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Hospital Liens

April 18, 2019

Hospital Liens

Case: Roy Franks, et al. v. Tiffany Sykes, et al.
Facts: Two separate Plaintiffs alleged the filing of undiscounted hospital liens violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by “[r]epresenting that a consumer transaction confers or involves rights, remedies or obligations that it does not have or involve or which are prohibited by law.” The trial court dismissed one plaintiff’s claim based on the pleadings due to the plaintiff’s failure to bring a claim under the Hospital Lien Act and dismissed another plaintiff’s claim for improper venue.
Appellate Decision: The intermediate court affirmed in part and reversed in part. Regarding the Hospital Lien Act (HLA), the court held that nothing in the HLA specifically forecloses the possibility of bringing a claim under the TCPA; however, a hospital lien is a collection activity and the underlying transaction is not a “consumer transaction” covered by the TCPA. Regarding venue, the court held that although the lien was perfected in Weakley County, Madison County had venue as well because at least one of the defendants conducts business in that county.

Review Granted: April 12, 2019.

Prediction: Ben thinks the Supreme Court will affirm for the reasons given by the intermediate court.