No. 28315 - Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:15 a.m.
KEE SUN KIM, Claimant/Appellant-Appellee, Cross-Appellee v. LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Respondent/Appellee-Appellant, Cross-Appellee, and J.P. SCHMIDT, Insurance Commissioner, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Appellee-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
Attorney(s) for Respondent/Appellee-Appellant, Cross-Appellee
Randall Y.S. Chung and James H. Monma (Matsui Chung)
Attorney(s) for Claimant/Appellant-Appellee, Cross-Appellee
Melvin Y. Agena and Andrew A. Agard
Attorney(s) for Appellee-Appellee/Cross-Appellant
Honorable Mark J. Bennett, Attorney General, and David A. Webber and Deborah Day Emerson, Deputies Attorney General, State of Hawai`i
COURT: Nakamura, CJ; Foley and Fujise, JJ.
SPECIAL NOTE: The above argument will take place in the Supreme Court courtroom on the Second Floor of Ali`iolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i.
In this appeal, an insured under an automobile policy initiated administrative proceedings against the insurer challenging the insurer's denial of payments to a medical services provider for services provided to the insured. The insurer, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Liberty Mutual), and the Insurance Commissioner contend that the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (circuit court) erred in reversing the decision of the Insurance Commissioner and remanding the case to the Insurance Commissioner. The arguments raised by Liberty Mutual and the Insurance Commissioner on appeal to this court include that: (1) the circuit court erred in ruling that pursuant to Act 198, 2006 Haw. Sess. Laws at 840-41, the insured, Kee Sun Kim (Kim), has the status of a real party in interest to challenge Liberty Mutual's denial of payments to Kim's medical services provider, even though the no-fault threshold has been reached and Kim has already received the health care treatments for which payment was denied; and (2) the circuit court's ruling that Kim is a real party in interest to maintain her administrative action against Liberty Mutual for payment of unpaid medical bills conflicts with the holdings in Wilson v. AIG Hawaii Ins. Co., 89 Hawaiʻi 45, 968 P.2d 647 (1998), and Gamata v. Allstate Ins. Co., 90 Hawai`i 213, 978 P.2d 179 (App. 1999).