Ruling that State Settlement of Tobacco Litigation Satisfies Liens Against Medicaid Recipient's Estate for Health Care Costs Related to Smoking Not Disturbed

In re Raduazo, 814 A.2d 147 (N.H. 2002), cert. denied, New Hampshire Dep't of Health and Human Services v. Estate of Raduazo, 123 S. Ct. 2610 (2003); 12(26) BNA's Health Law Reporter 1020 (June 26, 2003)

The Supreme Court declined to review a ruling that New Hampshire's tobacco litigation settlement with major tobacco companies barred it from also recovering Medicaid expenditures from the estate of a woman who died from smoking-related causes.  The New Hampshire Supreme Court determined the settlement, in which a number of states agreed to release tobacco companies from further claims in exchange for a stream of payments, satisfied New Hampshire's
$169,765.16 lien against the Medicaid recipient's estate. The New Hampshire Supreme Court was not swayed by a series of rulings that have rejected attempts by individual smokers to obtain access to the tobacco settlement fund. The New Hampshire Supreme Court concluded the payments made pursuant to the tobacco settlement were made, in part, to reimburse the state for the health care costs it paid through the Medicaid program on behalf of individuals such as this woman and to allow the state to also collect for these expenses from the woman's estate would unjustly enable the state to collect the money to which it is entitled twice...

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1