California Judges Corrected on Application of Controversial Collateral Source Exception

California judges recently received better guidance for how and when to apply a controversial exception to the collateral source rule, a rule that permits California injury victims to recover the full amount of medical bills incurred following an accident even if paid by a source other than the person who caused the accident (a “collateral source”).

The clarification recently came through the editing of citations in the California Judicial Council Judges Benchbook, a reference source for judges hearing California personal injury cases. The edit makes it clear that defendants are not entitled to a post-trial reduction hearing. Rather defendants must meet a specific exception to the collateral source rule for the trial court to consider holding a post-trial reduction hearing.