A finalized settlement that includes a Medicare Set-Aside (MSA) where the parties have not yet obtained approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can cause misunderstandings and complications, particularly on the part of claimants who are anxious to receive their settlement funds and may not understand the wait time associated with receiving CMS approval of the MSA. This was the issue that arose in Harrelson v. Arcadia, NO.2010 CA 1647, Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit.
On April 1, 2011, the Florida Bar issued Staff Opinion 30310. The opinion arose out of a dispute between opposing counsels in a personal injury lawsuit. The attorneys specifically sought the Florida Bar’s ethical opinion on whether an attorney, in a personal injury matter, “may personally sign a settlement release containing a hold harmless and indemnification agreement in favor of the opposing party which would obligate the plaintiff’s attorney to indemnify and hold harmless the defendant for any future liability under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP).”