May 26th, 2009
05:58 PM ET
5 years ago

Sotomayor SCOTUS case history: Paying back health benefits

WASHINGTON (CNN) - During Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's 17 years as a federal judge, the U.S. Supreme Court has reviewed her decisions on at least eight occasions. CNN has reviewed those cases and has summarized each in a series of posts. The names and citations reflect the cases as they were known when they first came before Sotomayor.

Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. vs. McVeigh (2005), 396 F.3d 136
: In 2005, Sotomayor ruled against a health insurance company that sued the estate of a deceased federal employee who received $157,000 in insurance benefits as the result of an injury. The wife of the federal employee had won $3.2 million in a separate lawsuit from those whom she claimed caused her husband's injuries. The health insurance company sued for reimbursement of the benefits paid to the federal employee, saying that a provision in the federal insurance plan requires paid benefits to be reimbursed when the beneficiary is compensated for an injury by a third party. The Supreme Court upheld Sotomayor's ruling in a 5-4 opinion. Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, and Alito dissented.


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Just My Opinion in Texas

    Shouldn't have been that close. If it were separate from the case that caused injury to her husband ... um ... sorry insurance dudes .... different case .... different monies. Even if it were the same incident that caused her husband's injuries ... it is STILL a different case because it was the SPOUSE and NOT the EMPLOYEE that filed and won the case.

    Case closed.

    May 26, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. tedious898

    Oops....what are we going to do about a SC that sides with everyday people...ie. the little guy ? That can't be "the American Way" or is that the "Change" we all voted for in Nov. 08'?

    I certainly hope so.

    May 26, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. James M. Holmes

    See... almost every opinion overturned was a case where Sotomayor sided with a person over Big Business... No wonder the GOP is already on the attack!

    May 26, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. Buddy Gilmour

    Thats funny – Thomas, Scalia, and the rest of the right-wing cabal backed her up! Was it a semantics thing, i.e., a damage award is not to be considered as compensation?

    May 26, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. proud army navy mom

    sounds like a winner to me

    May 26, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. Lynn

    Good old insurance companies. They never get tired of trying to screw you out of benefits – even after you are dead!

    Go Sonia!

    May 26, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. John G

    So now insurance companies are held responsible for third party actions?

    If I get in a car wreck that isn't my fault and the other drivers insurance is reluctant to pay for the repairs my insurance will cover it but they will expect to be reimbursed if and when the other insurance company pays out. Similarly, my medical insurance should be compensated if a third party pays my bills after the fact.

    The insurance company wants $157k out out of more than $3million-it's not really a hardship to pay up.

    May 26, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |