South Broward Hospital District d/b/a Memorial Regional Hospital v. Gibson


9 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 380a

Hospitals — Liens — Insurance — Health maintenance organizations — Torts — Action by hospital to pursue liens against patient’s personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage rather than submitting bills to patient’s health insurance carrier where express terms of participating provider agreement between hospital and carrier provide that hospital will accept payment from carrier as payment in full for covered services — Patient’s motion for summary judgment on counterclaims for tortious interference with contract, civil theft, malicious prosecution, violation of Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act, and violation of section 641 against hospital whose pursuit of lien against patient’s personal injury protection coverage was denied by partial summary judgment is denied where there exist genuine issues of material fact

SOUTH BROWARD HOSPITAL DISTRICT, a Special Tax District of the State of Florida d/b/a MEMORIAL REGIONAL HOSPITAL, Plaintiff, vs. CHARLES GIBSON and ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant. Circuit Court, 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County. Case No. 98-6738 (09). CHARLES GIBSON, Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff vs. SOUTH BROWARD HOSPITAL DISTRICT, a Special Tax District of the State of Florida d/b/a MEMORIAL REGIONAL HOSPITAL, Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant. CHARLES GIBSON, Defendant/Cross-Plaintiff, vs. ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant/Cross-Defendant. April 30, 2002. Robert Lance Andrews, Judge.
ORDER

THIS CAUSE having come before the Court upon Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff s Motion for Final Summary Judgment, and the Court having considered same, having heard argument of counsel, and otherwise being duly advised in premises, finds and decides as follows:

The instant action arises from an automobile accident in which Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff Charles Gibson was injured. Although Mr. Gibson had health insurance with an HMO which had contracted with the Hospital, Memorial Hospital sought to impose a hospital lien on the proceeds of Mr. Gibson’s PIP coverage. The Hospital sued Mr. Gibson alleging impairment of its liens. Mr. Gibson counter-claimed, alleging tortious interference with contract, civil theft, malicious prosecution, violation of the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act, and violation of Florida Statute 641. On October 1, 2001, this Court denied the Hospital’s Motion for Summary Judgment and granted Mr. Gibson’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, requiring the Hospital to refund the $10,000.00 representing Mr. Gibson’s PIP benefits, and to provide and filed a satisfaction of lien with regard to the hospital liens. [8 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 839a] Mr. Gibson now moves for summary judgment on his counterclaims against the Hospital.

Summary judgment is appropriate “if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Rule 1.510(c) Fla. R. Civ. Pro. The party moving for summary judgment has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of fact. All inferences must be drawn from the proof in favor of the party opposing the motion. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Stuckey, 220 So.2d 421 (Fla. 4th DCA 1969). Unless the material facts are so crystallized that nothing remains except question of law, summary judgment should not be granted. Moore v. Morris, 475 So.2d 666 (Fla. 1985). If the evidence raises any issue of material fact, if it is conflicting, if it will permit different reasonable inferences, or if it tends to prove the issues, it should be submitted to the jury as a question of fact to be determined by it. Id.

Upon a review of the record herein, this Court finds that there exist genuine issues of material fact which preclude the grant of Summary Judgment in favor of Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff.

Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant/Counter- Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Summary Judgment is DENIED.