Kight v. MCG Health, Inc.Annotate this Case
In "MCG Health, Inc. v. Kight," (750 SE2d 813 (2013)), the Court of Appeals held that MCG Health, Inc. (Hospital) was not precluded from filing a hospital lien in order to collect charges associated with the treatment of Christopher Kight. Specifically, the court found that, as a matter of fact, the trial court erred in its determination that the lien was invalid because there was no debt owing at the time it was filed. Concomitantly, the court held that the trial court’s related grant of attorney fees to Kight. The Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari in order to determine “[w]hether the Court of Appeals erred when it reversed the award of partial summary judgment, attorney fees and expenses of litigation to [Kight].” Kight received treatment at MCG after he was injured in a car wreck. By considering the purpose of the lien statute, the Supreme Court concluded that the Hospital’s lien was valid at the time that it was filed. Contrary to the ruling of the trial court and Kight’s arguments on certiorari review, the Hospital was owed money on the date that the lien was filed. As a result, Kight’s principal argument that there was no debt on which to base any lien was invalid. Likewise, Kight’s corollary argument that the Hospital waived its right to impose a lien also failed based on the facts of this case. Because the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ ruling that the Hospital’s lien was valid, it also affirmed the ruling that the award of attorney fees against MCG was improper.