Attorney’s Fees At Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Lawsuit, Part 5 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)


White’s Lien Must be Reduced Because Plaintiff’s Counsel Alone Successfully Prosecuted This Action.

While an employer or its workers’ compensation insurer may seek from any settlement between an injured employee and a third-party tort-feasor, reimbursement for compensation he has paid to the employee, that reimbursement is reduced by “the reasonable expenses incurred in effecting such settlement, including costs of suit, if any, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee to be paid to the employee’s attorney, for his services in securing and effecting settlement for the benefit of both the employer and the employee.” See Cal. Lab. Code, § 3860(b) and (c).

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

This principle applies to the situation where, as here, settlement is effectuated … solely through the efforts of the employee’s attorney. See Cal. Lab. Code, § 3860(c).

In Kaplan v. Industrial Indem. Co., 79 Cal. App. 3d 700, 702-03, 709, 145 Cal. Rptr. 210 (1978), the court of appeal ruled that this principle applies even where the employer or his workers’ compensation insurer has retained separate counsel as long as the settlement, which represents a common fund from which the lien is paid, is the result of the efforts of the plaintiff’s attorney.

In that case, the employer’s insurer, Industrial Indemnity Company (IIC), filed a complaint in intervention and did little else.: 79 Cal. App. 3d at 709. By contrast, the plaintiff’s (employee’s) attorney (Kaplan) claimed that he alone had prosecuted the case to a successful conclusion. Id. at 703-04, 709. The court held that, if this was true, then under California Labor Code section 3860(c), the lien amount requested by IIC would be reduced by Kaplan’s reasonable attorney’s fees. 79 Cal. App. 3d at 709-10, 713. (See Part 6 of 8.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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