A health records company removed a Belleville attorney’s class action lawsuit alleging it charges unauthorized fees in Illinois and Missouri.

HealthPort Technologies filed a notice of removal to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on Jan. 11 through attorneys Jena Valdetero and Jonathan Potts of Bryan Cave LLP in Chicago.

The Law Office of Brent Gaines, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, filed the lawsuit on Nov. 16 against Healthport Technologies.

According to the complaint, Healthport Technologies contracts with doctors and hospitals throughout the country to fulfill requests for medical records. However, the suit alleges the defendant is charging unnecessary fees.

In Illinois, Gaines alleges the defendant charges $20 for copying medical records when there is actually no copying done.

Similarly, in Missouri, Gaines claims the defendant charges $22.82 to search and retrieve records when it isn’t actually retrieving anything.

The suit alleges the fees violate both states’ laws.

As an example, the plaintiff explained that he sent a letter to the defendant requesting copies of a client’s medical records but the defendant said there were no records for the dates indicated, meaning no copying was performed. But the plaintiff still received a bill for the $20 fee. He alleges a similar situation occurred in Missouri.

The plaintiff seeks certification of the proposed class, declaration that the defendant has violated the law, statutory, punitive and monetary damages, monetary relief, court costs and attorney’s fees.

Gaines is represented by 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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