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Is naming the wrong defendant in a civil Summons and Complaint a defense that can be used in the Response?

Bellingham, WA |

I recently was served a 20 day Summons and Complaint from a collection agency for a District Court lawsuit. The collection agency is suing me personally for past medical bills for services delivered to my spouse in Washington State. My spouse is on my medical insurance plan through my employer, but isn't named as a defendant. In fact, I am the only named defendant. The Complaint repeatedly states that I received services for which I owe and list the services, amounts and dates. I never received medical services on any of those dates. Can that be my response? Would such a response be effective in delaying the lawsuit?

I will be filing for Chapter 7 within the next couple of months and I am just seeking to delay judgment until I can file.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Yes

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Posted

Maybe, but you're liable for the debt, even though you didn't incur it, under the "doctrine of necessaries." Additionally, if I remember correctly, WA is a community property state, so you've got some exposure there as well. Another issue is that, since your spouse is covered under YOUR insurance, the account at the medical facility is probably in your name, with your spouse listed as someone able to charge on it. I'd say you're stuck with the bill, although you can certainly try to delay it for some time using the whole "deny everything" tactic (which I don't endorse). Good luck.

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Posted

It's YOUR medical plan.
It's YOUR spouse.
It's YOUR BILLS.

THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION.

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