Hospital Authority of Clarke County v. GEICO General Insurance Co.Annotate this Case
In March 2010, Justyna Kunz was involved in a car accident with GEICO's insureds, Crystal, Joseph, and Elizabeth Kalish. Kunz received medical treatment at Athens Regional Medical Center; the Hospital Authority of Clarke County and Athens Regional Medical Center (collectively, "the Hospitals") filed three hospital liens. Kunz subsequently filed suit against the Kalishes. Kunz's attorney wrote a letter to the Kalishes' attorney accepting their $100,000 policy limit settlement offer. The settlement documents, signed in Fall 2010, expressly required Kunz to satisfy the hospital liens out of the settlement fund and constituted a "general[ ] release ... from all legal and equitable claims of every kind and nature." The liens were never satisfied. The Court of Appeals held that, under OCGA 44–14–473 (a), the Hospitals were barred by a one-year statute of limitations from filing suit against GEICO to collect on the hospital liens. The Hospitals appealed the appellate court's decision. Finding that the appellate court erred in arriving at its conclusion, the Supreme Court reversed.