Campbell v. Pelletier
A court that computes a reduction for collateral source payments may elect to use the amount of health insurance premiums that were paid on behalf of the plaintiff, his spouse and child, as opposed to merely the health insurance premiums that were paid on behalf of the plaintiff. Allegedly, the plaintiff, Gary Campbell, was injured in a motor-vehicle accident, and he sued the defendant, Philip Pelletier. A jury awarded the plaintiff $30,000 in economic damages and $16,167 in non-economic damages, for pain and suffering. The defendant maintained that Campbell's health insurance paid $22,341 in benefits, and the defendant requested a reduction as a result of collateral source payments. The plaintiff requested an offset from the reduction as a result of the payment of health insurance premiums. The plaintiff provided evidence that $12,207 in health insurance premiums were paid for the plaintiff and his family. The parties disputed whether the court should deduct the entire $12,207. The defendant argued that the court should divide $12,207 by the number of people who were covered by the plaintiff's health insurance and use that amount. The court was not persuaded that the defendant's approach was equitable. "[L]ogic dictates," wrote the court, "that Mr. Campbell's share of the health insurance premium, as a 51-year-old male, is probably greater than the share attributable to his wife and no doubt greater than the share attributable to the child." Absent evidence about the amount of the $12,207 health insurance premium attributable to Gary Campbell's health insurance, the court elected to subtract the entire amount of $12,207 in health insurance premiums that were paid for Campbell and his family from the $22,341 that Campbell's health insurance paid in benefits. The court subtracted the $10,134 that resulted from the $30,000 in economic damages that the jury awarded. The court awarded net economic damages of $19,865 and non-economic damages of $16,167.