Q: how do you move forward with debt owed to a hospital no longer in business?
years ago i took my 1 1/2 yr old daughter to a "pop-up ER." They incorrectly inserted her catheter and caused 2 hours of pain because her bladder was blocked and unable to drain. Also, she was unable to speak to us to tell us what was hurting. An older nurse recognized the issue, adjusted catheter and drained bladder. I contacted the "hospital" Texas First ER, disputed charges and threatened legal action. I was told all billing would be dropped.
Present day, just recieved a call from a debt collector stating that they had just bought said debt. Tried contacting the hospital, out of business. Tried contacting the medical group, no longer in business. Nothing connected to this company has any current business operations. Am I stuck with the debt collection bill or is there another avenue that I can take to begin legal action from what was obviously malpractice on the providers end?
A: A Texas attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. Until you are able to discuss in greater detail with a Texas attorney, it could be worthwhile to research whether you have anything in your records going back to the time you reached your settlement agreement. If you had evidence to support that agreement, that would be a significant defense in virtually any jurisdiction. Good luck
You really have at least 4 questions -
1) Is the original debt collectible? If it's more than 4 years old, and they don't already have a judgment, it may be uncollectible.
2) Does the collection agency have proper authority and documentation to collect the debt? If not, they won't be able to do anything legally.
3) Was the debt "settled" if you agreed not to sue?
4) Can you still file a malpractice claim, either independently or in response to a suit to collect the debt. Such a suit must be filed within 2 years, and requires a medical expert to testify that what was done Is malpractice, and substantial damages.
You might want to gather all documents you have as to what happened, what agreements (if any) you made with the hospital, and copies of the medical records, and take them to a lawyer for review.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
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