APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT. HONORABLE A. C. MCKAY CHAUVIN, JUDGE. ACTION NO. 11-CI-002357.
BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: Sam Aguiar, Nicholas Chandler, Drew Haile, Louisville, Kentucky.
BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Robert L. Steinmetz, Louisville, Kentucky.
BEFORE: KELLER, STUMBO AND THOMPSON, JUDGES. ALL CONCUR.
Kyle Medlin appeals from an order of the Jefferson
Circuit Court denying his motion for declaratory relief and entering judgment in
favor of Progressive Insurance Company. We find no error and affirm.
On December 28, 2010, Medlin was involved in a single-vehicle automobile accident. At the time of the accident, Medlin had an automobile insurance policy with Progressive which obligated Progressive to pay personal injury protection, also known as basic reparation benefits (PIP benefits). On January 14, 2011, Medlin filled out an application in order to receive his benefits. Included in the application was a section allowing Medlin to indicate how he wanted Progressive to distribute his PIP benefits. In that section he wrote " RESERVE BENEFITS" and also checked a box marked " PLEASE PAY ME DIRECTLY (draft will include your name and the name of the medical provider)" .
Sometime in January of 2011, Medlin began seeing a chiropractor for injuries related to the accident. Instead of paying the bills as they were presented to Progressive, Medlin continued to have Progressive reserve his benefits and not pay any bills until he directed. Ultimately,
Progressive was presented with a total of $8,164.98 in medical bills. On March 1, 2011, an agent for Progressive contacted Medlin to inquire as to how the bills were to be paid. Medlin stated that he wanted payment made directly to him. The agent informed Medlin that only a joint check could be made out which included both Medlin's name and the name of the medical provider. Medlin stated he would " think about it" and contact the agent at a later date.
On March 3, 2011, Medlin sent Progressive a letter indicating that he wanted the PIP benefits paid directly to him. On March 11, 2011, an agent for Progressive sent a letter to Medlin acknowledging receipt of the letter. Progressive's letter also indicated that Progressive could only pay Medlin directly if it was to reimburse him for expenses he had paid out of pocket. Medlin then filed the underlying petition for declaratory relief on April 4, 2011, arguing that Progressive should pay his PIP benefits to him directly.
On August 1, 2011, oral arguments were held. As of that date, the medical bills had not been paid. On November 10, 2011, the trial court entered an order denying Medlin's petition. The trial court concluded that the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA) only requires insurance obligors to either pay medical expenses directly to the medical providers or to reimburse the insured for actual accrued economic losses; therefore, because Medlin had not paid any of the medical bills himself, he had not incurred any economic losses. The trial court labeled Medlin's requested relief as " preimbursement", which is ...