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Client Hit With $50,000 Therapy Bill

A renowned relationship and marriage counselor, Dr. B. W., sued a former client, M.N., for failing to pay some $50,000 in therapy related charges.

Predicating her claim on an “account stated” theory, the doctor asked a New York County Supreme Court judge to issue a money judgment in her favor. And to that end, the counselor established that bills for services were delivered to the client, and that they were accepted without objection. In fact, N.W. is said to have sent the doctor’s attorney a text message effectively acknowledging that he owed $50,000 for the therapy services rendered and that he was committed to making payment.

In the face of that evidence, a New York Supreme Court Justice granted the doctor a judgment in the amount of $61,954.79 (which included interest and costs). And, after an appeal, the Appellate Division, First Department, recently affirmed that outcome.

While the former client asserted that the doctor failed to “provide invoices consistently or contemporaneously with the services,” the AD1 didn't think those contentions were sufficient to defeat or change the underlying outcome, particularly given all the facts that were part of this record.

Would you have counseled them otherwise?

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B.W. v. N.W. ~ Decision & Order, Appellate Division, First Department