When I was a “Mayo
resident” I had asked Dr. Sanford Finck what had been the cause of my problems and he had told me that my stomach had
been punctured accidentally. I told him I wasn’t going to sue or do anything
about it and we had shaken hands on it. And I kept my word.
When the bills for
the repair of my abdomen started arriving it dawned on me that it was unfair that I should have to pay (after insurance) for
the cost of rectifying the Mayo’s mistake. I paid the Mayo every penny
of what I owed them (after insurance) except for the element I had to pay the other hospital for rectifying the results of
the Mayo’s mistake. I contacted the Mayo asking them to forego the balance. I found dealing with the administrative side of the Mayo to be an extremely tedious
and frustrating process. Variously their record of answering letters and returning
telephone calls was haphazard. Calling them was frustrating in that one seldom
spoke to the same person twice which meant that with each new person one had to start over again.
Eventually the Mayo agreed to cancel the element of the expenditure I had incurred as a consequence of their error
and sent me a letter together with a release (to see the Mayo’s letter and the
release, please click the link* at the bottom of this page). However,
when the release arrived it included terms and conditions that had neither been discussed nor agreed. These included, inter-alia,
a muzzle clause and a requirement that my wife sign it as well as me and that the signatures be notarized. I remonstrated
with the Mayo and they sent me another release but they only deleted the requirement that my wife sign it too.
So I told the Mayo that as they had shifted the goal posts on me I felt entitled to move them as too. I said that since inserting drain tubes must be a common procedure following surgery, I would sign the
release if they would give me an assurance that in future they would take precautions to ensure that what had happened
to me wouldn’t happen to another poor wretch. I noted that when inserting
the second set of drain tubes the Mayo had guided them in by X-Ray so such precautions are feasible. From then on, despite repeated attempts to get a response, I never heard another word from them.
In Florida a suit for medical malpractice has to be brought within two years.
No doubt, the Florida medical industry, during a vociferous campaign to frighten the Florida public and legislature
about losing doctors due to the high cost of malpractice insurance, spent and contributed more than did the trial attorneys. Then, wouldn’t you know, after the statute of limitations for bringing a medical
malpractice suit had run out, I started getting demands for payment of the balance.
Then the Mayo started hawking the account around various debt collection agencies.
I would write to the agencies giving photographs and details of what the Mayo had done to me and they would express
their sympathy and drop the matter. Indeed, one expressed outrage at the way
the Mayo had treated me.
Then the Mayo happened upon a collection agency: Accelerated Receivables Management, Inc., (ACR) who, apparently,
are made of sterner stuff than were the others. Or perhaps they just needed the
element of the commission or fee they collect more than the others did? Anyway,
they sued me.