In a case where the plaintiff attempted to recover the full customary charge for medical services from the tortfeasor, the Louisiana Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts that the plaintiff was only allowed to recover the discounted cost that had been negotiated between the plaintiff’s attorney and the medical provider. Rejecting the argument that such negotiated advantages fell within the Collateral Source Rule, the court adopted a bright line, noting that “to do otherwise would invite a variety of evidentiary and ethical dilemmas for counsel. For example, an evidentiary hearing inquiring into the details of the attorney-client relationship to uncover a ‘diminution in patrimony’ resulting from the attorney negotiated medical discount might intrude upon the privilege surrounding the employment contract and communications as to fee arrangements. See La. Code Evid. Art. 506(B)(1). Additionally, a lawyer who negotiates a discount with a medical provider and then attempts to recover the undiscounted full ‘cost’ from the defendant might run afoul of Rule 4.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, entitled ‘Truthfulness in Statements to Others,’ which provides in Subsection (a) that a lawyer in the course of representing a client shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact to a third person.”
Hoffman v. 21st Century N. Am. Ins. Co., 2014-2279 (La. 10/2/2015), 2015 WL 5776131.