Connecticut’s Collateral Source Rule and the Treatment of Future Medical Expenses

Connecticut’s Collateral Source Rule

There are two exceptions to this rule…

Connecticut’s collateral source rule (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-225a) requires the court to reduce the entire amount of the economic damage award by the collateral sources. The statute defines collateral sources as:
  • any payments made to the claimant, or on his behalf, by or pursuant to: (1) Any health or sickness insurance, automobile accident insurance that provides health benefits, and any other similar insurance benefits, except life insurance benefits available to the claimant, whether purchased by him or provided by others; or (2) any contract or agreement of any group, organization, partnership or corporation to provide, pay for or reimburse the costs of hospital, medical, dental or other health care services. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-225b.)
However, collateral sources cannot include the settlement amount. Id. There are two exceptions to this rule:
  1. the economic damages award may not be reduced by collateral sources when a right of subrogation exists, and
  2. the economic damages award may not be reduced by collateral sources which equal a reduction in the plaintiff’s economic damages attributable to the plaintiff’s percentage of negligence. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-225a(a).)
Given the Court in Marciano v. Jimenez (324 Conn. 70) willingness to strictly construe § 52–225a “in accordance with the plain meaning rule [and unwillingness to] consider extratextual evidence of the meaning of a statute unless the text is ambiguous or would yield an absurd or unworkable result [with emphasis].” The result is a construction of ‘collateral sources’ that limits the analysis of economic damages for future medical expenses to ‘reasonable value’– specifically, expenses that are “reasonably probable” (See Marchetti v. Ramirez, 240 Conn. 49, 54 (1997)). In this framework, one may draw the conclusion that future medical expenses may be analyzed within the context of (1) Qualified Health Plans offered in Connecticut’s marketplace, which do not have a right of subrogation, and (2) the ‘reasonable value’ of medical goods and services in the marketplace.