FOR AN UNPAID CHILDHOOD MEDICAL BILL..IS GETTING TOSSED OUT. 13 INVESTIGATES HAS LEARNED OF A SETTLEMENT IN THE CASE. OUR SANDRA CHAPMAN.. SHARES THE NEW TWIST AND WHY BOTH SIDES CAN CLAIM A WIN. “…THE SETTLEMENT MEANS BOTH THE DELINQUENT CHARGES AND LATOYA TOLIVER’S COUNTER- LAWSUIT ARE GOING AWAY. IT ALL STARTED WITH A DEBT CREATED 17-YEARS AGO….” “…IT’S NOT RIGHT. IF IT WAS MY DEBT, I WOULDN’T BE UPSET. BUT IT’S NOT MY DEBT BECAUSE I WAS A MINOR…” LATOYA TOLIVER WAS UPSET WHEN WE SPOKE WITH HER MONTHS AGO. SHE WAS SUED OVER MEDICAL EXPENSES DATING BACK TO 2002. EXPENSES SHE ASSUMED HER PARENTS PAID. SHE WAS JUST 17..AND A MINOR. “…I NEVER GOT A BILL OR ANYTHING…NO…” JUST AFTER HER 18TH BIRTHDAY MEDSHIELD SUED AND WON A JUDGMENT AGAINST HER FOR THOSE CHILDHOOD BILLS FROM THE OLD WISHARD HOSPITAL. LATOYA SAID SHE NEVER KNEW ABOUT THEM…UNTIL ATTORNEY DEREK JOHNSON STARTED COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS THIS YEAR. 13 INVESTIGATES WENT LOOKING FOR JOHNSON AFTER HE FAILED TO ANSWER OUR CALLS ABOUT THE CASE. “….SC: CAN YOU PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION OF A 17-YEAR OLD DEBT? JOHNSON: IT WOULD DEPEND ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES…” JOHNSON TRIED TO COLLECT FROM LATOYA’S PARENTS..BUT COULDN’T.. DUE TO BANKRUPTCY. SO HE USED AN OLD INDIANA LAW TO GO AFTER HER INSTEAD. “…SC: IS THAT THE RIGHT THING TO DO? DEREK JOHNSON: IT’S THE LAW. ISN’T THE LAW RIGHT?…” “…THIS ADULT…THAT WAS A CHILD WHEN THIS TRANSACTION OCCURED…IS LIABLE FOR THIS DEBT….” TOLIVER WAS ORDERED TO PAY THE $13- HUNDRED DOLLAR JUDGMENT ISSUED IN 2004..PLUS AN EXTRA $15-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN INTEREST AND FEES IN DECATUR TOWNSHIP SMALL CLAIMS COURT. IT’S THE SAME COURT WHERE JOHNSON CAME UNDER SCRUTINY FOR FILING THOUSANDS OF LAWSUITS WHILE SKIPPING PAST THE ACTUAL COURTS WHERE THE DEBT WAS INCURRED. THE INDIANA APPEALS COURT HAS SINCE RULED COLLECTORS MUST FILE IN THE APPROPRIATE JURISDICTION. TOLIVER AND HER ATTORNEYS QUESTIONED MEDSHIELD’S COLLECTION PRACTICES IN HER CASE. “…I WANT THEM TO BE FAIR TO EVERYONE ACROSS THE BOARD. AND THERE SHOULD BE A STATUTE OF LIMITATION…” COURT RECORDS SHOWED NOTICES WENT TO THE WRONG ADDRESS. “…IT’S NEVER BEEN ON MY CREDIT. I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NEGATIVE ON MY CREDIT. NEVER HAVE…” BUT THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A CLUE THAT LATOYA DIDN’T UNDERSTAND. 13 INVESTIGATES HAS LEARNED SHE DID DISPUTE CHARGES ON HER CREDIT REPORT NEARLY A DECADE AGO. WHAT SHE THOUGHT MIGHT HAVE BE IDENTITY THEFT…MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN THE HOSPITAL BILLS AND MEDSHIELD. NOW AS PART OF A SETTLEMENT …TOLIVER AGREED TO DROP HER LAWSUIT…IN EXCHANGE…SHE’S OFF THE HOOK FOR THE REMAINING $1- THOUSAND DOLLARS LEFT ON THE JUDGMENT. “…MEDSHIELD WILL NOT ADMIT ANY WRONGDOING AS PART OF THE SETTLEMENT AND THE CASE NOW GOES AWAY. THE SUPREME COURT IS REVIEWING WHAT QUALIFIES AS “KNOWING” ABOUT A DEBT. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS: IF YOU GET A NOTICE..OR SEE SOMETHING ODD ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT.DON’T IGNORE IT. ASK QUESTIONS. YOU ONLY HAVE A YEAR TO FILE A COMPLAINT. ONCE THERE’S A JUDGMENT AGAINST YOU.A COMPANY CAN ALWAYS SEEK TO COLLECT IT, EVEN IF IT’S 17-YEARS LATER…”