SKV attorneys obtain dismissal on jurisdictional grounds of a class action against a major non-profit health care system
Friday January 15, 2016
On January 15, 2016, SKV attorneys Craig Smyser, Justin Waggoner, and Michelle Stratton obtained dismissal on jurisdictional grounds of a class action against a major non-profit health care system. After receiving treatment for chest pains in the emergency room, plaintiff was billed the hospital’s regular full rates for the care. The class action sought a declaratory judgment that the hospital system’s regular chargemaster rates were unreasonable because the billed rates were higher than rates allegedly charged patients covered by private or governmental insurance. However, if Plaintiff was unable to pay the full balance, Plaintiff’s hospital bill and contract required her to contact the hospital to discuss options to qualify for financial assistance. Plaintiff declined to apply for financial assistance. Accordingly, the Harris County State District Court accepted SKV’s arguments that the claims were not ripe until Plaintiff complied with her contract and dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. This dismissal was the third dismissal of a class action at an early stage -- before class certification motion practice -- achieved by SKV in federal and state court in the last six months.