On December 13, 2010, the New Jersey Council voted by 75 votes to 0 to pass legislation giving priority to plaintiffs over PIP carriers seeking compensation for the benefits of PIP versus the farmer's insurance policy (the Senate passed its version of this law from 37 to 0 on 18 October 2010). This bill was proposed to reverse the decision of the New Jersey Supreme CourtFernandez v. First National Mutual Insurance Company, 199 NJ 591 (2009), Which found that the injured plaintiff did not have priority for insurance proceeds for a torturer when the carrier sought to compensate him for PIP allocations he paid to the plaintiff.
The Fernandez The issue involves a tractor trailer hitting Mr. Fernandez and causing major injuries. Fernandez received $ 250,000 of PIP allocations under the auto policy issued by Nationwide. In April 2004, Fernandez sued the trucking company, which was insured by Proformance Insurance Company. In July 2004, Nationwide filed a claim for resolution through arbitration against Proformance to request a refund of $ 250,000 of PIP allocations paid to Fernandez. Later, Fernandez settled with Proformance for his personal injuries for $ 1 million. However, Proformance Fernandez paid only $ 750,000 and deposited $ 250,000 in court pending the results of PIP arbitration submitted from across the country.
Fernandez objected to Proformance depositing $ 250,000 in court and filing a lawsuit seeking the release of those funds to him in implementation of his settlement agreement. The Court concluded that Fernandez had priority in Proformance policy and Nationwide was only allowed to recover this amount which is still available under Proformance Policy (if any) after Fernandez's refund. The Appeals Division overturned the trial court and found that all over the country should be compensated for PIP benefits paid even if Fernandez did not receive a full settlement. Eventually, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Appeals Division and found that the injured person had not prioritized the farmer's insurance policy.
The bill passed by the Senate and Senate amends the current PIP Act with respect to payment to provide: Any reimbursement by an insurance company, health maintenance institution, government agency … shall be subject to any claim against the insured counter-insurer by the injured party and shall not be reimbursed until after such claim has been met, within the limits of the insured fluorine engine. Vehicle or other liability policy.
The bill now goes to Governor Christie for consideration.