AN ACT to Provide for Liens in Favor of Hospitals and Other Charitable Institutions Furnishing Care, Treatment and Maintenance of Persons Injured in Accidents.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. Every charitable association, corporation or other institution maintaining a hospital in the State of Delaware, supported in whole or in part by private charity, shall have a lien upon any and all claims or demands, all rights of action, suits, counterclaims of any person admitted to any such hospital and receiving treatment, care and maintenance therein arising out of any personal injuries received in any such accident which any such injured person may or shall have, assert or maintain against any such other person or corporation for damages, compensation or other claim on account of such injuries, for the amount of the reasonable charges of such hospital for all medical treatment, care and nursing and maintenance of such injured person while in such hospital, to the extent of the full and true consideration paid or given to, or on behalf of such injured person or his legal representative.
Section 2. Said charitable association, corporation or Filing of other institution shall file in the office of the Prothonotary of the County in which such injuries shall have occurred a notice in writing, containing the names and addresses of the injured person, the date of the accident, the name and location of the hospital, and, if then known, the name of the person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations alleged to be liable to such injured person by reason of the injuries received, prior to the payment of any moneys to such injured person or his or her legal representative by such person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations to such injured person. Copies of said notice shall be sent by registered mail by the hospital to such injured person and all parties in interest, who may then be known. Thereafter an affidavit by a competent person, acting on behalf of such institution, setting forth such service, and all attempts to serve the same shall be filed in the office of the Prothonotary.
Section 3. The lien of any such hospital shall attach to any verdict, report, decision, decree, award, judgment or final order made or rendered in any action or proceeding in any court of record of Delaware, or any public board or bureau, in any suit, action, or proceeding brought by such injured person, or by the estate of such injured person in case of deaths as the result of such injuries, against any other person or corporation for the recovery of damages or other compensation or payment in any way arising out of injuries received in any such accident, as well as to the proceeds of any settlement thereof, any claim or demand effected by any such injured person or on his behalf, with any other person or corporation in any way liable to said injured person, or his legal representative, in case of death, by reason of said injuries, effected with any other person or corporation on account thereof.
Section 4. After the filing of the notice as herein provided, no release of any judgment, claim or demand by such injured person shall be valid or effectual as against such lien, and the person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations making any payment to such injured person or his legal representative as compensation for the injuries sustained shall for a period of one year from the date of such payment as aforesaid remain liable to such hospital for the amount of its reasonable charges due at the time of such payment as aforesaid, to the extent of the full and true consideration paid or given to, or on behalf of such injured person or his legal representative, and any such charitable association, corporation or other institution or body maintaining such hospital may, within such period, enforce its lien by a suit at law against such person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations making any such payment.
Section 5. Every Prothonotary shall, at the expense of the county, provide a suitable, well-bound book, to be Do called the hospital lien docket, in which, upon the filing of any lien claim under the provisions of this act, he shall Entries enter:
The name of the injured person, the date of the accident, the name of the hospital or other institution making the claim, and the filing of an affidavit setting forth the service of, or attempts to serve, of all parties in interest.
And the said clerk shall make a proper index of the same in the name of the injured person; and such clerk shall be entitled to One Dollar ($1.00) for filing each claim, and at the rate of twenty five cents (25c) per folio for such entry made in the lien docket and twenty five cents (25c) for every search in the office for such lien claim.
Section 6. Any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations legally liable or against whom a claim shall be asserted for compensation for such injuries, shall be permitted to examine the records of any such association, corporation or other institution or body maintaining such hospital in reference to such treatment, care and maintenance of such injured person.
Section 7. If any section, clause, sentence, paragraph or other part of this Act shall for any reason be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not effect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this Act, or any part thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall be rendered. It being hereby declared the Legislature would have enacted the remainder of this Act without such part adjudged to be invalid.
Approved April 6, 1931.