Hospitals Sued Over Allegedly Unlawful Debt Collection Efforts

A suit was filed against Desert Valley Hospital, LLC (DVH), Renaissance Imaging Medical Associates, Inc. (RIMA), Desert Valley Medical Group, Inc. (DVMG), and High Desert Creditors Service (HDCS) by a plaintiff in the Central District of California Eastern Division on Monday, alleging unfair debt collection practices. .

In October 2021, the complaint said, the plaintiff received medical treatment from the defendants for an injury that was the subject of a worker’s compensation claim. The complaint asserts that the defendants were aware that the billings for the plaintiff’s services fell under the Worker’s Compensation Act since the plaintiff had informed them about the origin of their injuries and provided the necessary information to bill the proper party.

Despite the information provided to the defendants, they allegedly sent bills of $3,118.60, $347.93, and $50.00 directly to the plaintiff for services the plaintiff claims they were not legally responsible for. The complaint asserts that “the letter was attempting to collect an amount that was not permitted by law because Plaintiff was not responsible for any and all medical bills received” in relation to their injury. The plaintiff informed the defendants on multiple occasions that the medical services fell under a workers compensation claim.

The complaint also explains that defendant DVMG transferred the alleged debt over to defendant HDCS for collection. When the debt was transferred, defendant DVMG also disclosed the plaintiff’s “status as a debtor, the precise amount of the alleged DHMG debt, the account number, the entity to which plaintiff allegedly owed the debt, the fact that the alleged debt concerned plaintiff’s medical treatment, plaintiff’s home address, and other information.” The plaintiff contends that this action violations the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits the sharing of information regarding a consumer.

The complaint cites violations of California Civil Code and the FDCPA. The plaintiff is seeking declaratory judgment on each count, statutory, actual, and punitive damages, litigation fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, a trial by jury, and any other relief deemed appropriate by the Court.

The plaintiff is represented by Hammoud Law, P.C.