Check out this Northern Indiana news release on Dan Ladendorf’s recent recognition as 2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year, from Page A01 of The Rochester Sentinel, December 5, 2013:

Manitou resident top trial lawyer

The Sentinel report

An Indianapolis lawyer with a summer home on Lake Manitou is the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association 2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Daniel A. Ladendorf, of Ladendorf and Ladendorf, received the award for his efforts to get the 2013 Indiana General Assembly to pass amendments to the state’s hospital lien statute.

“The changes will help to protect all future residents who find themselves in need of hospital services as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing,” Ladendorf said. “Prior to the changes, effective July 1, 2013, hospitals routinely ignored the benefits to which an injured patient was entitled under a private health insurance plan or Medicare, seeking instead to collect its full charges from those patients who, for example, were injured by a drunk driver.”

State Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, introduced the legislatation and State Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, carried it through the House.

The changes stop hospitals from asserting liens against Medicare patients and require hospitals to give patients credit for any contractual adjustments or write-offs it agreed to under the patient’s health plan, according to the association’s press release. The release says Ladendorf’s work on the amendments followed a case involving the wrongful death claim for the estate of a woman who died of injuries from a car wreck. The release says the collision was caused by another driver who failed to yield.

Instead of collecting a reduced payment from Medicare, the hospital set a $155,000 bill for the patient and took out a lien against any recovery her estate made in the wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the crash. However, the estate could only collect $100,000 in damages, limited by the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage.

According to the release, Ladendorf also found many Indiana hospitals refused to credit an injured patient’s account for the write-off it agreed to accept as a condition of providing in-network services under a patient’s health plan.

He was also involved in testimony before Senate and House committees considering lien statute amendments, pointing out the lien statute was first adopted in the 1930s, before Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance plans provided assurances to hospitals of payment for services.

Attorneys Stephen L. Williams, Terre Haute, and Thomas E. Hamer, Anderson, nominated Ladendorf for the award.

Ladendorf earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1983 from Indiana University. He received his law degree from Indiana University in 1986.

 

Since the day our firm was founded by attorney Mark Ladendorf, Ladendorf Law has been exceptionally fortunate to represent so many good people over the years who have turned to us for a voice when they are hurt by the most unfortunate circumstances.  Without our clients, our work would be meaningless, and it is our clients who push us to want to work harder every day.  The greatest reward we can receive is a satisfied client who leaves our representation knowing we did all we could to restore his or her life in the only way we know possible–by navigating the complex legal system to obtain fair compensation from the responsible party.

Sometimes our efforts are recognized by people in our community other than our direct clients.  This past Thursday, November 7, 2013, was one of those days for Dan Ladendorf.

In his nearly fourteen years as a civil trial lawyer, Dan has always gone the extra mile to resolve claims for hundreds of personal injury victims who seek our counsel.  In addition to his “day job,” Dan has served for the last six years as the Chair or Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA).  This Committee is charged with the extraordinary task of coordinating bipartisan efforts among ITLA membership to push for pro-civil justice legislation and oppose bills that would seek to diminish the fundamental rights of Hoosiers to trial by jury.

This past General Assembly legislative session was particularly significant for Dan and the ITLA, but more importantly, for our clients.  As a result of tireless research, bill drafting, lobbying, alliance building, vote counting, and a few breaks along the way, Dan’s relentless pursuit of changes to the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute came to fruition.  Effective July 1, 2013, hospitals no longer have a first-priority “super lien” for the full amount of their charged bill against a claim for bodily injuries resulting from a third party’s negligent conduct.   (The details of the changes to the Hospital Lien Statute will be explored in subsequent posts.)

This past summer, Dan received multiple nominations from his peers for the high honor of the ITLA’s 2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year.   Although there were several other distinguished attorneys nominated for this year’s award, Dan received a large majority of the ballots, and on November 7, 2013, he was presented with the award by none other than his older brother and 2013-2014 ITLA President Mark Ladendorf.

2013-2014 ITLA President Mark Ladendorf congratulates Dan Ladendorf with the Trial Lawyer of the Year plaque
2013-2014 ITLA President Mark Ladendorf congratulates Dan Ladendorf with the Trial Lawyer of the Year plaque
The plaque presented to Dan Ladendorf
The plaque presented to Dan Ladendorf

“We are members of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association.  It is the only statewide association dedicated to open access to the courts and preservation of your right to a jury trial.  I am very humbled by this award, which might be best expressed in this: Even if we are occupied with important things, even if we attain honor or fall into misfortune, still let us remember how good it once was here, when we were all together, united by a good and a kind feeling which made us perhaps better than we are.’”

Congratulations, Dan, on this prestigious award and what it represents: A life of service to the improving our system of justice in Indiana.

For more photos from the Awards Ceremony and post-event reception at Loughmiller’s Pub in downtown Indianapolis, enjoy the following:

Dan Ladendorf dines with family and friends at Table 1
Dan Ladendorf dines with family and friends at Table 1
(Left to Right): Amy Van Ostrand; Dustin Fregiato; Tim Devereux; Cheryl Brockman; Lance Ladendorf; Dan Ladendorf; Julie Weiler; Mark Ladendorf
(Left to Right): Amy Van Ostrand; Dustin Fregiato; Tim Devereux; Cheryl Brockman; Lance Ladendorf; Dan Ladendorf; Julie Weiler; Mark Ladendorf
Dan Ladendorf entertains his audience with musings about growing up, mentoring, and the “architects” of the changes to the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute.
Dan Ladendorf entertains his audience with musings about growing up, mentoring, and the “architects” of the changes to the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute.
Lance (left), Dan (center), and Mark Ladendorf (right)
Lance (left), Dan (center), and Mark Ladendorf (right)
Ladendorf Law spends a night on the town to celebrate the Trial Lawyer of the Year
Ladendorf Law spends a night on the town to celebrate the Trial Lawyer of the Year
A living tribute to Bob and Shirley Ladendorf
A living tribute to Bob and Shirley Ladendorf