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District Of Columbia Class Action Reinstated For Excessive Copying Fees

District of Columbia resident Julian Ford sought review of his class action denial against medical records contractor ChartOne, Inc., for charging excessive copying fees. The court denied the certification deeming Ford's acquisition of the records for commercial purposes and monetary gain under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act. The ruling was reversed.

Ford brought the class action individually and on behalf of others similarly situated after being charged $38.16 for six pages of medical records for use in a personal lawsuit. He alleged that the fee was in violation of D.C. Code 28 3904(r) for "unconscionable terms or provisions of sales or leases." The court denied class action certification ruling that he requested the records through his attorney for lawsuit purposes constituting a commercial act under Super. Ct. Civ. Rule 23 and was "hence a "non consumer purpose," precluding his being similarly situated to the class under D.C. Code 28 3901(a)(2). The court further held that Rule 23 also required certification denial because Ford sought primarily monetary instead of injunctive or declaratory relief. ChartOne was granted summary judgment dismissal and Ford sought review.

On review, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals reversed the rulings holding that the records were not purchased for buying and resale purposes and that monetary relief would "suffice to make the members of this class action entirely whole for any past wrongs they have suffered." See: Ford v. ChartOne. Inc., 908 A.2d 72 (D.C. Cir, 2006).

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Related legal case

Ford v. ChartOne. Inc.