‘An Arm and a Leg’: David vs. Goliath: How to Beat a Big Hospital in Small Claims Court

My Patient Rights | Stay Informed | ‘An Arm and a Leg’: David vs. Goliath: How to Beat a Big Hospital in Small Claims Court

‘An Arm and a Leg’: David vs. Goliath: How to Beat a Big Hospital in Small Claims Court

California Healthline
By Dan Weissmann
November 2, 2020

When Jeffrey Fox and his wife got an outrageous medical bill for a simple test, he said to his wife, “No way am I paying this.” In a classic — and hilarious — David vs. Goliath story, Fox takes on a huge hospital, and wins.

He’s a bit of an expert in using small claims court to get satisfaction and shared detailed instructions with the rest of us.

Fox doesn’t only take on big opponents. He said even his small wins are a way to get better at standing up for himself.

It’s pretty good practice for us all.

Want more? Here are some extras:

Our episode Can They Freaking DO That?!? describes how some folks have used just the threat of small claims court to get outrageous bills lowered.

Law professor Christopher Robertson describes some of the legal theory behind this method in this post from a Harvard Law School blog.

Fox posted documents from his case and a brief narrative.

Finally, here’s this episode transcript.


“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of Kaiser Health News and Public Road Productions.

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This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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