Court says drivers can sue hospitals as group over PIP

Penny Wollmen is one of the Florida drivers suing HCA hospitals for allegedly overcharging them and using up benefits under a state car insurance system.

Penny Wollmen is one of the Florida drivers suing HCA hospitals for allegedly overcharging them and using up benefits under a state car insurance system.

Update: An HCA spokeswoman said, “We are aware of the 11th Circuit’s ruling.  We look forward to continuing our vigorous defense of this matter and are confident that the court will ultimately determine both that the case has no merit and that it is not appropriate for class treatment.”

Original post: A federal appeals court has reversed an earlier ruling that said drivers could not sue as a group in a case charging HCA medical centers including JFK Medical Center of Atlantis with violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act, attorneys for plaintiffs said Wednesday.

Drivers claim HCA hospitals grossly overcharged for diagnostic scans and other services, using up $10,000 in benefits under Florida’s Personal Injury Protection car insurance system in as little as one day, The Palm Beach Post has reported.

“We are delighted with the 11th Circuit Court’s ruling and look forward to bringing this case forth as a class action to benefit the many PIP-covered accident victims who were charged rates that were up to 65 times higher than the hospitals’ usual and customary charges for similar radiological services to non-PIP patients,” said plaintiffs’ lead attorney Theodore Leopold of Palm Beach Gardens.

A spokeswoman had no immediate comment for HCA, but the company has said maintained the charges lack merit.

 

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