On Thursday, July 16, 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court narrowly upheld a doctrine that states PIP carriers are entitled to be reimbursed by a tortfeasor’s insurer even if that leaves the injured person without compensation. In Fernandez v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company A-54-08, the Supreme Court, by a 3-3 decision, affirmed the Appellate Division’s holding.
The injured plaintiff was involved in an accident on February 2, 2004 when his car was struck by a commercially owned and insured truck. The injured plaintiff’s PIP carrier paid $250,000 in PIP benefits to the claimant. This insurer then sought, and recovered this $250,000 which reduced the commercial liability policy from $1,000,000 to $750,000. The commercial liability insurer deposited the remaining $750,000 into Court.