A federal judge on Friday approved a class-action settlement involving St. Vincent Hospital and the method it used to collect overdue payments.
The court awarded plaintiff Michael Sargent $2,000 as part of the lawsuit he brought against the hospital in October 2008. The class consisted of 21 parties that responded to the suit.
Sargent sued St. Vincent, claiming the hospital violated state debt-collection law by using St. Louis-based Outsource Group Inc., which was not licensed as a collection agency in Indiana.
Sargent’s suit was preceded by a court claim brought by Outsource in August 2008 in Marion Superior Court in an attempt to collect Sargent’s overdue payment.
Outsource filed the suit even though it did not own the account upon which Sargent was indebted and was not a licensed collection agency in Indiana, according to court documents.
The class of plaintiffs represented anyone sued by Outsource for a debt owed to St. Vincent, or any one of its entities, before Oct. 27, 2008, in which a judgment had not been rendered.
Including Sargent’s award, the class received a total of $31,500, of which $25,500 paid attorney's fees.
Lawyers filing the suit were Robert E. Stochel of Crown Point and Glenn S. Vician of Merrillville.