IN THE MATTER OF THE MINORITY OF BRIAN L. CALLEY
Appeal from the Nineteenth Judicial District Court In and for
the Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana No. P51797,
Sec. 23 The Honorable William A. Morvant, Judge Presiding
Gregory Webb Peter J. Losavio, Jr. Elliot W. Atkinson, Jr.
Baton Rouge, LA
J. Hill, II Stanley J. Bordelon Baton Rouge, LA
R. Dick, Jr. Baton Rouge, LA
Attorneys for Plaintiffs/ Appellants Clinton D. Calley, Jr.
and Deborah B. Calley
Attorneys for Defendant/ Appellee Louisiana Department of
Health & Hospitals
Attorney for Defendant/ Appellee J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, HOLDRIDGE, AND PENZATO, JJ.
appeal concerns the right of the State of Louisiana,
Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), to reimbursement
of Medicaid benefits it paid from a trust. Finding no error,
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
L. Calley was severely injured in a motorcycle accident on
August 16, 1980. Because he was a minor, his parents, Clinton
D. Calley, Jr., and Deborah B. Calley, filed a tort suit to
recover damages. Funds from the settlement of the lawsuit
were used to establish the Calley Trust on June 26,
1989. The settlement and the establishment of
the Trust were approved by the district court. Clinton and
Deborah were the settlors and the beneficiaries of the Trust.
The Trust provided that its income was to be used in part
"for the payment of medical or related expenses"
incurred by the Calleys for Brian that were not covered by
Medicaid. Brian died on October 3, 2015.
paid Medicaid benefits on behalf of Brian after his accident
and throughout his life. On February 25, 2016, after
Brian's death, DHH filed a motion for approval of payment
from the assets of the Trust. It sought $1, 080, 246.10 in
Medicaid benefits paid on behalf of Brian from December 1,
1993 through November 29, 2012; $1, 077, 831.90 represented
medical expenses and $2, 594.20 represented Medicare Part B
premiums. After a hearing, the district court
granted DHH's motion.
Calleys appeal the judgment. They urge four assignments of
error: the district court erred in interpreting the plain
language of Article VIII of the Trust as requiring a payback
to the State for paid Medicaid benefits; the district court
erred in failing to apply federal law that restricts the
right of a state agency to seize assets of a third party to
reimburse Medicaid benefits; the district court erred in
failing to apply Louisiana law, which has a self-imposed
estate only reimbursement tax; and the district court erred
in failing to apply federal law that restricts the rights ...