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High Court Takes Up Accident-Payout Case

WASHINGTON (CN) - A car-accident victim ordered to reimburse medical coverage after settling with the other driver persuaded the Supreme Court to take up his case Monday.

The Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan paid more than $121,000 after Robert Montanile, a covered employee, suffered injuries in a Dec. 1, 2008, car accident.

Having required lumbar spinal fusion surgery and other treatment, Montanile sued the drunken driver from the accident and ultimately obtained a $500,000 settlement.

His attorneys took more than half of that amount, and the board demanded reimbursement as well.

It sued Montanile in Florida under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and a federal granted the board summary judgment in the amount of $121,044.22.

The 11th Circuit affirmed this past November, noting that the plan had a first-priority claim to settlement proceeds Montanile received from a third party.

Per its custom, the Supreme Court did not issue any comment in granting Montanile a writ of certiorari Monday.

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