What to do if my husband and I just received a court summons from a collection agency about a matter of about $1000 owed to a clinic that botched a colonoscopy they did for him 3 years ago?

He actually had to go to the hospital a day later from profuse bleeding and have the whole procedure redone and everything that was messed up fixed. Unfortunately my husband never settled the matter with the clinic or contacted them once after the operation. What can we do now?

Asked on August 30, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You may have to pay the charge a charge is still valid even if the procedure did not turn out well.  You can try to get leverage to settle the case by filing a malpractice case against the clinic for their botched procedure--if the procedure was approximately 3 years ago, you may still be in time to file a malpractice action the statute of limitations, or time to sue, is 3 years in your state. If you file a malpractice case against them, they may be willing to settle the matters, with you and they mutually dismissing your cases against each other. Alternately, depending on how badly injured for how long your husband was by the botched procedure and the out-of-pocket medical costs you incurred from having to redo the procedure, etc. and if he missed work, etc., you may have a substantial claim against the clinic, one larger than their claim against you in that case, rather than look for mutual dismissal, you'd pursue your claim and look to get monetary compensation. It seems worthwhile for you to consult with a malpractice attorney many provide a free initial consultation you can inquire about this before making the appointment. Do so IMMEDIATELY, before yet more time passes--if you are still within the statute of limitations, you do not want to exceed it.

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