STEPHAN BARRY, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff-Appellant,
ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL DECATUR, an Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
from the Circuit Court of Macon County, No. 14-CH-109; the
Hon. Thomas E. Little, Judge, presiding.
D. Drury (argued), of Larry D. Drury, Ltd., of Chicago, for
Christopher M. Ellis (argued), Jon D. Robinson, and Shane M.
Mendenhall, of Bolen Robinson & Ellis, LLP, of Decatur,
JUSTICE POPE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Turner and Appleton concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 This case arises out of a September 2013 automobile
accident involving plaintiff, Stephan A. Barry, and a
third-party tortfeasor. Following the accident, Barry
received medical treatment from defendant, St. Mary's
Hospital Decatur, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation (St.
Mary's). Barry has health insurance through his employer
from Consociate Health Insurance (Consociate). As part of an
agreement with Private Healthcare Systems (PHS), Consociate
receives a discount from St. Mary's for the amount of
Barry's medical bills. Two of Barry's three medical
bills were submitted to Consociate for payment. The third
bill was never submitted. While Consociate initially denied
payment of the two bills on the grounds the injuries were
caused by a third party, it later changed its position and
paid those bills at the discounted rate. In the meantime, St.
Mary's filed liens against Barry's then
yet-to-be-determined personal injury settlement pursuant to
the Health Care Services Lien Act (Lien Act) (770 ILCS 23/1
to 999 (West 2012)) for the full, i.e.,
nondiscounted, amount of all three bills.
2 In May 2014, Barry filed a seven-count complaint against
St. Mary's arguing, inter alia, the liens
against his personal injury settlement were improper where
St. Mary's was obligated to bill his health insurance
company. Following a motion by St. Mary's, the trial
court dismissed Barry's complaint with prejudice pursuant
to section 2-615 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Procedure
Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2014)).
3 Barry appeals, arguing the trial court erred in dismissing
his complaint where he sufficiently pleaded valid claims for
(1) a violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act (Consumer Fraud Act) (815 ILCS 505/1 to 12
(West 2012)), (2) breach of contract, (3) "third-party
beneficiary, " and (4) unjust enrichment. We affirm.
4 I. BACKGROUND
5 On September 5, 2013, Barry sought treatment at St.
Mary's for injuries sustained in a September 4, 2013,
motor vehicle accident with a third party. The treatment
resulted in three separate medical bills.
6 A. The First Bill
7 On September 16, 2013, St. Mary's sent bill No.
I-694329, for $2194, to Consociate pursuant to a Preferred
Facility Agreement (Facility Agreement) between St.
Mary's and Consociate, which provides for a contractual
discount in the amount of Barry's medical bills incurred
at St. Mary's. On October 8, 2013, Consociate denied
payment of the bill on the basis a third party caused the
accident. On November 11, 2013, St. Mary's sent the
invoice and a lien notice to State Farm, i.e., the
third-party tortfeasor's insurance company. The lien was
for the total amount of services absent any discount. On June
13, 2014, after Barry filed the complaint in this case,
Consociate reversed course and paid bill No. I-694329 at the
discounted rate of $830.14. The parties agree St. Mary's
has yet to release its lien regarding the first bill. As
such, a lien for $2194 for bill No. I-694329 remains in
8 B. The Second Bill
9 On September 19, 2013, St. Mary's submitted a second
bill, No. I-695643, for $1179, to Consociate. Consociate
denied payment of the second bill on the same basis it
initially denied the first bill. On January 9, 2014, St.
Mary's sent the invoice and corresponding lien to State
Farm. The lien was for the total amount of services rendered
absent any discount. On June 13, 2014, Consociate reversed
its position and paid the discounted rate of $515.49. As with
the first bill, St. Mary's has not yet released the lien
for the full amount of the second bill.
10 C. The Third Bill
11 The third medical bill, No. I-697978, was for $10, 574 in
services provided to Barry from September 13 to December 3,
2013. St. Mary's maintains Barry told it on September 13,
2013, to bill State Farm directly for these services. St.
Mary's submitted the bill and a notice of lien to State
Farm on October 7, 2013.
12 D. Barry's Complaint
13 On May 7, 2014, Barry filed a seven-count complaint on
behalf of himself and those similarly situated. (We note St.
Mary's in fact submitted two of the three bills to
Consociate prior to filing its liens. Accordingly,
Barry's claims regarding St. Mary's failure to submit
his bills to Consociate pertain only to the third bill, which
all agree was never submitted.)
14 Count I alleged St. Mary's violated the Consumer Fraud
Act when it "fraudulently misrepresented, concealed,
and/or omitted material facts to and from [Barry] as to the
fact [it] would not accept [his] health insurance coverage,
and/or would place a medical provider's lien for services
rendered with either the patient, the patient's attorney,
a third-party tortfeasor[, ] or the third-party
tortfeasor's liability carrier." According to Barry,
his damages included a "loss from settlement of those
funds claimed by St. Mary's, " as well as "the
diminished value of [his] health insurance policies by not
receiving the benefit of insurance coverage for which [he]
pay[s] a premium."
15 Count II alleged the consent form Barry signed at the time
of treatment, which authorized St. Mary's to bill
Consociate, was a contract breached by St. Mary's when it
placed a lien on his personal injury settlement instead of
16 Count III alleged St. Mary's committed the tort of
outrage by failing to bill Consociate.
17 Count IV alleged St. Mary's has been unjustly enriched
by placing liens on Barry's personal injury settlement.
18 Count V alleged a third-party beneficiary claim. According
to Barry, St. Mary's violated its agreement with
Consociate by refusing to accept his health insurance and/or
by placing liens on his personal injury settlement.
19 Count VI alleged St. Mary's intentionally interfered
with the contractual relationship between Barry and
Consociate by refusing to honor Barry's health insurance
20 Count VII sought an injunction to restrain St. Mary's
from continuing to refuse to accept his health insurance
and/or from placing liens on his personal injury settlement.
21 E. St. Mary's Combined Motion
22 On July 30, 2014, St. Mary's filed a combined section
2-615 motion to dismiss (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2014)) and
section 2-1005 motion for summary judgment (735 ILCS 5/2-1005
(West 2014)) pursuant to section 2-619.1 of the Procedure
Code (735 ILCS 5/2-619.1 (West 2014)).
23 1. St. Mary's Motion To Dismiss
24 In the section 2-615 portion of its motion, St. Mary's
argued Barry's complaint should be dismissed where it
failed to state any valid causes of action because, according
to Rogalla v. Christie Clinic, P.C., 341 Ill.App.3d
410, 794 N.E.2d 384 (2003), it was entitled to assert a lien
against State Farm pursuant to the Lien Act.
25 In response to St. Mary's motion to dismiss, Barry
argued Rogalla was factually distinguishable where
differences existed in the terms of the discount contract in
that case and the Facility Agreement between PHS and St.
Mary's in this case. Barry also argued Rogalla
was contrary to two Second District cases ( N.C. v.
A.W., 305 Ill.App.3d 773, 713 N.E.2d 775 (1999), and
Lopez v. Morley, 352 Ill.App.3d 1174, 817 N.E.2d 592
(2004)), as well as a federal ...