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3 cases involving MRS to go before jury after judge denies request for summary judgment


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IDAHO FALLS — A judge has denied a request from Medical Recovery Services for an immediate decision on three cases. Those cases will now be brought before a jury.

In an attempt to end the legal battle over three medical debt collection lawsuits, MRS made motions for summary judgments to Magistrate Judge Jason Walker.

The cases involved defendants Theresa Mitchell, Marquee and Kevin Rasmuson and Robin Cox. Each has been sued by MRS regarding a medical debt assessed by a local medical provider.

Summary judgment is a judgment entered by a court for one party without a full trial. Such a judgment may be issued on the merits of an entire case or on specific issues.

All three motions were denied by Walker. His reasoning, according to court documents, is that when there is a dispute over whether or not an express contract exists, a jury has to make the decision – not a judge.

An express contract is an agreement in writing that has clear terms understood and agreed to by both parties. In all three of the lawsuits, MRS asserts there was an express contract for the defendants to pay what was owed, while the defendants contend there are various problems with the payment agreements with either the medical provider or MRS.

If the jury decides there was an express contract, they will award in MRS’s favor, ending the legal dispute. If the jury decides there was no express contract then the case will go back to the judge for him to make an ultimate decision on the case.

RELATED: Jury trials over medical debt to start in February; VanderSloot slams ‘misleading’ MRS statement

The defendants in these cases are being represented by Snell & Wilmer, a law firm hired by Frank and Belinda VanderSloot to fight what they call unfair and aggressive medical debt collection practices. The VanderSloots have put $1 million into the Idaho Medical Debt fund to help locals battling medical debt-collection lawsuits.

Medical Recovery Services is represented by attorneys Bryan Smith and Bryan Zollinger of Smith, Driscoll and Associates.

Specific jury trial dates for these three cases have not been set.