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Allstate Ins. Co. v. Med. Lien Mgmt., Inc.

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

May 26, 2015

Allstate Insurance Company, an Illinois corporation, Petitioner:
v.
Medical Lien Management, Inc., a Colorado corporation, Respondent:

Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals Case No. 12CA691.

Judgment Reversed.

SYLLABUS

Allstate petitioned for review of the court of appeals' judgment reversing the dismissal of a breach of assignment claim brought by Medical Lien Management. Notwithstanding allegations of the complaint to the contrary, the district court effectively construed MLM's Lien and Security Agreement with a motor vehicle accident victim, upon which the complaint was premised, as failing to assign the victim's right to the proceeds of his personal injury lawsuit against Allstate's insured. By contrast, the court of appeals found a valid assignment to MLM of all rights to the future proceeds from the victim's personal injury claim in an amount equal to the costs of medical services paid for by MLM, as well as a sufficient allegation in the complaint of an enforceable obligation by Allstate to pay the assigned sums to MLM.

The supreme court reverses, holding that the court of appeals erred in finding the purported assignment in this case, of an as-yet indeterminable portion of proceeds of an unresolved personal injury claim, to be effective against Allstate.

For Petitioner: Terence M. Ridley, Evan Stephenson, Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP, Denver, Colorado; Mark E. Lyda, Lyda Law Firm LLC, Denver, Colorado.

For Respondent: Zachary P. Mugge, Robinson, Waters & O'Dorisio, P.C., Denver, Colorado.

For Colorado Civil Justice League and Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, Amici Curiae: Jeffrey Clay Ruebel, Casey Quillen, Ruebel & Quillen, LLC, Westminster, Colorado.

OPINION

Page 944

COATS, JUSTICE

[¶1] Allstate petitioned for review of the court of appeals' judgment reversing the dismissal of a breach of assignment claim brought by Medical Lien Management. Notwithstanding allegations of the complaint to the contrary, the district court effectively construed MLM's Lien and Security Agreement with a motor vehicle accident victim, upon which the complaint was premised, as failing to assign the victim's right to the proceeds of his personal injury lawsuit against Allstate's insured. By contrast, the

Page 945

court of appeals found a valid assignment to MLM of all rights to the future proceeds from the victim's personal injury claim in an amount equal to the costs of medical services paid for by MLM, as well as a sufficient allegation in the complaint of an enforceable obligation by Allstate to pay the assigned sums to MLM.

[¶2] Because the court of appeals erred in finding the purported assignment in this case, of an as-yet indeterminable portion of proceeds of an unresolved personal injury claim, to be effective against ...


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