Elardo, Bragg, Appel & Rossi

Statutory Medical Liens

PAIN MANAGEMENT CLINIC V. PREESE, 229 Ariz. 364, 275 P.3d 1284 (APP. DIV. 1 04/19/2012). Medical clinic brought action against patient for breach of contract, alleging that, after patient was unable to recover settlement from alleged tortfeasor in the auto accident that caused the injuries treated by clinic, patient owed the clinic payment for medical services. Patient argued that the clinic had released its claims, and the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of patient. Clinic appealed. HOLDING: Appellate Court reversed and held that a lien release (even a lien release containing language indicating the debt has been paid) is not a waiver of medical provider’s independent right to demand payment on the underlying debt.