It is not uncommon for a defendant in a product liability case at trial to be faced with an inflated and exaggerated claim for future medical expenses for the injured plaintiff. In those instances, the defendant will want to show that the plaintiff will be entitled to receive benefits from collateral sources in the future, which reduces the overall amount the plaintiff can recover from the defendant if it is found liable.
The Florida Supreme Court recently handed down a decision we believe will change the way personal injury claims are tried in Florida. In general, benefits awarded to the plaintiff from collateral sources are not admissible at trial under Florida law. This type of evidence is regarded as highly prejudicial to the plaintiff’s case. However, there are exceptions to this exclusionary rule, and in the past a defendant in a personal injury case was able to introduce evidence of benefits the plaintiff will receive from Medicare.