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Sunday, April 24, 2016

BERNETICH, HATZELL & PASCU, LLC, ETC. VS. MEDICAL RECORDS ONLINE, INC. (D/B/A "MRO") A-0657-15T3

BERNETICH, HATZELL & PASCU, LLC, ETC. VS. MEDICAL 
RECORDS ONLINE, INC. (D/B/A "MRO") 
A-0657-15T3 

We conclude in this appeal that a hospital's medical records processor may not enforce a mandatory arbitration clause that it included in its invoice to a patient's attorney in response to a request for records. The hospital, and the processor acting as its agent, had a pre-existing legal duty under State law to provide the patient's records upon the payment of a cost-based fee and nothing more. Performance of an undisputed legal duty is not consideration. Restatement (Second) of Contracts, § 73 (1981). Consequently, the records requester's alleged bargain to arbitrate any dispute related to the invoice was unsupported by consideration, and therefore unenforceable. We therefore affirm the trial court's order denying the records processor's