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Personal injury suits expand to hospitals

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NEW YORK, Jul 16, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A legal movement to sue U.S. hospitals for not treating indigent patients gained visibility with New York's largest hospital group now facing such a lawsuit.

The suit is the latest in a recent series of complaints filed by the lawyers against U.S. hospitals that have so far targeted 31 non-profit hospital groups in 17 states.

The personal-injury lawyers leading the emerging litigation also announced Thursday similar lawsuits against two other large hospital systems, Cleveland Clinic Health System and the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans.

The suit against Presbyterian says it overcharged uninsured patients, refused to provide required charity care and use unethical means to collect overdue bills.

Presbyterian, whose lawyers had yet to see the lawsuit, declined comment, though a spokeswoman said the hospital group does perform its charity obligations.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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