Can I be sued for friend's medical bill

by John

A friend of my wife's listed her as an emergency contact in case something happened to him. He lives on the other side of the US. He is not related by blood or adoption, and I have signed or co-signed nothing . Now a medical clinic has sent a bill to my address, with his name on it for over a thousand dollars. He cannot pay this, but can I be sued over this since it came to my address?

Comments for Can I be sued for friend's medical bill

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May 16, 2011
Can I be sued for friend's medical bill

I assume that the medical clinic either made an error and sent the bill to the wrong address or that it does not have the current address of your wife's friend and so it is hoping you will provide it to them if you receive the bill. (Whether or not you give them that address is up to you.) However, if all you tell me in your question is true, then you are in no way legally responsible for paying the bill you received.

I recommend that you make a copy of the bill and send it with a letter to the clinic stating that the bill was sent to the wrong address, and that neither you nor your wife are responsible for it because you did not receive the services related to the bill nor did either of you guarantee payment.

One other thing -- I assume that your wife's friend is listed as the patient on the bill. If that is not the case, your letter should address that mistake as well.

Make a copy of the letter for your files and send the original letter plus the copy of the bill to the billing department of the medical clinic. I suggest sending it certified mail with a return receipt requested so that you have proof that your letter was received.

If the medical clinic continues to send the bill to you or if it threatens you with a law suit, I recommend that you get in touch with a consumer law attorney who helps consumers resolve debt collection matters right away. Your initial appointment should be free. All it may take to resolve the problem is a letter from the attorney. You can find an attorney in your area or you can call the Collection Complaint Hotline at 888-711-5183 for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Good luck.

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