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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Donald Linnstaedter and Kenneth Bolen were injured in their employers’ vehicle during the course of their work. Both were treated at Providence Health Center. Providence filed a “hospital lien” for the balance due on the services. The employees’ workers’ compensation carrier paid Providence. The amount paid did not cover the entire balance, but Providence is statutorily prohibited from pursuing further payment, the court states. The employees filed suit against the estate of the driver of the other car in their accident. The estate settled, and the estate’s insurer reimbursed the workers’ compensation insurance carrier for the amounts it paid Providence, and the amounts necessary to discharge the hospital liens. The employees then sued Providence for a declaration that the hospital liens violated the Property Code. The employees also sought to recover the sums paid to Providence by virtue of the liens. The trial court ruled for the employees. HOLDING:Affirmed. In a matter of first impression, the court holds that the limits on amounts a health care provider can charge for services rendered to a workers’ compensation claimant under the Labor Code preclude the provider from attempting to collect additional sums by filing a hospital lien under the Property Code. OPINION:Vance, J.; Gray, C.J., Vance and Reyna, JJ. DISSENT:Gray, C.J. “For [the employees] to receive a settlement in this way is a windfall to them, if not fraud by them. We should hold that Providence’s hospital lien attached to the settlement proceeds, and reverse and render judgment for Providence. Because the majority does not do so, I respectfully dissent.” The dissent disagrees that this is a matter of first impression. The dissent argues that the “reasonable and necessary charges” for emergency hospital care for the employees exceeded the amounts reimbursed by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier by some $13,000; Providence’s hospital liens attached to the proceeds of the employees’ settlements with the estate of the other driver, the third-party tortfeasor; to the extent that the lien for those charges was unsatisfied, the estate and its insurer owed the funds to Providence, not to the employees. Indeed, without the satisfaction of the hospital lien, no settlement would have been valid, the dissent argues.

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