NORMAN, Okla. – Norman Regional Hospital is the target of a class action lawsuit claiming the hospital has been illegally billing patients.
The people suing are all drug or alcohol suspects who were brought to the hospital by law enforcement to have their blood tested.
The plaintiffs say they were then sent the bill for that testing.
They claim state law says they shouldn’t be responsible for that bill; the law enforcement agency should.
Six plaintiffs are listed in the lawsuit, but documents state they’re suing “on behalf of themselves and of all other arrestees taken by law enforcement agencies to Norman Regional Hospital for blood testing and billed by the hospital for those services.”
Attorney, David Slane, did not file the lawsuit, but he says it caught his eye and he agrees with the plaintiffs.
“Police departments from all over the state request these kinds of tests and it would be quite surprising to me that the person’s actually being billed for that service,” said Slane. “I think the law is quite clear once a person is arrested or held, then law enforcement’s responsible for those bills.”
The lawsuit refers to a section of state statute 47 that reads, “The costs of collecting blood, breath, saliva or urine specimens for the purpose of determining the alcohol or other intoxicating substance thereof, by or at the direction of a law enforcement officer, shall be borne by the law enforcement agency employing such officer.”
“Quite surprised that it hasn’t come up before now,” said Slane.
Plaintiffs also allege they were billed for emergency room services when they were never seen or treated by a doctor.
Slane says this lawsuit could have far reaching implications.
“I think it’s going to change the way both police and hospitals do business,” said Slane.
Kelly Wells, Norman Regional Health System spokesperson, sent us this statement in response to the story:
“We received service of the claim on Wednesday, July 16. It is the policy of Norman Regional Health System to not comment on any pending litigation until there has been a full and thorough investigation of all the facts.”