• Dedicated to
    Personal Service

    At my firm, you will work directly with me the entire duration of your case.

    One-on-One Attention
  • Commitment to
    Excellence

    I strive to provide the best possible representation to each one of my clients.

    Meet Stephen F. Thompson
  • Free Initial
    Consultation

    You have nothing to lose. Contact my firm today and learn how we can help you.

    Get Started Now

Larry Magrinat v. Myra Maddox

Larry Magrinat v. Myra Maddox
Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama
August 26, 2016
No. 2150357

Magrinat and Maddox were involved in an automobile collision in Lee County, Alabama. Plaintiff incurred certain medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained as a result of Defendant’s negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Plaintiff was without medical insurance, and received medical care from Dr. Davis Buggay for an injury to Plaintiff’s arm. Plaintiff would owe a debt to Dr. Buggay for the surgery of $9,281.

Dr. Buggay sold the debt of $9,281 for $3,000 to a third-party organization, OrthoUSA, who invested in the debt, with the intention of recovering the full balance from Plaintiff. The case was tried by bench trial in Lee County, and plaintiff was awarded only the $3,000 paid to Dr. Buggay in compensatory damages resulting from the medical expense incurred from medical treatment rendered. Plaintiff appealed the judgment based on a matter of law that he was entitled to the full balance of his medical expense, which was then owed to OrthoUSA.

Defendant argued that plaintiff is not entitled to the full balance, but only what was actually paid to the treating physician, which is normally the case when insurance providers, or Medicare, negotiate a discounted rate to pay a treating physician. In those situations, Plaintiff is only required to reimburse their insurance provider, or Medicare, what was paid, not what was charged. However, there is a distinction here, that although the treating physician was paid a discounted rate, OrthoUSA intended on collecting the full balance from Plaintiff.

This was a matter of first impression in the State of Alabama, and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals gave a specific ruling as follows: “when a third party purchases a medical provider's debt but the injured party who was treated remains responsible and liable for that debt in full, the injured party is entitled to recover as damages the amount the injured party owes, to the extent it is reasonable and necessary; the injured party is not limited to recovering the amount the medical provider agreed to accept from the third-party purchaser of that debt.”

The judgment was remanded to the Lee County Circuit Court with instructions to modify plaintiff’s compensatory damages in accordance with the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals’ ruling.

Categories: Case Reviews
  • Dedicated to
    Personal Service

    At my firm, you will work directly with me the entire duration of your case.

    One-on-One Attention
  • Commitment to
    Excellence

    I strive to provide the best possible representation to each one of my clients.

    Meet Stephen F. Thompson
  • Free Initial
    Consultation

    You have nothing to lose. Contact my firm today and learn how we can help you.

    Get Started Now

Contact Us

Stephen F. Thompson, Jr., Attorney at Law
Birmingham Attorney
Located at: 205 20th St. N.,
Suite 319,

Birmingham, AL 35203
View Map
Phone: (205) 386-3356
Website:
© 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.