41.05A.060  <<  41.05A.070 >>   41.05A.080

Filing of lien.

(1) To secure reimbursement of any assistance paid as a result of injuries to or illness of a recipient caused by the negligence or wrong of another, the authority is subrogated to the recipient's rights against a tort feasor or the tort feasor's insurer, or both.
(2) The authority has the right to file a lien upon any recovery by or on behalf of the recipient from such tort feasor or the tort feasor's insurer, or both, to the extent of the value of the assistance paid by the authority: PROVIDED, That such lien is not effective against recoveries subject to wrongful death when there are surviving dependents of the deceased. The lien becomes effective upon filing with the county auditor in the county where the assistance was authorized or where any action is brought against the tort feasor or insurer. The lien may also be filed in any other county or served upon the recipient in the same manner as a civil summons if, in the authority's discretion, such alternate filing or service is necessary to secure the authority's interest. The additional lien is effective upon filing or service.
(3) The lien of the authority may be against any claim, right of action, settlement proceeds, money, or benefits arising from an insurance program to which the recipient might be entitled (a) against the tort feasor or insurer of the tort feasor, or both, and (b) under any contract of insurance purchased by the recipient or by any other person providing coverage for the illness or injuries for which the assistance is paid or provided by the authority.
(4) If recovery is made by the authority under this section and the subrogation is fully or partially satisfied through an action brought by or on behalf of the recipient, the amount paid to the authority must bear its proportionate share of attorneys' fees and costs.
(a) The determination of the proportionate share to be borne by the authority must be based upon:
(i) The fees and costs approved by the court in which the action was initiated; or
(ii) The written agreement between the attorney and client which establishes fees and costs when fees and costs are not addressed by the court.
(b) When fees and costs have been approved by a court, after notice to the authority, the authority has the right to be heard on the matter of attorneys' fees and costs or its proportionate share.
(c) When fees and costs have not been addressed by the court, the authority shall receive at the time of settlement a copy of the written agreement between the attorney and client which establishes fees and costs and may request and examine documentation of fees and costs associated with the case. The authority may bring an action in superior court to void a settlement if it believes the attorneys' calculation of its proportionate share of fees and costs is inconsistent with the written agreement between the attorney and client which establishes fees and costs or if the fees and costs associated with the case are exorbitant in relation to cases of a similar nature.
(5) The rights and remedies provided to the authority in this section to secure reimbursement for assistance, including the authority's lien and subrogation rights, may be delegated to a managed health care system by contract entered into pursuant to RCW 74.09.522. A managed health care system may enforce all rights and remedies delegated to it by the authority to secure and recover assistance provided under a managed health care system consistent with its agreement with the authority.

NOTES:

Effective dateFindingsIntentReportAgency transferReferences to head of health care authorityDraft legislation2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.
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