Florida Hospital Overload Lawsuit Class Settlement Approved
The Mayo Clinic Jacksonville and a proposed class of 371 patients it has treated for traffic accident injuries have received preliminary approval for a settlement involving claims the health care provider overcharged them, a Florida federal court said.
The class was reasonably defined and met all the prerequisites for class certification, the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida noted Tuesday.
In addition, the total settlement amount of just over $ 1 million seemed sufficient, with the exception of amounts allocated for incentive fees for the named plaintiff and legal fees for class attorneys, said the court.
A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit prohibited the incentive payment, he said. And the court seemed skeptical that the lawyers were entitled to the full amount of the fees they claimed.
Both issues will ultimately be decided in a fairness hearing before final approval on Jan.20, 2021, the court said.
Florida law prohibits medical providers who treat patients with personal injury protection insurance from charging insurers more than a reasonable amount for their services. Insurers can limit the amount they pay to 80% of the maximum amount defined by law, and a provider cannot bill a patient for the rest.
Natalie Kuhr sued Mayo and a collection agency, Professional Service Bureau Inc., under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. She alleged that the defendants violated the law by charging the balance of patients whose medical care was covered by injury protection insurance.
Judge Marcia Morales Howard made the order.
Zebersky & Payne LLP represents the proposed category. Foley & Lardner LLP represents Mayo and Professional.
The case is Kuhr v. Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, MD Fla., # 3: 19-cv-453, 10/6/20.