Bubby and Sissy's challenge reasonableness of plaintiff's $70K in medical bills

By Ann Maher | Aug 27, 2014

An Alton bar defending a 2012 slip and fall injury suit is asking Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder to deny plaintiff's motion to deem more than $70,000 in medical bills as "reasonable and necessary."

Bubby and Sissy's was sued in 2012 by plaintiff Tamara Cooper who was at the Belle Street bar on Jan. 1, 2012 to celebrate the new year. Shortly after midnight, Cooper says she went to the dance floor and slipped on some champagne that was spilled on the floor. She claims she hurt her back when she fell.

Attorney Lanny Darr of Alton represents Cooper.

Darr has asked Bubby and Sissy's attorneys John Cunningham and Daniel Hasenstab of Belleville to deem as admitted medical bills from various providers such as an orthopedic clinic, surgery center, pain management clinic, chiropractor, toxicologist, radiologist and others totaling approximately $77,274.

On Aug. 22, Crowder entered an order setting a hearing on the matter for Nov. 7 at 9 a.m.

On July 14, Cunningham wrote a memo in opposition that as to "reasonableness," several of the bills indicate that the medical providers never received payment for services and/or treatment initially charged, indicating that the amount initially charged may not have been a fair, reasonable or customary charge.

"Plaintiff's motion asks this Court to deem the above-referenced facts as admitted because 'the medical has been paid and is therefore presumed to be reasonable and necessary,'" he wrote. "In fact, plaintiff has not produced any evidence that the bills referenced above have been paid. The bills themselves indicate that balances remain outstanding."

Cunningham further wrote that his client does not dispute that when a bill has been paid it is "prima facie reasonable."

"However, in this case, the bills at issue were not paid and therefore that rule has no application," he wrote. "Moreover, even when a bill is paid, no presumption arises that the bill was necessary or the proximate result of a given injury."

Cooper accuses Bubby and Sissy’s of negligence for allowing customers to take drinks onto the dance floor and failing to clean up spilled champagne. She asks for more than $50,000 in damages for medical expenses, lost wages and court fees.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-735

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