United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MILES-LaGRANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment,
filed April 9, 2018. Plaintiff has filed no response, and
pursuant to Local Civil Rule 56.1(e), the Court deems
admitted for the purpose of summary judgment the Statement of
Undisputed Facts set forth in defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment. Based upon defendant's motion, the
Court makes its determination.
October 23 and 24, 2016, plaintiff was provided medical
services by physicians with the Oklahoma Radiology Group,
P.C. Plaintiff does not dispute that these services were
provided. For these services, plaintiff was billed $300.00.
MSN Healthcare Solutions (“MSN”) has contracted
with Oklahoma Radiology Group to provide billing services and
practice management services. MSN submitted the claims for
services to plaintiff's insurance company, Blue Cross and
Blue Shield. Blue Cross and Blue Shield provided an
Explanation of Benefits Form to MSN that showed that the
insurance company reduced the charges to $88.83. Blue Cross
and Blue Shield applied the $88.83 to plaintiff's
deductible amount and notified MSN that the $88.83 remained
the responsibility of plaintiff to pay.
November 4, 2016, MSN prepared an invoice to plaintiff
billing her for the $88.83 that remained her responsibility.
Plaintiff did not make any payments to Oklahoma Radiology
Group or to MSN. After no payments were received, MSN
referred this account over to defendant for further
collection efforts. On December 28, 2016, defendant sent a
letter to plaintiff asking for payment of the $88.83.
Plaintiff claims that she never received this letter. On
March 15, 2017, defendant mailed another letter to plaintiff.
receiving the March 15, 2017 letter, plaintiff went to the
office of Vance Dotson on March 27, 2017, and plaintiff and
Mr. Dotson jointly called defendant. The telephone call was
recorded by either plaintiff or Mr. Dotson. Initially,
plaintiff was the person talking on the phone, but after a
few moments, Mr. Dotson started talking to defendant's
representative. Plaintiff knew that Mr. Dotson was in the
room with her during the call, knew that Mr. Dotson could
hear the call from start to finish, and had no objection to
Mr. Dotson listening in on the call or stepping in on the
call to ask questions.
March 31, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant action, alleging
violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”). Specifically, plaintiff alleges that
defendant's representative released information to Mr.
Dotson without prior consent from her in violation of 15
U.S.C. § 1692c(b) and that defendant attempted to
collect a debt that plaintiff did not owe to the underlying
creditor, Oklahoma Radiology Group, in violation of 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692f. Defendant now moves for summary judgment as to
all claims asserted in this action.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate if the record shows that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The moving
party is entitled to summary judgment where the record taken
as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find
for the non-moving party. When applying this standard, [the
Court] examines the record and reasonable inferences drawn
therefrom in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party.” 19 Solid Waste Dep't Mechs. v. City of
Albuquerque, 156 F.3d 1068, 1071-72 (10th Cir. 1998)
(internal citations and quotations omitted).
disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit
under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of
summary judgment. Furthermore, the non-movant has a burden of
doing more than simply showing there is some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts. Rather, the relevant inquiry
is whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to
require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided
that one party must prevail as a matter of law.”
Neustrom v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 156 F.3d 1057, 1066
(10th Cir. 1998) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
§ 1692c(b) claim
Except as provided in section 1692b of this title, without
the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt
collector, or the express permission of a court of competent
jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a
postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not
communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt,
with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a
consumer reporting agency if ...