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Consumer Protection – Medical Records Costs – Third-Party Contractor – Statutory Limits 

The plaintiff-patients complain that they were required to pay more for copies of their medical records than S.C. Code Ann. § 44-115-80 allows healthcare providers to charge. However, plaintiffs have not sued their healthcare providers; instead, they have sued the defendant-“information management companies” that retrieve medical records from healthcare providers and transmit them to requesting patients. By its terms, § 44-115-80 does not apply to these defendants. 

We affirm the district court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ complaint. 

According to plaintiffs, because it would not be “economically feasible” to bring direct claims against the providers who own plaintiffs’ medical records, they must be allowed to bring a class action against companies (like defendants) that serve a bevy of providers. But the Patient Records Act says what it does, and plaintiffs identify no South Carolina authority for the proposition that it is absurd to require claims to be brought against certain defendants even when it may be more convenient to sue others. 

Thompson v. Ciox Health, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-109-22, 7 pp.) (Toby Heytens, J.) No. 21-2102. Appealed from USDC at Charleston, S.C. (Bruce Hendricks, J.) James Bradley, Nina Fields and Caleb Hodge for appellants; Gilad Yair Bendheim, Victor Rawl, Brittany Bilium and Jay Lefkowitz for appellees. 4th Cir. 

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