4123.931 Statutory subrogee subrogated to rights of claimant against third party.

(A) The payment of compensation or benefits pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 4121., 4127., or 4131., of the Revised Code creates a right of recovery in favor of a statutory subrogee against a third party, and the statutory subrogee is subrogated to the rights of a claimant against that third party. The net amount recovered is subject to a statutory subrogee's right of recovery.

(B) If a claimant, statutory subrogee, and third party settle or attempt to settle a claimant's claim against a third party, the claimant shall receive an amount equal to the uncompensated damages divided by the sum of the subrogation interest plus the uncompensated damages, multiplied by the net amount recovered, and the statutory subrogee shall receive an amount equal to the subrogation interest divided by the sum of the subrogation interest plus the uncompensated damages, multiplied by the net amount recovered, except that the net amount recovered may instead be divided and paid on a more fair and reasonable basis that is agreed to by the claimant and statutory subrogee. If while attempting to settle, the claimant and statutory subrogee cannot agree to the allocation of the net amount recovered, the claimant and statutory subrogee may file a request with the administrator of workers' compensation for a conference to be conducted by a designee appointed by the administrator, or the claimant and statutory subrogee may agree to utilize any other binding or non-binding alternative dispute resolution process.

The claimant and statutory subrogee shall pay equal shares of the fees and expenses of utilizing an alternative dispute resolution process, unless they agree to pay those fees and expenses in another manner. The administrator shall not assess any fees to a claimant or statutory subrogee for a conference conducted by the administrator's designee.

(C) If a claimant and statutory subrogee request that a conference be conducted by the administrator's designee pursuant to division (B) of this section, both of the following apply:

(1) The administrator's designee shall schedule a conference on or before sixty days after the date that the claimant and statutory subrogee filed a request for the conference.

(2) The determination made by the administrator's designee is not subject to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(D) When a claimant's action against a third party proceeds to trial and damages are awarded, both of the following apply:

(1) The claimant shall receive an amount equal to the uncompensated damages divided by the sum of the subrogation interest plus the uncompensated damages, multiplied by the net amount recovered, and the statutory subrogee shall receive an amount equal to the subrogation interest divided by the sum of the subrogation interest plus the uncompensated damages, multiplied by the net amount recovered.

(2) The court in a nonjury action shall make findings of fact, and the jury in a jury action shall return a general verdict accompanied by answers to interrogatories that specify the following:

(a) The total amount of the compensatory damages;

(b) The portion of the compensatory damages specified pursuant to division (D)(2)(a) of this section that represents economic loss;

(c) The portion of the compensatory damages specified pursuant to division (D)(2)(a) of this section that represents noneconomic loss.

(E)

(1) After a claimant and statutory subrogee know the net amount recovered, and after the means for dividing it has been determined under division (B) or (D) of this section, a claimant may establish an interest-bearing trust account for the full amount of the subrogation interest that represents estimated future payments of compensation, medical benefits, rehabilitation costs, or death benefits, reduced to present value, from which the claimant shall make reimbursement payments to the statutory subrogee for the future payments of compensation, medical benefits, rehabilitation costs, or death benefits. If the workers' compensation claim associated with the subrogation interest is settled, or if the claimant dies, or if any other circumstance occurs that would preclude any future payments of compensation, medical benefits, rehabilitation costs, and death benefits by the statutory subrogee, any amount remaining in the trust account after final reimbursement is paid to the statutory subrogee for all payments made by the statutory subrogee before the ending of future payments shall be paid to the claimant or the claimant's estate.

(2) A claimant may use interest that accrues on the trust account to pay the expenses of establishing and maintaining the trust account, and all remaining interest shall be credited to the trust account.

(3) If a claimant establishes a trust account, the statutory subrogee shall provide payment notices to the claimant on or before the thirtieth day of June and the thirty-first day of December every year listing the total amount that the statutory subrogee has paid for compensation, medical benefits, rehabilitation costs, or death benefits during the half of the year preceding the notice. The claimant shall make reimbursement payments to the statutory subrogee from the trust account on or before the thirty-first day of July every year for a notice provided by the thirtieth day of June, and on or before the thirty-first day of January every year for a notice provided by the thirty-first day of December. The claimant's reimbursement payment shall be in an amount that equals the total amount listed on the notice the claimant receives from the statutory subrogee.

(F) If a claimant does not establish a trust account as described in division (E)(1) of this section, the claimant shall pay to the statutory subrogee, on or before thirty days after receipt of funds from the third party, the full amount of the subrogation interest that represents estimated future payments of compensation, medical benefits, rehabilitation costs, or death benefits.

(G) A claimant shall notify a statutory subrogee and the attorney general of the identity of all third parties against whom the claimant has or may have a right of recovery, except that when the statutory subrogee is a self-insuring employer, the claimant need not notify the attorney general. No settlement, compromise, judgment, award, or other recovery in any action or claim by a claimant shall be final unless the claimant provides the statutory subrogee and, when required, the attorney general, with prior notice and a reasonable opportunity to assert its subrogation rights. If a statutory subrogee and, when required, the attorney general are not given that notice, or if a settlement or compromise excludes any amount paid by the statutory subrogee, the third party and the claimant shall be jointly and severally liable to pay the statutory subrogee the full amount of the subrogation interest.

(H) The right of subrogation under this chapter is automatic, regardless of whether a statutory subrogee is joined as a party in an action by a claimant against a third party. A statutory subrogee may assert its subrogation rights through correspondence with the claimant and the third party or their legal representatives. A statutory subrogee may institute and pursue legal proceedings against a third party either by itself or in conjunction with a claimant. If a statutory subrogee institutes legal proceedings against a third party, the statutory subrogee shall provide notice of that fact to the claimant. If the statutory subrogee joins the claimant as a necessary party, or if the claimant elects to participate in the proceedings as a party, the claimant may present the claimant's case first if the matter proceeds to trial. If a claimant disputes the validity or amount of an asserted subrogation interest, the claimant shall join the statutory subrogee as a necessary party to the action against the third party.

(I) The statutory subrogation right of recovery applies to, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Amounts recoverable from a claimant's insurer in connection with underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, notwithstanding any limitation contained in Chapter 3937. of the Revised Code;

(2) Amounts that a claimant would be entitled to recover from a political subdivision, notwithstanding any limitations contained in Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code;

(3) Amounts recoverable from an intentional tort action.

(J) If a claimant's claim against a third party is for wrongful death or the claim involves any minor beneficiaries, amounts allocated under this section are subject to the approval of probate court.

(K) The administrator shall deposit any money collected under this section into the public fund or the private fund of the state insurance fund, as appropriate. If a self-insuring employer collects money under this section of the Revised Code, the self-insuring employer shall deduct the amount collected, in the year collected, from the amount of paid compensation the self-insured employer is required to report under section 4123.35 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4123.931

History. Effective Date: 04-09-2003