Doctor Holds Patient Hostage Until She Pays Her Bill

A doctor named John Drew Laurusonis and two of his assistants in Georgia have been accused of locking a woman in an examination room “when concerns arose about her ability to pay the bill.” The three were indicted last week on charges of false imprisonment for the October 4th, 2007 incident.

For several hours, the staff refused to allow her to leave, locking her in for periods of time, [her attorney Joseph] Fried said. They had her log into her bank records from a computer while she was there, he said. “They said, ‘Don’t you have anyone who loves you who can come and help you? Because you’re not leaving until this bill is paid,’ ” Fried said. “They made her feel like she was a criminal. She was made to feel like she couldn’t leave without something bad to happen to her.”

One reason the patient couldn’t pay was that she was charged nearly eight times more for the visit than she was initially told by clinic employees, from $98 to $755.

The patient, Frances Bales, was described as “less assertive than other people”—by her attorney, no less. We hope Bales remembers to bring a Taser or pepper spray to her next appointment. In fact, maybe all patients of Dr. Laurusonis should make sure friends and family know where they’re going and how long they expect to be gone, just in case there are any billing problems.

“Police: Clinic workers imprisoned patient who couldn’t pay” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] (Thanks to Deborah!)
(Photo: Getty)

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