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NM Court of Appeals Schedules October 28, 10:00 AM Hearing

October 5, 2015 - Jen Laws

COA LogoThe New Mexico Court of Appeals has scheduled a hearing at the Pamela B. Minzner Law Center on Wednesday, October 28, 2015. The oral argument is open to the public and begins at 10:00 A.M.

A three-judge panel will preside: Judge Michael D. Bustamante (’74), Judge Jonathan B. Sutin (’63), and Judge Timothy L. Garcia (’84)

Following are the details of the case:

HEALTHSOUTH REHABILITATION HOSPITAL OF NEW MEXICO, LTD., Plaintiff

vs.

TERRY A. BRAWLEY AND JOYE BRAWLEY, husband and wife, Defendants/Third-Party Plaintiffs-Appellants, represented by Steven J. Vogel and Janice Woods

vs.

THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF NEW MEXICO INSTITUTE OF MINING AND TECHNOLOGY, Third-Party Defendant-Appellee, represented by Jocelyn Drennan and Ed Ricco

and

HEALTHSOUTH REHABILITATION HOSPITAL OF NEW MEXICO, LTD., Third-Party Defendant

Plaintiff-Appellant Terry Brawley suffered serious injuries as a result of an accident which occurred when he was riding his ATV. Subsequent to the accident, Mr. Brawley was charged with aggravated DWI arising from the accident; the charges were later dismissed. His employee Health Benefit Plan, provided by NM Tech, denied coverage for all medical expenses related to Mr. Brawley’s accident under one of the Medical Limitations in the Health Benefit Plan: exclusion of coverage for injury or sickness sustained while under the influence of alcohol if the blood alcohol level was at or above the legal limit for driving an automobile and there is a direct relationship between the injury and the intoxication (the “alcohol exclusion”). An expert witness testified that the sole cause of the accident was a washout on the road driven by Mr. Brawley; the trial court rejected the opinion of the expert.

The Plaintiffs-Appellants request review of the District Court’s finding that Mr. Brawley’s use of alcohol was a cause of his injuries and that the medical claims were appropriately denied under the alcohol exclusion of his Health Benefit Plan.

For more information, contact Nora Gonzales at 505-841-4618.