Christina Stueve Hodges Dec. 20, 2012, 7:16am

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson on Dec. 3 signed a protective order in a proposed class action suit that accuses Walgreen’s of overcharging customers for medical records.

Gleeson’s order states that parties in the lawsuit entered into the protective order, recognizing discovery will involve disclosure and production of confidential, proprietary and/or private information.

The order further states all “confidential” information or documents produced or exchanged can only be used by a receiving party solely for this litigation. Confidential material "shall not be used for any commercial, competitive, personal or other purpose," the order states.

The case is set for a status conference Jan. 14.

In its answer to the lawsuit filed a year ago, Walgreen’s states the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and the plaintiff is not an adequate class representative.

“Defendant states that plaintiff and any putative class members are barred from recovering any fees paid to defendant by virtue of the voluntary payment doctrine as plaintiff and putative class members voluntarily paid fees with knowledge of the facts,” according to Walgreen’s.

Plaintiff Raymond Griggs claims Walgreens charged him a flat fee of $55 for copies of his medical records, which he says violated state law.

The suit says companies are permitted by law to charge $24.81 in handling charges, 93 cents per page for the first 25 pages, 62 cents per page for the next 25 pages and 31 cents for more than 50 pages.

Griggs claims Walgreens attempted to conceal its alleged fraud by stating its fees in an ambiguous manner.

His complaint says Walgreens violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud, Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Griggs also alleges common law fraud and unjust enrichment.

Corey D. Sullivan, John J. Carey, Francis J. “Casey” Flynn Jr. and Tiffany M. Yiatras of Carey, Danis and Love in St. Louis represent Griggs and the proposed class.

Matthew Jacober and Jamie Thompson of Lathrop and Gage in St. Louis represent the defense. Richard N. Bien, James Moloney, and Rachel Stephens of Lathrop and Gage in Kansas City also represent the defense.

Griggs on March 1 filed a motion for class certification, stating the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, and the class action is an appropriate method for adjudication of the controversy.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-685.

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