALMADGE VS. CONNIE S. BURN A-3160-14T1
TINA L. TALMADGE VS. CONNIE S. BURN
(NEWLY PUBLISHED FOR JULY 26, 2016)
Plaintiff appeals from the denial of her motion to declare the medical benefits portion of a workers' compensation lien unenforceable. She argues since medical benefits that could have been paid through plaintiff's personal injury protection policy are not recoverable from a tortfeasor, they also are not subject to repayment to the workers' compensation insurance carrier (the carrier) pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-40 (section 40) of the Workers' Compensation Act (the Act), which permits reimbursement of benefits when a third-party caused the employee's injury.
Examining the purpose of the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act's no-fault provisions and section 40, we conclude an employee who receives medical expenses as workers' compensation benefits is permitted to seek recovery of those sums from the third-party. Nevertheless, the Act entitles the carrier to repayment from a third–party recovery of all medical benefits paid, even when the resultant net recovery does not fully compensate the employee.