Future Medical Bills and Collateral Sources

I’ve written in the past about the question of what limits the collateral source rule has in determining what medical bills can go to a jury. In particular, I discussed the court’s unfortunate ruling in Indiana that evidence that medical bills have been discounted can be introduced as evidence to the extent that discounted amounts can be introduced without referencing insurance.

Tort Talk says that a Pennsylvania judge addressed a related issue: whether future medical bills can be discounted because the victim has insurance. The court in this case said that the plaintiff may plead, prove and recover future medical expenses as those expenses were not shown to be “paid or payable.” The rationale? There is no way to say the Defendant will have insurance in the future.

I think the fact that we are having this conversation in the first place is ridiculous. All of these efforts to introduce payments and reductions violate the collateral source rule, a rule that has withstood scrutiny for a very long time. But at least this opinion does not take the insanity any further.