West Virginia Record

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Raleigh County debt collection lawsuit against law office dismissed


By Kyla Asbury | Jun 14, 2019

BECKLEY — A lawsuit filed against the Law Offices of Mitchell D. Bluhm & Associates for its actions in attempting to collect debts for a hospital has been dismissed.

A notice of dismissal was filed in the case April 29 in Raleigh Circuit Court. Raleigh Circuit Judge Andrew G. Dimlich ordered the case stricken from the active docket, citing that the plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice in the case.

Mitchell D. Bluhm & Associates filed an answer to Arthur D. Ellison's complaint, denying the allegations.

"To the extent that any violations are established, any such violations were/was not intentional and/or was the result of bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted and specifically intended to avoid such error," the answer states.

The law office argued that the plaintiff failed to state a claim against it upon which relief may be granted.

In his February complaint, Ellison claimed that the law office was retained by Raleigh General to collect alleged debts owed to the hospital by Ellison and the class.

Bluhm sent communications to Ellison on July 6, 2014, in an attempt to collect on the alleged debt, but that debt was beyond the statute of limitations for filing a legal action for collection without disclosures required by state code, according to the suit.

Ellison claimed Bluhm sent communications to others as well for debts that were also beyond the statute of limitations. 

The plaintiff claimed the defendant's actions violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

Ellison was seeking compensatory damages. He is represented by Steven R. Broadwater Jr. and Ruperto Y. Dumapit of Hamilton, Burgess, Young & Pollard in Fayetteville.

The law office was represented by Albert C. Dunn Jr. of Bailey & Wyant in Charleston.

Raleigh Circuit Court Case number: 19-C-67

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