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Sunday, July 23, 2017

ATLANTIC AMBULANCE CORPORATION VS. JOHN G. CULLUM, ET AL. A-1622-16T2


ATLANTIC AMBULANCE CORPORATION VS. JOHN G. CULLUM, ET AL.
A-1622-16T2
The court addressed an appeal from an order denying class certification on behalf of consumers who alleged that they were overcharged for ambulance services. The court held that consumers were not required to pay the bill for allegedly overpriced services to establish an ascertainable loss under the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA). However, the court held that under the "learned professional" exception, ambulance service providers were not subject to CFA claims, because ambulance services are comprehensively regulated by a State agency. The court also held that plaintiffs could not maintain a breach of contract claim challenging the reasonableness of the rates charged, because the ambulance service's rate-setting was a policy issue to be addressed by the Legislature and agencies within the Executive branch of government. However, plaintiffs could pursue a claim for a refund of a $14 mileage fee for patients who admittedly were not transported to a hospital, because that did not implicate any rate-setting policy issues.