Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
February 18, 2020
 
Question:

Jennifer,

I am writing to inquire on the status of the MILMIC premium distribution to providers.

Thank you,
Dr. K


Answer:

I've asked one of our litigation partners, Caroline Wallitt, Esq., to take this one - 

Jennifer, I write to provide a status of New York case law regarding the MLMIC distribution.  In a nutshell, courts are awarding the distribution to the party that paid the premiums between 7/15/2013 and 7/14/2016.  The only exception is if the employer and employee had a separate agreement as to how they would split the MLMIC funds.  

In re Schaffer, Schonholz & Drossman, LLP v. Title, 171 A.D.3d 465 (1st Dep’t 2019), created this rule when it awarded the physician’s entire MLMIC distribution to the employer because it paid all of the premiums for the relevant timeframe.  This the only appellate court to have ruled on the issue, so it’s binding precedent on all branches of the Supreme Court.  As a result, numerous Supreme Court judges have followed the Schaffer rule since the decision came down—Sullivan v. MLMIC, 2019 WL 6496820 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. County Dec. 3, 2019); Mid-Manhattan Physician Services, PC v. Dworkin, 2019 WL 4261348 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. County Sept. 4, 2019); John T. Mather Mem. Hosp. of Port Jefferson, N.Y., Inc., v. Fadel, Index No. 624734/2018 (Sup. Ct., Suffolk County Aug. 22, 2019); Maple Med. LLP v. Scott, 2019 WL 3070676 (Sup. Ct., Westchester County July 7, 2019); Schoch v. Lake Champlain Ob-gyn, PC, 64 Misc.3d 1215(A) (Sup. Ct., Saratoga County June 7, 2019).  In all of these cases, the winning party was the employer because it paid all the premiums.  In The Columbia Mem. Hosp. v. Hinds, 65 Misc.3d 1205(A) (Sup. Ct., Columbia County Sept. 3, 2019), however, the court awarded the distribution to the physician because the hospital-employer paid his MLMIC premiums in lieu of compensation.  

However given recent case law, if Employer is found to have paid at least some of the MLMIC premiums, the Employer is likely to be entitled to a pro-rata portion of the distribution under emerging case law.

Should anyone have any follow up concerns or require assistance in resolution, Caroline may be reached most efficiently by email at CWallitt@Kirschenbaumesq.com.