Kanawha County, WV - MG+M ("MG+M") has obtained a summary judgment on behalf of client HealthPort Technologies ("HealthPort") in Basil Crookshanks, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, v. HealthPort and Charlestown Area Medical Center ("CAMC"), a class action case brought in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia. The summary judgment was entered via a writ of prohibition from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, overturning the trial court's decision, and awarding dismissal on the grounds that Plaintiff lacked article 3 standing.
Plaintiff's complaint alleged that HealthPort and CAMC (collectively, "Defendants") had violated W.Va. Code § 16-29-2(a) by overcharging for the production of medical records. Plaintiff sought to certify a state wide class comprised of all similarly-situated individuals that had requested their records from CAMC or other providers serviced by HealthPort, who had been similarly charged purportedly excessive fees.
The case arose from Plaintiff’s retention of a law firm (“Plaintiff’s Firm”) to prosecute a medical malpractice claim against a nursing home. Plaintiff entered into a contingent fee agreement with Plaintiff’s Firm, whereby it would front all litigation expenses and only receive reimbursement if there was a recovery on Plaintiff’s behalf.
The Court determined that Plaintiff could not satisfy the first prong of the standing analysis because the record demonstrated that he had not suffered an injury-in-fact. The Court found that it was Plaintiff’s Firm that had suffered a “direct pocketbook injury”. Further, the Court noted that, “Mr. Crookshanks may become contractually liable to his lawyers for this allegedly unlawful expense at a future date, but until he does, his loss is contingent and conjectural.”
MG+M Partner, Javier Flores, a member of the firm’s class action litigation practice group, served as lead counsel for the Defendants.
More details on this case here.
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