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Tilatitsky v. Medicredit, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

October 11, 2016

JOSHUA PAUL TILATITSKY Plaintiff,
v.
MEDICREDIT, INC. Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Jean C. Hamilton UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Medicredit, Inc.'s (“Medicredit”) Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 59.) Also pending before the Court is Medicredit's Motion to Strike Expert Testimony. (ECF No. 74.) The Motions have been fully briefed and are ready for disposition.

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are essentially undisputed. Tilatitsky incurred a debt of $842 in connection with medical services he received at Cartersville Medical Center on January 6, 2015. Tilatitsky never made any payment on the debt's balance, and the debt was transferred to Medicredit for collection. Medicredit sent Tilatitsky a collection letter, dated May 12, 2015 (hereinafter, the “Collection Letter”), which reads in pertinent part as follows:

This is to inform you that Cartersville Medical Center has placed your account with this agency with the full intention of collecting this account. Please give this past due account the attention it deserves.
Please either:
1. Remit payment in full to this office or, 2. Contact this office by telephone to arrange resolution of the account.
3. For phone payments, express mail, or MoneyGram information, call between 8:00am and 8:00pm Monday to Thursday, 8:00am to 5:00pm Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. All times are Central Time Zone.
Please call to make a payment by check or credit card by telephone…

(Def. Ex. B.) Directly below and in the same font as the paragraph which contains the “please either” options, the Collection Letter provides the following “Important Notice”:

Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within 30 days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. If you request this office in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

Id. (emphasis original). Following receipt of the Collection Letter, Tilatitsky filed for bankruptcy. He did not contact Medicredit at any point.

         On July 25, 2015, Tilatitsky filed this action against Medicredit in the District of Colorado, asserting claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., (“FDCPA”). In June 2016, the matter was transferred to this Court. In his Complaint, Tilatitsky alleges that the “please either” options for payment set forth in the Collection Letter overshadow the validation notice, in violation of section 1692g of the FDCPA, and therefore constitute a false, deceptive and misleading representation, in violation of section 1692e of the FDCPA.[1]

         As mentioned above, Medicredit now moves for summary judgment. (ECF No. 59.) Medicredit also moves to exclude the testimony of Tilatitsky's expert Dr. Alan M. Perlman, arguing that Dr. Perlman was never disclosed as an expert prior to Tilatitsky's inclusion of Dr. Perlman's Affidavit in ...


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