Suit by uninsured against hospital in Seattle will proceed as class action

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 by Steve Larson

bouton croixA lawsuit involving claims that uninsured emergency-room patients were overcharged by Swedish Health Services has been certified to proceed as a class action in King County Superior Court.  The case was brought by Chad Humphrey, who was uninsured when he visited the emergency room at Swedish hospital in Issaquah twice in May 2012, and was charged a total of more than $10,000. The lawsuit contends that Humphrey was asked to pay gross charges, which amounted to significantly more than what a public or private insurance company would have paid.

The suit claims that Swedish breached its contracts with uninsured patients and violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act.  King County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell ordered that the case, Humphrey vs. Swedish Health Services, will proceed as a class action.

Potential class members will be notified and can decide to join the case to seek reductions or reimbursements of some of the amounts charged at Swedish emergency rooms.  Swedish emergency rooms, of which there are seven in the Puget Sound area, see thousands of uninsured patients each year. Some receive charitable discounts on their bills and would not qualify for the suit.