Molly English-Bowers Dec. 14, 2015, 1:47pm


A Belleville attorney is suing a health records company, alleging it  is charging unauthorized fees in Illinois and Missouri. He seeks class action status.

The Law Office of Brent Gaines, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, filed a lawsuit on Nov. 16 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Healthport Technologies. 

The complaint states Healthport contracts with doctors and hospitals throughout the United States, including Illinois and Missouri, to fulfill requests for medical records. In the state of Illinois, the suit says, the defendant charges $20 for copying medical records when there is no copying done. In Missouri, the lawsuit adds, the charge is $22.82 for the search and retrieval of records but no retrieval has taken place.

However, the fees are assessed contrary to both states' laws, which prohibit such fees, the suit states. 

The suit alleges that in Illinois no actual copying takes place and in Missouri, the statute does not allow the charge if retrieval has not occurred. 

For example, the suit says, the plaintiff sent a letter to the defendant requesting copies of a client's medical records but the defendant responded there were no records for the dates indicated. Therefore, no copying occurred. The suit alleges, the plaintiff received a bill for $20 anyway. A similar situation occurred in Missouri.

The plaintiff is bringing this suit as a class action that also includes a subclass for residents of both states.

The Law Office of Brent Gaines seeks certification of the proposed class, declaration the defendant has committed the violations of the law, statutory, punitive and monetary damages, monetary relief, court costs and attorney fees, plus a jury trial. 

The plaintiff is represented by attorneys Brian T. Kreisler of The Kreisler Law Firm in O'Fallon, Michael R. Reese and George V. Granade of Reese LLC in New York City, and Melissa W. Wolchansky of Halunen Law of Minneapolis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-651.

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