CRESTVIEW — A class action lawsuit has been filed against North Okaloosa Medical Center by a man who said he was charged $40,000 for four scans in the emergency room there after a car accident last fall.
According to a press release from his attorneys, George Washington MacNeil, an Okaloosa county resident, is suing the hospital for “charging automobile accident victims exorbitant amounts for CT scans” and violating the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, which prohibits hospitals from charging car crash victims unreasonable amounts for medically necessary services.
“We are seeking a declaration from the court that these charges violate the law, and commend Mr. MacNeil for taking a stand on behalf of his friends and neighbors who also were overcharged for CT Scans in the emergency department following a car accident,” MacNeil’s attorney, Richard Bennett, said in the press release.
North Okaloosa Medical Center spokeswoman Alicia Booker said in an email to the Daily News that it is not the hospital’s practice to comment on litigation matters.
According to court records, MacNeil was involved in a car accident in Crestview on Oct. 20, 2016 in which a car turned left in front of him and struck his vehicle, resulting in injuries to his head, neck, wrist, shoulder and ribs. He was transported via paramedics to North Okaloosa Medical Center, the only emergency room in north Okaloosa County, and was administered four CT scans before being released to recover at home.
When MacNeil received his bill for nearly $50,000 — most of which was for the four CT scans — he said he felt he was “a victim twice that day.”
MacNeil is seeking an injunction from the court saying the hospital overcharged him. If a judge approves his attorneys’ request for a class action lawsuit, anyone treated in the past four years in the hospital’s emergency room after a car accident will receive a notice inviting them to be a part of the lawsuit.
Should a jury decide the charges weren’t reasonable, a judge could issue monetary damages or other “equitable relief,” according to Bennett.