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Tiburzi Chiropractic v. Kline

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

September 16, 2013

TIBURZI CHIROPRACTIC, an Illinois Corporation, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DAVID KLINE, Defendant-Appellant, and ROVEY SEED COMPANY, INC., an Illinois Corporation, Third-Party Defendant.

Held [*]

In a chiropractor’s small claims action to collect for services provided to treat defendant’s work-related injury, the trial court erred in awarding plaintiff a judgment, since defendant had filed a workers’ compensation claim and the chiropractor’s bill, as conformed to the fee schedule set forth in the workers’ compensation statute, was paid pursuant to the settlement contract lump-sum petition and order in defendant’s workers’ compensation case, and although the amount paid was less than the amount the chiropractor sought from defendant, the chiropractor was not entitled to recover the balance of its bill from defendant, but the judgment was modified to allow the chiropractor to recover for items supplied by the chiropractor that were not compensable under the Act.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macoupin County, No. 11-SC-109; the Hon. Joshua A. Meyer, Judge, presiding.

Timothy F. Campbell, of Campbell & McGrady, of Godfrey, for appellant.

Rick Verticchio, of Verticchio & Verticchio, of Carlinville, for appellee.

Panel JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Pope and Harris concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

TURNER JUSTICE

¶ 1 In May 2011, plaintiff, Tiburzi Chiropractic, filed a small-claims complaint against defendant, David Kline, to collect the balance of fees charged following the performance of chiropractic services. In November 2012, the trial court found in favor of plaintiff and ordered defendant to pay $2, 155.

¶ 2 On appeal, defendant argues the trial court erred in entering a money judgment in favor of plaintiff. We affirm as modified.

¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 4 In October 2008, defendant suffered an injury while working for third-party defendant, Rovey Seed Company, Inc. Thereafter he filed a workers' compensation claim. Defendant sought and received treatment from plaintiff's office in Carlinville. In August 2010, defendant and third-party defendant entered into a settlement contract lump-sum petition and order, whereby third-party defendant agreed to satisfy, pursuant to the fee schedule, all medical bills for medically causally related treatment received on or before June 10, 2010.

¶ 5 In March 2011, plaintiff filed a small-claims complaint against defendant, alleging defendant was indebted to plaintiff in the sum of $2, 336.60 for an overdue account related to chiropractic and related services. Plaintiff claimed defendant refused to pay and no part had been paid despite being requested to do so.

¶ 6 In May 2012, defendant filed a petition and application under section 19(g) of the Workers' Compensation Act (Act) (820 ILCS 305/19(g) (West 2010)) for judgment on a workers' compensation award. Defendant attached a certified copy of the final award to the petition. Defendant also stated his belief that plaintiff alleged defendant and/or third-party defendant had failed to satisfy, pursuant to the fee schedule, certain medical bills incurred by defendant. He stated he had demanded third-party defendant pay all such bills pursuant to the fee schedule and third-party defendant had claimed it made full payment.

ΒΆ 7 In July 2012, the trial court entered an order on defendant's section 19(g) petition. The court found third-party defendant had made full payment pursuant to the terms of the settlement contract lump-sum petition and order, including payment pursuant to the fee schedule and section 8 of the Act of "all medical bills for medically causally related treatment, including, but not limited to, any bills for medical treatment provided by [plaintiff]." The court held defendant and third-party defendant had met all of their obligations under the Act. The court denied defendant's demand for additional payment, costs, fees, ...


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