Alysa Gummow didn’t know what to think in October when the letters from law firms arrived in the mail. She had filed for bankruptcy in 2017 to restructure nearly $50,000 in debt — mostly from an earlier hip surgery. But that was resolved. Why was she getting these letters now?
The 37-year-old learned that Froedtert South hospital in Kenosha, Wis., was suing her to recover about $1,000 in separate bills that her health insurance didn’t cover.
A maskless man visited her home a few days later to make the lawsuit official, delivering the message: “You’ve been served.”
In April, Froedtert South said it would make debt lawsuits “rare” during the pandemic. But the hospital has since filed at least 231 lawsuits in small claims court against debtors like Gummow. It filed more in 2020 than it did in 2019 — 314, compared to 282.
This year’s lawsuits collectively seek to