Frequently Asked Questions


Basic Information

  1. What is this case about?

    This case is a class action in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida known as Marisela Herrera et al. v. JFK Medical Center Limited Partnership et. al., Civil Action No. 8:14-cv-2327. In this case, Class Representatives allege that hospitals affiliated with HCA Healthcare, Inc. in Florida charge unreasonable amounts to patients with Florida Personal Injury Protection Insurance (“Florida PIP Insurance”) for certain emergency room services. A detailed description of the claims is contained in the Complaint Complaint.

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  2. What is a class action lawsuit?

    In a class action lawsuit, one or more persons called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All these people together are called a “Class” or “Class Members.” The people or companies sued in the lawsuit are called “Defendants.” The lawyers who represent the Class are called “Class Counsel.” In a class action lawsuit, all factual questions and legal issues are resolved together for everyone in the Class.

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  3. What is the purpose of the Notice?

    The judge overseeing this case authorized the Notice. If you are a Class Member, you have various options before the Court decides whether to approve the proposed Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, and the Settlement benefits.

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  4. What happened in this litigation prior to the parties reaching a settlement?

    The parties litigated for more than three years before agreeing to the Settlement. In August 2014, Plaintiffs filed their initial complaint. In November 2014, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, and the court struck Plaintiffs’ class allegations. In April 2016, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s decision to strike the class allegations, and provided Plaintiffs with the opportunity to conduct discovery.

    The parties engaged in extensive discovery, including taking 13 depositions and producing and reviewing tens of thousands of documents. In October 2017, Plaintiffs filed their class certification motion along with two expert reports. In December 2017, Defendants filed their opposition to class certification along with one expert report. Before the Court decided whether this case could appropriately be tried as a class action, the parties reached a Settlement.

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  5. Why is there a settlement?

    Defendants deny all allegations made in this lawsuit, and the Court did not decide in favor of either party. Instead, both sides agreed to settle to avoid the costs, delay, and disruption of continued litigation, and to provide certainty and benefits to the people affected. After a full investigation, the Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe the Settlement is fair and reasonable.

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Who is in the Settlement

  1. Who is a member of the Class?

    The Court has approved the following definition of Settlement Class: All Persons (1) who receive medical services in the emergency department of a Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital, from a date in the future known as the “Effective Date” (defined below) of this Settlement through the end of the fourth year after the Effective Date of this Settlement, (2) whose Florida PIP Insurance pays for a portion of the medical services rendered by the Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital, (3) who lack secondary insurance applicable to the medical services received from the Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital or a personal injury settlement related to the accident that caused the Person to receive the applicable medical services, and (4) who have a remaining balance after their Florida PIP Insurance pays the Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital.

    The Settlement Class does not include the judge to whom this case is assigned, any member of the judge’s immediate family, and the judge’s staff and their immediate families.

    The “Effective Date” means the fifth day after which the last of the following events and conditions have been met or have occurred: (a) the Court has entered without material change the Final Approval Order and Judgment, and (b) the time for appeal from the Final Approval Order and Judgment has expired, or if any appeal of the Final Approval Order and Judgment is taken, the appeal has been finally determined by the highest court, including any motions for reconsideration, petitions for rehearing and/or petitions for writ of certiorari, such that the Final Approval Order and Judgment is not subject to further adjudication or appeal, and the Settlement has been affirmed on appeal or review without material change.

    If you meet the definition of the Class as set forth above, then you are a member of the Class.

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  2. What is a Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital?

    For the purposes of this Settlement, a “Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital” means a hospital that (1) operates in the state of Florida and is licensed under Florida statute, Chapter 395 and (2) operates an emergency department, and (3) is owned by an indirect subsidiary of HCA Holdings, Inc. (n/k/a HCA Healthcare, Inc.). As of the date of this Settlement Agreement, the following are Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospitals:

    • Aventura Hospital and Medical Center
    • Blake Medical Center
    • Brandon Regional Hospital
    • Capital Regional Medical Center
    • Central Florida Regional Hospital
    • Citrus Memorial Hospital
    • Doctors Hospital of Sarasota
    • Englewood Community Hospital
    • Fawcett Memorial Hospital
    • Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
    • Gulf Coast Medical Center
    • Highlands Regional Medical Center
    • JFK Medical Center
    • Kendall Regional Medical Center
    • Lake City Medical Center
    • Largo Medical Center
    • Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute
    • Medical Center of Trinity
    • Memorial Hospital Jacksonville
    • Memorial Hospital of Tampa
    • North Florida Regional Medical Center
    • Northside Hospital
    • Northwest Medical Center
    • Oak Hill Hospital
    • Ocala Regional Medical Center
    • Orange Park Medical Center
    • Osceola Regional Medical Center
    • Oviedo Medical Center
    • Palms of Pasadena Hospital
    • Palms West Hospital
    • Plantation General Hospital
    • Poinciana Medical Center
    • Putnam Community Medical Center
    • Raulerson Hospital
    • Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point
    • South Bay Hospital
    • St. Lucie Medical Center
    • St. Petersburg General Hospital
    • Tampa Community Hospital
    • Twin Cities Hospital
    • University Hospital and Medical Center
    • West Florida Hospital
    • Westside Regional Medical Center

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The Settlement

  1. What does the Settlement provide?

    In this lawsuit, Plaintiffs argued that Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospitals charge unreasonable amounts to patients with Florida PIP Insurance for emergency radiology services.

    Pursuant to the Settlement, a discount will be provided to Settlement Class Members going forward, the “PIP Discount.” Under the Settlement, during the Class Period, Florida HCA- Affiliated Hospitals will be required to apply the PIP Discount to Settlement Class Members’ bills for services rendered in the emergency department after their Florida PIP Insurance pays the Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital.

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  2. How long will the Settlement be in effect?

    The Settlement will be in effect for the four-year Class Period, which will begin on the Effective Date and end four years after the Effective Date.

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  3. How will the PIP Discount be calculated?

    Beginning on the Effective Date, Settlement Class Members’ bills will be discounted by at least 85%. This discount will be calculated based on the Settlement Class Member’s remaining bill after payment by the Settlement Class Member’s Florida PIP Insurance and payment from any personal injury settlement is made to the Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital. In the event that the chargemaster (defined below) prices at a Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital increase during the Class Period, the size of the PIP Discount will also increase so that the discount will never be less than 85%.

    For example, if after PIP Insurance has paid the Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital, a balance remains of $4,000 and no secondary insurance or personal injury settlement applies, the PIP Discount will equal at least $3,400 and will reduce the patient balance to a maximum of $600.

    A chargemaster is a uniform price list maintained by each Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospital, which includes the medical services offered by that hospital and what that hospital charges for each medical service.

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  4. What do I give up because of the Settlement?

    If the Settlement is approved, claims for injunctive relief and declaratory relief concerning the reasonableness of the charges for medical services provided by Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospitals will be released.

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  5. Does this Settlement force me to give up individual claims for damages?

    No. The Settlement will not preclude you from bringing individual claims for damages arising from or related to the reasonableness of the past or future charges for medical services provided by Florida HCA-Affiliated Hospitals.

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The Lawyers Representing You

  1. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court has decided preliminarily that the following lawyers will represent you and all Class Members. Together these lawyers are called “Class Counsel.”

    Andrew N. Friedman
    Douglas J. McNamara
    Eric A. Kafka

    COHEN MILSTEIN SELLERS & TOLL
    1100 New York Ave. NW
    East Tower, 5th Floor
    Washington, DC 20005

    phoneIcon (202) 408-4600
    emailIcon afriedman@cohenmilstein.com
    emailIcon dmcnamara@cohenmilstein.com
    emailIcon ekafka@cohenmilstein.com
    Theodore J. Leopold

    COHEN MILSTEIN SELLERS & TOLL
    2925 PGA Boulevard, Suite 200
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

    phoneIcon (561) 515-1400
    emailIcon tleopold@cohenmilstein.com

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  2. How will Class Counsel be paid?

    Class Counsel has not received any attorneys’ fees or reimbursements for any of the expenses associated with this lawsuit since it was filed in 2014. In prosecuting this case on behalf of the Class, Class Counsel investigated the facts, interviewed witnesses, attended court hearings, reviewed documents produced in discovery, prepared legal pleadings, and participated in a mediation and subsequent negotiations. To date, Class Counsel have expended over 4,700 hours in this case and have advanced over $260,000 in out-of-pocket expenses on behalf of the Class, including paying expert witnesses.

    In conjunction with this proposed Settlement, Class Counsel will ask the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses that does not exceed $3,000,000.

    Any fees, costs, or expenses requested by Class Counsel must be approved by the Court. Class Counsel’s motion for fees and expenses will be on file with the Court and posted on this Settlement website by October 31, 2018.

    Any Class Member who objects to the request by Class Counsel for payment of these attorneys’ fees and costs may state the objection in writing and appear at the hearing, as set forth in FAQ 16, FAQ 17 and FAQ 18. If you submit a written objection, you are not required to appear at the hearing.

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  3. Will there be service payments for the Class Representatives?

    In conjunction with this proposed Settlement, Class Counsel will ask the Court to order Defendants to pay $6,000 service payments to each of the two Class Representatives in recognition of his or her service on behalf of the Settlement Class.

    The service payments must be approved by the Court. Class Counsel’s motion for the award of service payments to Class Representatives will be on file with the Court and posted on this Settlement website by October 31, 2018.

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Objecting to the Settlement

  1. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to any part of the Settlement that you do not like, including the requested award of attorney fees and expenses to Class Counsel or service payments to the Class Representatives. See FAQ 14 and FAQ 15.

    To object, you must file with the Court and serve on Class Counsel and Defendants’ Counsel (at the addresses in FAQ 17) a written objection referencing this lawsuit (Herrera Class Action, No. 8:14-cv-2327).

    Your objection must:

    1. state your full name, current address, and telephone number;
    2. contain your original signature (conformed, reproduced, facsimile, or other non-original signatures will not be valid, nor is the signature of your attorney sufficient);
    3. state your objection to the Settlement, in whole or in part;
    4. set forth a statement of the legal and factual basis for the objection;
    5. provide copies of any documents that you wish to submit in support of your position;
    6. identify by name, address, and bar number any attorney who represents you with respect to the objection or who assisted or advised you in any way with respect to the objection;
    7. list by case name and civil action number all class action settlements to which you or your attorney has objected in the last five years; and
    8. attach a copy of any orders relating to, or ruling upon, your prior objections.

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  2. Where do I send my objection?

    You must send your objection to each of the following:

    Clerk of Court Class Counsel Defendants' Counsel
    Clerk of Court
    United States District Court for the Middle
    District of Florida, Tampa Division
    801 North Florida Avenue
    Tampa, FL 33602
    Re: Herrera Class Action, No. 8:14-CV-02327
    Theodore J. Leopold
    Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
    2925 PGA Boulevard, Suite 200
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
    Re: Herrera Class Action, No. 8:14-CV-02327
    Maura K. Monaghan
    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
    919 Third Ave.
    New York, NY 10022
    Re: Herrera Class Action, No. 8:14-CV-02327

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  3. What is the deadline for objecting?

    To be considered, an objection must be postmarked or deposited with overnight delivery service or hand-delivered no later than November 15, 2018.

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Fairness Hearing

  1. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at the United States District Courthouse, Middle District of Florida, 801 North Florida Avenue, Courtroom 17, Tampa, Florida 33602. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing through the procedures in FAQ 21. After or during the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement and whether to approve the fee and service payments to Class Counsel and the Class Representatives. We do not know how long it will take for the Court to make its decision.


    The Court may reschedule the Fairness Hearing and related deadlines without further written notice other than as posted on this website. If the Court alters any of those dates or times, the revised dates and times shall be posted on this website.


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  2. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have, but you may attend at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you send and file your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

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  3. May I speak at the hearing?

    You may ask the Court’s permission to speak at the hearing about the proposed Settlement or the request of Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and service payments. To speak, you must have filed a timely written objection that meets all the requirements described in FAQ 16, FAQ 17 and FAQ 18. You must also send the Court a notice that you intend to appear and speak at the hearing.

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  4. How do I notify the Court if I intend to speak at the hearing?

    You must file with the Court and serve on Class Counsel and Defendants’ Counsel (at the addresses in FAQ 17) a notice of intent to appear. Your notice must reference this lawsuit (Herrera Class Action, No. 8:14-cv-2327) and contain all of the following information:

    1. the case number;
    2. your name, address, and telephone number;
    3. if applicable, your attorney’s name, address, and telephone number;
    4. whether you intend to offer your testimony at the Fairness Hearing; and
    5. the identity of any other person whose testimony you intend to offer at the Fairness Hearing.

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  5. What is the deadline for sending a notice that I intend to speak at the hearing?

    Your notice must be postmarked or deposited with overnight delivery service or hand-delivered to each of the addresses in FAQ 17 no later than November 28, 2018.

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If You Do Nothing

  1. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will remain a member of the Settlement Class, and you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement.

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Additional Information

  1. How do I get additional information?

    This website contains a copy of the full Settlement Agreement, the most relevant documents that have been filed with the Court, and other information about the litigation and the Settlement.

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