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December 30, 2020

Medical Liens In Wrongful Death Cases

A medical lien does not attach to a wrongful death claim. American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ward, 774 S.W.2d 135, 138 (Mo. banc 1989). A wrongful death recovery is for the use and benefit of the class prescribed by RSMo § 537.080, not the injured person. Id. Because the hospital cannot sue the driver of the vehicle that killed the decedent, it is not entitled to the use or benefit form a wrongful death recover. Id. at 137-8. The Eastern District upheld this decision in BambergerBamberger v. Freeman, 299 S.W.3d 684 (Mo. App. E.D. 2009) and St. Anthony’s Medical Center v. Metze, 23 S.W.3d 692 (Mo. App. E.D. 2000). “Missouri law is clear—hospital liens do not attach to the proceeds of a wrongful death settlement.” Bamberger at 689.

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