We represent a physical therapy company, whom I shall refer to as the Masters Therapy, who has over thirteen offices in the New York City area. One of their patients, whom I say call, Mr. Tiger, exceeded the maximum number of visits that his insurance policy would cover, yet continued to receive treatment, incurring an outstanding bill of over $4,000.00. Masters assumed Tiger would pay, since he has plenty of assets. But every time Masters wanted Tiger to pay, he was late, absent, or had some other excuse. In fact, on several occasions, Tiger said that he paid to one clinic location, only to find out that he had not, and he then said that he actually paid at a different location, only to find out he had not. Never once did Tiger demonstrate the evidence, or any proof of payment. Accordingly, Masters hired me to file suit.
After filing suit, Tiger called our office. He told us that he paid Masters yesterday. As you’d expect, he did not. I asked him for proof of payment. He provided none.
To give him one more chance to pay, we served him with a motion to appear in Court, or in the alternative, to enter a default judgment. The day before the hearing, Tiger called us to ask for an adjournment, to which, we consented. After all, it was the first time on. We appeared, and adjourned it. Of course, Tiger did not appear, and on the adjournment date, he did not appear, nor did we receive any correspondence, and as such, the motion was granted.
After we entered judgment, we were contacted by an attorney, whom I shall refer to as Mr. McEnroe. Mr. McEnroe called, and the first thing he said after he told me that he represented Tiger was, “You’d better vacate the judgment, because I know how you collections attorneys operate, with your sewer service.”
Channeling my inner line judge, I kept my cool. No matter how calm I tried to be, Mr. McEnroe just screamed and screamed. I decided to terminate the call.
We then received a motion to vacate the judgment from Mr. McEnroe, which was returnable on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Reluctantly, I called him to request an adjournment. That request was responded to by Mr. McEnroe’s ire and more profanity. However, luckily, the Court was closed on the day after Thanksgiving, and rejected his motion.
Thereafter, Mr. McEnroe once again renewed his motion… returnable on December 31, 2013.
I called him up to express my displeasure with his selective choice of dates.
“I know the answer, Mr. McEnroe. But I might as well as anyway. Will you consent to an adjour…”
“Ha! So you got my motion? That’s what people like me do to [adverb expletive deleted] [noun expletive deleted], like you!”
“What? Make motions for days that the Court is closed? Nice tactic, Mr. McEnroe.”
“Don’t be sarcastic with me!”
“You’re right, much better to be unnecessarily abrasive.”
I terminated the call, opposed the motion, and in court, he supplied reply papers. In the reply, Tiger signed an affidavit denying that he received services from Masters, denied that he ever received notice of the lawsuit, and that the first notice he had was the judgment entry.
“Mr. McEnroe, are you sure you do not wish to withdraw your motion, given the apparent perjury of your client.?”
“Give me proof!” he replied.
We provided his signature on the intake forms, with driver’s license, as well as his history of insurance claims and payments, in which he received services.
“Mr. McEnroe, surely, your client doesn’t wish to be prosecuted for insurance fraud.”
Upon our demonstration of the proof he wanted, Mr. McEnroe settled the case.
Timothy Wan is a partner in the firm Smith Carroad Levy & Wan, in Commack, New York, and can be reached at email@example.com. Tim knows he mixed metaphors. But hey, both Tiger and McEnroe were technically at U.S. Opens.