Brandi  Howard, et al v. Willis-Knighten Medical
- Notice of Class Action -


 

BRANDI HOWARD, ET AL                                                                 NUMBER:            455,488-A

 

VERSUS                                                                                           FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT

 

WILLIS-KNIGHTON MEDICAL

CENTER                                                                                           CADDO PARISH, LOUISIANA

 

 

 

                                                                                    NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION

 

THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT THE ABOVE LAWSUIT HAS BEEN CERTIFIED AS A CLASS ACTION, THAT YOU HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A PROBABLE MEMBER OF THE CLASS AND THAT YOU HAVE CERTAIN RIGHTS INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE CLASS.

 

THIS NOTICE EXPLAINS:

 

A.         The Lawsuit and the Relief Sought,

B.         Your Rights as a Class Member,

C.         Names and Addresses of Class Representatives,

D.         Name and Address of Class Counsel.

 

A.         The Lawsuit and the Relief Sought

 

A class action lawsuit was filed on January 10, 2001, alleging that Willis-Knighton Medical Center (“Willis-Knighton”) improperly utilized the Louisiana Hospital Lien Statute, La. R.S. 9:4752 et seq, to collect medical bills incurred by class members when it should have submitted those medical bills to each class member’s hospitalization insurer.  Plaintiffs claim that Willis-Knighton violated Louisiana law by use of the Hospital Lien Statute to recover charges related to treatment Willis-Knighton provided to you as a result of your being involved in a motor vehicle or other accident.  Willis-Knighton denies that its actions were in violation of Louisiana law.  The court has certified two (2) sub-classes as follows:

 

All of those persons who were covered by Health Insurance, but who on or after January 1, 1999, through the date of class certification nonetheless paid the full charges as reflected in Defendant’s Charge Master for medical services provided by Defendant or paid more than the reimbursement amount authorized by that Class Member’s Health Insurer.  The Health Insurers for the persons in this Subclass were not billed by defendant for the medical services provided to those persons in this Subclass. 

 

All of those persons who were covered by Health Insurance from whom Defendant has demanded on or after January 1, 1999, through the date of class certification full payment in accordance with Defendant’s Charge Master for medical services provided by Defendant or has demanded more than the reimbursement amount authorized by that Class Member’s Health Insurer but which have not paid the charges.  The Health Insurers for the persons in this Subclass were not billed by defendant for the medical services provided to those persons in this Subclass.

 

Each person in each Subclass has received medical treatment at one of Defendant’s facilities as a result of your being involved in a motor vehicle or other accident and has been subjected to a hospital lien by the Defendant pursuant to La. R.S. 9:4752 et seq.  Health Insurance when used in these subclasses means any insurance policy, employer benefit plan, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), or the like, which provides for the payment of medical bills on behalf of the Class Member, with the exception of Medicare or Medicaid coverage.  Health Insurer means a person providing Health Insurance. 

 

All members of the Federal Judiciary and the judiciary of the State of Louisiana, as well as their spouses and any person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such a person shall be excluded from each subclass.

 

Plaintiffs are asking the court to order Willis-Knighton to return all monies collected through the Lien Statute and to prohibit Willis-Knighton from filing liens against persons who have hospitalization insurance.  Willis-Knighton contends that its actions were proper and legal and will ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.  The merits of the matter have not been decided and will ultimately be decided by the court or by a jury.

 

 

 

 

B.         Your Rights as a Class Member

 

You have been identified as a probable class member.  To be included as a member of the class, you need not do anything at all.  If you do not wish to be included in this class action, you must write class counsel at the address below within forty-five (45) days of the postmark of this notice, and state that you want to be excluded from the class.  Also, if you do not wish to be included in the class, you may be excluded by going to www.pwbh.com and complete an exclusion form online and submit it through the website within forty-five (45) days of the postmark of this notice or you may download an exclusion form and send it to Class Counsel within forty-five (45) days of the postmark of this notice.  If you choose to be excluded from the class, you will be forever barred from making any claim under this class action.  However, you will have the right to bring an individual lawsuit on your own behalf against the defendant if you bring it within the time allowed by law. 

 

Please remember that you have the right to confer with and to obtain your own attorney to represent you in this matter.  If you want to intervene or appear through your own attorney, you must do so within forty-five (45) days of the postmark of this class notice.  Otherwise, you will be represented by Class Counsel in all further court proceedings.  You will not be billed for this representation.  If the class is successful, attorneys’ fees may be awarded by the court but, as a class member, you will have no personal responsibility to pay attorneys’ fees. 

 

If you are not excluded from this class, you will be bound by the judgment in this case, whether favorable or not. 

 

You may be required as a condition of participation in any recovery through settlement or trial to present evidence respecting your membership in the Subclass, and the monetary relief to which you are entitled.  You should, therefore preserve documents reflecting any health conditions and/or treatment by or services received at a Willis-Knighton facility.  However, if you do not have any of the documentation discussed above, this does not necessarily prohibit you from participating in the recovery or from being a member of the Subclass.  You are also requested to notify Class Counsel of any corrections or changes in your name or address.

 

C.         Names and Addresses of Class Representatives

 

The class representatives are:

 

Donna Atkins and Bessie Tyler

c/o Peters, Ward, Bright & Hennessy

P. O. Box 91

Shreveport, LA  71161-0091

 

D.         Class Counsel in this matter are:

 

J. Patrick Hennessy

Alan Stegall

Keith M. Welch

 

Any inquiries concerning this matter should be submitted in writing to:

 

J. Patrick Hennessy

Peters, Ward, Bright & Hennessy

401 Edwards Street, Suite 1100

P. O. Box 91

Shreveport, LA  71161-0091

wkclassaction@pwbh.com

 

The record of this matter is available for inspection in the offices of the Caddo Parish Clerk of Court, 103 Courthouse, 501 Texas Street, Shreveport, Louisiana 71101, during normal business hours.  Please do not call the judge or the clerk of court; they will not be able to give you any information or any advice concerning this lawsuit. 


Return to the main page