New Jersey hospital sued over debt collection practices

A proposed class-action lawsuit was brought against Ridgewood, N.J-based The Valley Hospital over alleged HIPAA violations during the debt collection process and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations, according to Law Street Media

The complaint filed April 11 states that Celentano, Stadtmauer & Walentowicz sued to collect $472.25 in unpaid services to the hospital. The firm also sought "interest, attorney’s fees, costs of suit, and for such other and further relief as the court may deem to be equitable and just," according to Law Street Media. 

Under New Jersey law, statutory attorney’s fees are included in the costs of a lawsuit. The plaintiff, a female patient, alleges that a separate request for attorneys fees is either a demand for contractual fees or an attempt to collect attorney’s fees twice, according to Law Street Media. The plaintiff also alleges that the law firm's motion for summary judgment included insurance policy number information, personally identifiable health information protected by HIPAA. 

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