Shook, Hardy & Bacon Kansas City Partner Matthew Keenan and Associate Madison Hatten discuss a recent trend related to plaintiffs’ attorneys and medical bills in personal injury cases for the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)’s April 2015 newsletter.
Keenan and Hatten debate the legal authority for admission of a plaintiff’s medical bills, and their argument for admitting them. Both authors agree that over the past several years, they have seen a growing trend among “plaintiffs’ counsel to not proffer medical bills, or any conventional monetary calculations for that matter.”
Although some courts preferred having medical bills admitted because it helped establish duration of treatment and pain and suffering claims, Keenan and Hatten say “our experience has found many trial court judges are inclined to defer to plaintiff’s counsel’s wishes on this topic.”
In their closing, Keenan and Hatten mention that the trend may not be a simple error, saying, “Our experience with this new paradigm informs us that plaintiff’s counsel’s failure to offer medical bills may not be an oversight, but rather a calculated effort to inflate the damage deliberations.”
They advise defense counsel to take note of this strategy and be prepared to fight for the medical bills to be admissible.