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Nichols v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

April 15, 2019

Sherria Nichols, Respondent,
v.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Appellant.

          Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CV-17-12549

          Charles D. Slane, Nathan M. Maus, TSR Injury Law, Bloomington, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Chris Angell, David M. Werwie & Associates, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Slieter, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         An insured incurs a loss under the Minnesota No-Fault Act when her health-care provider complies with the billing requirements of Minn. Stat. § 62Q.75, subd. 3 (2018), by submitting its charges to a health-plan company within six months of service.

          OPINION

          SLIETER, JUDGE

         Appellant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm) challenges the denial of its motion to vacate respondent Sherria Nichols's no-fault arbitration award, arguing that the district court erred by concluding that Minn. Stat. § 62Q.75, subd. 3, did not bar respondent's no-fault claim. We affirm.

         FACTS

         On November 27, 2014, Nichols was injured in a motor-vehicle accident and transported to North Memorial Hospital (North Memorial), where she received treatment in the emergency department. At the time of the accident, Nichols was insured by a no-fault insurance policy with State Farm.

         In January 2015, Nichols applied for no-fault benefits under the State Farm policy. Shortly thereafter, North Memorial submitted a $2, 753.20 invoice to State Farm for Nichols's November emergency-room visit. State Farm paid the invoice.

         From April 2015 through December 2015, Nichols received several additional treatments at North Memorial. The charges for these treatments were not submitted to State Farm. Instead, North Memorial submitted them to Nichols's health insurer, UCare. North Memorial submitted each charge to UCare within six months of treatment, and UCare paid each charge.

         In July 2016, Nichols filed a petition for no-fault arbitration, seeking an award of $10, 000 from State Farm for the health-care expenses incurred for her 2015 treatments.[1]For reasons not germane to this appeal, Nichols filed a subsequent arbitration petition in February 2017 seeking an award for the same 2015 treatments.

         Following a hearing, the arbitrator awarded Nichols $10, 000 in economic-loss benefits for her medical expenses. State Farm filed a motion with the ...


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