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  

After the Methenys settled their case with the surgeon, they filed another medical malpractice case in 2009 against Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s insurance carrier, Medical Assurance Co.

The Methenys’ attorneys, Phillip Duncan of Little Rock and Tom Jones of Kansas City, Mo., requested that several employees from the center travel to Arkansas to testify on Cody’s behalf.

The staff members made two trips to Arkansas and billed the attorneys for their travel, the center’s lawsuit said. “But nothing was paid by Duncan, Jones or the Methenys, who continued to promise to pay the Center from the proceeds of the medical malpractice actions,” the lawsuit said.

Neither Duncan nor Jones returned calls for comment.

The Methneys won a $20 million judgment against the insurance carrier in 2010. But the insurance company asked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Ellen Brantley to reduce the amount to $11 million, which was the amount of its liability coverage for the hospital. Brantley agreed and lowered the judgment to $11 million.

After the case made it through the appeals process, the Methenys in January 2013 asked a probate court to put the proceeds from the judgment into Cody’s trust, bypassing paying the rehabilitation center.

The center alleges that the transfer of the money “was designed and intended” to lower the amount in Cody’s estate so it would be left “without sufficient funds to pay what was owed to the center.”

As of Feb. 13, 2013, the center said it was owed $1.157 million for neurological rehabilitation services and room and board and $590,100 for financial charges. In addition, the center said it has a bill for $17,500 connected with the testimony it provided during the lawsuit against the insurance company.

Cody left the center in the spring of 2013.

“After providing neurological rehabilitation services to Cody for approximately five years, the Center has received no payments whatsoever for its services,” the center’s lawsuit said.

The center also has requested payment from Cody’s trustee, but the “trustee has refused to pay anything to the Center.”

The center is suing the Methenys on several counts, including breach of contract and fraudulent conveyance in connection with allegedly not keeping the center’s officials informed of the status of the lawsuits and not paying the bill.

The case is set for a bench trial on Jan. 12, 2015.



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