Virginia Rehab Center Sues Former Patient in Arkansas After 5 Years of Unpaid Care

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 12:00 am  

Arkansas parents who were awarded $12 million after a doctor operated on the wrong side of their son’s brain haven’t paid for five years of care that a Virginia rehabilitation center provided the young man, the center claims in a federal lawsuit.

The Neurological Rehabilitation Living Center of Virginia Beach says its staff cared for Cody Metheny of Mabelvale from 2008 to 2013 but didn’t get paid the $950 a day it was owed. Nor was the center reimbursed for sending staff members to Arkansas to testify in the trial that resulted in the bulk of the money awarded, according to the complaint.

Instead, the center alleges, Kenny and Pamela Metheny of Mabelvale quietly routed the millions they received in damages into a special needs trust to keep it out of the reach of the center, which has submitted a bill of $1.7 million.

“The Methenys’ transfers of all or substantially all of Cody’s assets to [Cody’s] Trust were done with the actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the Center by ostensibly placing the assets out of the Center’s reach,” according to the complaint filed June 11 in U.S. District Court in Little Rock.

On July 18, the same day Kenny and Pamela Metheny’s answer was due in federal court, the couple filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listing $16,320 in debts and $67,755 in assets. The bankruptcy filing put the center’s lawsuit on hold.

However, on Nov. 6 U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge James Mixon ruled that the litigation could move forward in federal court because the Methenys were only named in the lawsuit as guardians of the estate of their son.

Neither Pamela nor Kenny Metheny has filed a response to the center’s lawsuit as of Wednesday. Cody Metheny, who has also been named as a defendant, hasn’t filed a response either.

Pamela Metheny didn’t return a message left at her workplace last week. But Kenny Metheny told Arkansas Business, “Sir, at this time I have nothing to say.”

The Methenys’ bankruptcy case is winding down. On Jan. 24, Trustee M. Randy Rice of Little Rock reported to Judge Mixon that “I have neither received any property nor paid any money on account of this estate.” He asked to be discharged from any further duties as trustee. The request is pending.

Adrienne Baker, a Little Rock attorney who is representing the center, which has a legal name of Voogt Rehabilitation Center LLC, declined to comment.

The Injury

Cody Metheny, who is now 24 or 25, was 7 years old when doctors diagnosed him with a seizure disorder, according to a lawsuit his parents filed in 2009 against Medical Assurance Co. of Birmingham, Ala., the insurance carrier for Arkansas Children’s Hospital of Little Rock.



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