United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY JUDGE United States District
the court for disposition is the Interpleader Plaintiff
Bio-Medical Applications of Pennsylvania, Inc.'s motion
for interpleader deposit under 28 U.S.C. § 1335. The
matter has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition.
case has its genesis in a personal injury lawsuit filed by
David Trostle, who is now deceased. In that case, Trostle
alleged that a pharmacy dispensed improper drugs to him. The
drugs caused him to need extensive medical treatment.
Medicare, his insurer, paid $84, 353 for the treatment. Then,
Trostle filed suit against the pharmacy and the Interpleader
Plaintiff Bio-Medical Applications of Pennsylvania, Inc.
(hereinafter “Interpleader Plaintiff” or
“Bio-Medical”). Defendants Richard Angino, the
Angino Law Firm, f/k/a Angino and Rovner (hereinafter the
“Angino Defendants”) represented Trostle in the
personal injury lawsuit. That case settled for $225, 000.
then calculated the amount owed by Trostle on the $84, 353 it
had paid for the treatment. After deducting its share of the
attorney's fees, Medicare calculated that the Medicare
lien that Trostle owed was $53, 295, plus interest if it was
not paid within sixty (60) days.
challenged the calculation of the Medicare lien through the
Medicare administrative process, and was once again
represented by the Angino Defendants. Evidently, the
administrative review process was never exhausted and
Medicare's determination of the amount allegedly became
Defendant Gloria Trostle, Administratix of the Estate of
David A. Trostle, later filed suit in federal district court
challenging Medicare's determination. The court dismissed
the case finding that the administrative remedies had not
been timely exhausted. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals
affirmed this decision.
Plaintiff United States of America argues that the
determination that it is owed $53, 295 is now final and
binding on the defendants. Defendants indicated to plaintiff
that they were not agreeable to trying to resolve the matter
by settlement and the plaintiff as a result filed the instant
action. Plaintiff argues that because it had to file suit to
collect the amount owed, that it no longer must pay for its
share of attorney's fees. The total owed now is the
original $84, 353 plus interest, which it indicates brings
the total to over $100, 000.
defendants argue that they do not owe more than the original
amount less attorneys fees, for a total of $53, 295. The
Angino Law Firm hold a portion of this amount, $19, 699.16,
in escrow and the Interpleader Plaintiff has the remainder,
$33, 750. The defendants argue that if it is determined that
more is owed than the $53, 295 originally calculated by the
United States, then the defendants from the original lawsuit,
including Interpleader Plaintiff Bio-Medical, are responsible
Plaintiff Bio-Medical argues that it has done everything it
could to adhere to the release agreement from the original
lawsuit and to protect the government's interest in the
Medicare lien. Thus, it cannot be held liable for more than
its original settlement portion. If more is now owed to the
government it is strictly due to the actions of the
defendants and they, not Bio-Medical, should be held liable
end, Interpleader Plaintiff filed the instant
motion. It seeks to deposit with the court $33,
730, its share of the Medicare Lien from the original
settlement. It then seeks to be dismissed with prejudice from
the case. It claims no interest in the money and seeks to
have the court determine who it should go to, the plaintiff
or defendant. The Angino Defendants oppose the motion,
bringing the case to its present posture.
court has jurisdiction over this motion as it involves an
interpleader action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 28
U.S.C. § 1346; 42 ...