District Court Finds That No Federal Law Requires MSA in Tort Settlements.

A recent Opinion from the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, Jeffrey Sipler v. Trans Am Trucking, Civ.No.10-3550 (DRD) states very clearly that “no federal law requires set-aside arrangements in personal injury settlements for future medical expenses.” The defense tried to impose a confidentiality clause and sort of a Medicare Set-aside (MSA) arrangement on the plaintiff after a settlement agreement was reached. As is typical, the defendants agreed to pay a sum of money in exchange for a release of all claims. Later they tried to require the plaintiff agree to certain provisions relating to Medicare, including one that he would not claim reimbursement from Medicare for future accident related medical expenses. The plaintiff filed motion to enforce settlement. The court enforced the settlement agreement without regard to future Medicare benefits. Unfortunately this Opinion was released as “Not for Publication,” but it contains an excellent analysis of the current murky situation with Medicare and tort settlements.

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