Can I sue adentist for violation of right to privacy?

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Can I sue adentist for violation of right to privacy?

If I can, how do I go about suing them? I owe my dentists office $2000 but due to my work situation have not been able to pay. They stopped calling me and started calling my mom claiming that they couldn’t get a hold of me. But my privacy was violated when my mother opened her mail from them (because she has the same dentist) and found my bill with my address inside of the same envelope as her bill. It was not inside anything to keep in separate. There is no reason that they couldn’t have put my bill in a separate envelope and use my mother’s address with my name on the envelope.

Asked on August 30, 2010 under Malpractice Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Did they address it to your Mother or to you?  There is a right to privacy when there is an "expectation" of privacy.  Clearly the dentist here is putting himself in the position of being a debt collector.  The position I would take is that he violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  That can be very serious.  If you want this behaviour to stop let the office billing department know that you believe that they are violating your rights here and that if they do not stop then you will report them.  But just remember: you owe the debt.  So they will just go on to sue you for it once they stop calling around.  Good luck.

 


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