A state district judge in Avoyelles Parish has ruled Acadian Ambulance is guilty of overbilling thousands of its customers and has ordered the emergency medical care service to pay over ten million dollars in damages.
The verdict is the result of class action lawsuit filed in 2010 which claimed that since in the 1990's Acadian has been engaged in a companywide policy to obtain payments directly from patients who were involved in liability accidents instead of filing on their insurance.
In his eight page ruling District Judge Mark Jeannsonne says Acadian's actions are contrary to state law which prohibits health care providers from collecting or attempting to collect from a patient any amounts in excess of the contracted reimbursement rate.
Derrick Earls, the attorney who filed the suit, told Eyewitness News quote; "Today the court got it right and Acadian has finally realized that what they were doing is illegal and wrong".
Allyson Pharr, a Senior Vice President with Acadian Ambulance also issued a statement Friday saying; "while we are disappointed we are regrettably not surprised by the ruling and look forward to having the merits of the case fully and properly examined by a court of appeals."
In the meantime Judge Jeannsonne has issued a permanent injunction that forbids Acadian from continuing its current billing practice.