Posted by Layne Zhou
Discovery issues rarely reach the Georgia Supreme Court, but in the case of Bowden v. Medical Ctr., Inc., No. S14G1632, *1-25 (June 15, 2015), a discovery dispute centered around a plaintiff’s medical bills merited a 25-page unanimous opinion. Briefly, the case arose from a car accident involving a 21-year-old plaintiff, Danielle Bowden, who was treated at The Medical Center, Inc. (TMC), without health insurance, for a broken leg and subsequently received physical therapy. TMC billed her $21,409.95 for her care and filed a hospital lien for that amount. Bowden sought to invalidate the lien on the grounds that the charges were grossly excessive and did not reflect the reasonable value of the care she received. Enterprise, the insurer of the defendant, tendered its $25,000 limits, but because TMC and Bowden were unable to agree on how to apportion the settlement proceeds, Enterprise filed a complaint in interpleader against both Bowden and TMC. As part of Bowden’s answer to the interpleader action, she filed a cross-claim against TMC. It is against this procedural backdrop that this discovery dispute arises.