Uninsured, self-payor patient who paid part of hospital bill and remained liable for the rest had standing to bring, and adequately alleged Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the Unfair Competition Law claims against a hospital for charging him allegedly unconscionable prices for his emergency room treatment. Plaintiff had standing to bring and adequately alleged claims under the UCL and CLRA against a hospital for charging him unconscionable prices for treatment in the hospital’s emergency room as an uninsured self-payor. Plaintiff paid part of the allegedly exorbitant bill and remained liable for the rest, which was sufficient economic injury to give him standing. The hospital’s agreement was procedurally unconscionable in being an adhesion contract. The price charged might be substantively unconscionable as plaintiff alleged—even though the mere difference in price between that charged uninsured vs. insured patients was not enough to prove the point. If unconscionable, the agreement violated the CLRA (Civ. Code 1770(a)(19)) and thus was both an unfair and an illegal business practice violating the UCL.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Moore, J.); September 14, 2016 (published October 5, 2016); 2016 WL 5815785