Kaiser Wrongly Took Part of Man’s Accident Settlement, He Claims
2-14-2015 00:56:00

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Kaiser took part of a man’s car accident settlement it was not entitled to have, he claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

     Ron Geitheim and his attorney, Paul Ottosi, sued Infinity Property and Casualty Corporation, an Ohio corporation, Infinity Insurance Company, an Indiana corporation, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and The Rawlings Company LLC, a Kentucky limited liability company. They allege conversion, negligence, money had and received and unfair competition.
     According to the lawsuit, Geitheim was hurt in an October 2010 accident in which the other driver was insured by Infinity.
     “Plaintiff Geitheim received medical treatment from a medical facility affiliated with defendant Kaiser. At the times when plaintiff Geitheim received the medical treatment, all amounts due under the Kaiser contract had been paid and – pursuant to the terms of the Kaiser contract – no monies were due from plaintiff Geitheim to defendant Kaiser,” the complaint states.
     Geitheim hired Ottosi to represent him in connection with the accident and filed a claim, according to the complaint.
     On Feb. 9, 2011, Ottosi received a letter from a subrogation collection company, The Rawlings Company, saying Kaiser had a claim against any recovery Geitheim might win from his accident claim, according to the complaint.
“The Kaiser membership agreement grants Kaiser a first priority lien on the proceeds of any judgment or settlement that the member obtains against a third party because of the member’s injuries or illnesses,” the letter said in part, according to the complaint.
     Geitling challenged Rawlings’ assertion, believing there is not a valid subrogation clause in his membership agreement and that the lien is invalid, according to the complaint.
     Almost two years later, in January 2013, Ottosi got another letter from Rawlings which said, in part, “I am writing to confirm our agreement to compromise and settle Kaiser’s above-referenced TPL Lien claim in the final amount of $961.65 . . . Please forward the settlement funds as soon as possible,” according to the complaint.
     Ottosi wrote back saying he had made no such agreement with Rawlings, according to the complaint.
     Around the same time, Infinity agreed to settle Geitheim’s injury claim in the amount of $8,000, according to the complaint. But instead of sending it all to Geitheim, they sent him a check for only $7,038.35 and sent the remaining $961.65 to Rawlings, according to the complaint.
     Infinity later admitted its mistake, but has not made good by sending Geitheim a replacement check for $8,000, according to the complaint.
     Geitheim and Ottosi have demanded that Rawlings and Kaiser either return the $961.65 to Infinity or send it to them, but Rawlings and Kaiser have done neither, according to the complaint.
     Geitheim and Ottosi have demanded that Rawlings and Kaiser pay for the attorney fees incurred in their efforts to get the money back, but Rawlings and Kaiser have not done so.
     Geitheim and Ottosi seek declaratory relief, quantum meruit, general and punitive damages, attorney fees, costs of suit, interest and disgorgement. Both are represented by Paul Ottosi in Encino.