Public Mediation

A.W. vs. Lindsey Hockridge

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A. W. vs. Lindsey Hockridge
    • Status: In Negotiation
      This claim has posted for public comment and negotiation. It will remain posted until resolved to the claimant's satisfaction. Suggest a resolution to help these parties reach a settlement.
      (seeking public comment)
    • Claimant Seeks: 2 non-monetary items.
    • Claim #: 1482425
    • Amount Involved: 10,000.00
    • Filed On: May 08, 2021
    • Posted On: May 19, 2021
    • Complaint(s):
      • Rude or Unprofessional Behavior
      • Failure to Answer Questions Regarding Patient's or Relative’s Health
      • Failure to provide or Transfer Patient Health Records
  • Notice: Although PeopleClaim's Terms of Service include a Limited Privacy Waiver, this party has notified PeopleClaim that they believe they are unable to respond due to HIPAA / privacy restrictions.  Any party to a claim, however, is always free to respond directly to the other party in order to resolve a claim. The claimant can then close out the claim.
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Statement of Claim
Claimant says:
"This is a complaint against my former therapist and abuser, Lindsey Hockridge (LMFT License # 102822). Lindsey and I had a therapy appointment via telehealth on May 20, after which she made a series of false, coercive statements that led me to being wrongfully and traumatically hospitalized under Section 5150 by [redacted]. The circumstances leading to the event began due to Lindsey’s phone call to police, and yet she has failed to take any direct responsibility (that I have been able to witness) to address her misconduct. 
I did not realize that I was in an emotionally exploitative therapeutic relationship until after I was hospitalized, which is one (although not the predominant) reason that it has taken me so long to write this claim. However, having been in therapy for mental illness for nearly 15 years, I have never felt so strongly compelled to report my abuse until this hospitalization occurred. Lindsey Hockridge repeatedly misrepresented her areas of clinical expertise during our very short time working together, was shamelessly preoccupied about the liability she thought that I posed to her as a client, recommended that I invest in new programs and therapies without fulfilling her basic obligations related to care coordination and continuity, used contraindicated clinical practices to manipulate and discriminate against me, and knowingly created lies and embellishments that she knew would result in the withdrawal of my civil rights. I will attempt to illustrate our course of treatment together chronologically so as to support information mentioned in my annotated medical records, while also highlighting Lindsey’s countless instances of misconduct. 
·        In March, I called and expressed my interest in receiving mental health treatment at Foresight Mental Health, where Lindsey was working at the time of my abuse. I was told that there were no providers available in March, but I would be put on a waitlist. I agreed and waited for an open appointment.
·      On April 3, Lindsey and I had our first appointment. On April 1, while filling out my online “portal,” I completed a release of information for my psychiatrist at Kaiser (included with my phone records) that would allow Lindsey to speak with him. My psychiatrist was clear in a previous appointment that he was interested in keeping in communication with my new therapist whenever I found one, and I had even mentioned this to the administrator who took my intake information and placed me on the waitlist. During our first appointment, I mentioned this to Lindsey and explained that care coordination would be important because my mental illnesses were complex and severe, so regular coordination about medication changes and other matters would be essential. Lindsey verbalized understanding.
·      In subsequent appointments, Lindsey reported that she was interested in proceeding with an existential therapy approach instead of curriculum-based treatments during our work together, such as CBT, DBT, or ACT. My experience with the latter group of therapies is extensive, and reviewing them at that point felt unhelpful, so I was pleased to hear this. I was also pleased because I believed I had already gotten all that I could out of those treatments. Aside from binge eating, I did not ever feel “out of control” in the way most therapists or stereotypical suicide prevention treatments described people with serious depression and PTSD. I did not feel atypically impulsive, no longer self-harmed, and did not make decisions without thinking them through in my daily life. I did not understand what there was to gain from repeating DBT forever, like some people did. I told Lindsey this, but I do not believe that my rationale really made sense to her throughout our work together.
·      On April 16, I had a telephone appointment with [redacted], my psychiatrist. He reported that he had not yet heard from Lindsey and asked if I had given her his contact information. I told her that I had, and that I was disappointed to hear that because she received it weeks ago. At our next appointment, I reminded Lindsey to at least initiate contact with [redacted] so that he had her contact information. She assured me that she would contact him. I reported to Lindsey that I was feeling tired, sad, and tearful at most appointments. I was in deep emotional pain. For me, that meant multiple days unable to get up from the couch, or 3 to 4 cycles of inconsolable crying and falling asleep. Again, impulsive behavior no longer interested or controlled me, and if I say that, I expect to be believed. Lindsey began asking me, at the end of sessions, if she would see me at the next one; alternatively, she would ask if I would be "able to keep myself safe” until next session. Initially she smiled as she said that, saying that healthcare professional to healthcare professional, she needed reassurance that she wasn’t going to have any liability issues to deal with. Eventually, though, it became a part of every session, and it was my job to assure her that I would not inconvenience her by dying. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Lindsey believed that she was engaging, with fidelity, in the practice of “contracting for safety," yet throughout my medical documentation she also repeatedly confuses it for safety planning. The former is a ludicrous tool created in the 1970s that lacks evidence as a suicide prevention measure or assessment instrucment; the former is can be important in working with patients with suicidal ideation, but was rarely ever done. In my opinion Lindsey was asking me, "will you show up next time, or will your mental illness get me in trouble?" "Will you promise me that you care about the longevity of my career above all else?"
·      A few weeks into April, the pandemic was still in full force in the Bay Area, and I was very depressed, experiencing bothersome PTSD symptoms, and was disappointed that my eating disorder was not improving at all. Lindsey reported that my experiences were outside of what she normally sees in her clients, because for them, she is often their second or third therapist at most. I stopped counting the number of therapists I’ve seen after 15. This deeply worried me, and also made me angry, because I did not understand why people like my psychiatrist and therapists in the recent past were hopeful about my prognosis when clearly, my illness was unusually severe relative to the rest of the population. I thought about this often during our sessions because of how inexperienced Lindsey’s other clients were. Lindsey recommended that I see a trauma therapist for EMDR. I complied immediately and saw [redacted] the next week.
·      Several appointments later, I was furloughed from work at a local hospital and at the end of the month, my travel healthcare contract ended. I was devastated and feeling hopeless, and the thought of trying to find a new job made me miserable. Lindsey reported that she had consulted with her colleagues and decided that I needed a higher level of care. Lindsey disclosed that based on firsthand knowledge, there was only one program she was recommending in Southern California. She did not mention any alternatives that she deemed suitable at this time. The idea of trying to put my life on hold to do this program was stressful to think about, but ultimately, I was open-minded. I called the treatment center and asked them to check my insurance benefits. The center informed me that Kaiser, my insurance provider, would not cover treatment. The next ten days or so caused an enormous amount of distress as I tried to hold onto hope that I would be able to go to this one specific treatment center because it was the only one that would be effective, per my therapist. I argued with my insurance, filed appeals and grievances, called the State, made consultations appointments with attorneys, and even discussed how to win my expedited review with Lindsey. She told me that she believed that, based on her work experience at other residential centers, Kaiser would be considering an inferior facility, so she coached me during a session on specific points to mention to Kaiser in an attempt to convince them to cover the treatment.
·      On May 8-9, I was notified and received a letter from Kaiser denying coverage for residential treatment on the basis of lack of medical necessity. I found out right away and told Lindsey. Kaiser requested that I be re-evaluated by a psychologist in my local psychiatry clinic over the phone to determine next steps. The idea of waiting only a few days until that appointment was so painful; I truly believed that because my therapist said I needed a very specific residential treatment urgently, I was deteriorating with each day that passed in outpatient treatment. Lindsey offered to call me and check in over the weekend while I waited for the appointment. I accepted her offer, thinking she was doing so to be kind and supportive. I was shocked to hear her say in her first call that if I did not respond to a missed call from her within 30 minutes, she would have no choice but to call emergency services. At the time, I was in no imminent danger, had no access to weapons, and we did not discuss any other “safety planning” during those calls, as was implied in my medical records. I would have never agreed to be bothered with something so infantilizing and selfish over the weekend after I had been denied treatment I was fighting for. Lindsey should have also had enough sense to know that, like most people in quarantine at the time, I was going to be indoors– in bed, reading, or watching TV. She offered to call at whatever times worked for her, and there were times that I declined or said that I would be busy, but make no mistake– I accepted these calls under the impression that she was checking in to be supportive, and because she felt badly that I had failed at trying to get help. She was wrong and abusive to threaten to call the police simply for me missing a call, and had no evidence I was imminently suicidal at the time. If Lindsey continues to call these “safety checks” to make me sound more impulsive, dependent, unpredictable, fearful of my own self-destruction, or resistant to performing my own independent emotional regulation, I will stop at nothing to have her disciplined for providing those services without my informed consent.
·      On May 14, I had an evaluation with [redacted], and an appointment with my psychiatrist later in the day. Despite my very direct plea to [redacted] via email to recommend residential treatment coverage, she did no such thing, and said that she wanted to wait and have me do some outpatient group therapy. I then spoke to my psychiatrist, who said that he was surprised that I was in such distress about my eating disorder because he had never heard from Lindsey. I was furious. Lindsey also called that day to ask about the results of the evaluation. I briefly told her that it sounded like I would not be getting the care I needed, even though I was close to demanding it during the assessment. Lindsey did not say much beside the fact that we would talk in our next session. The next day, May 15, [redacted] finally reached out to request that I sign releases of information for Lindsey, meaning that they had finally made contact.
·      On May 20, I felt angry and defeated. I could not believe Lindsey waited so long to contact my psychiatrist, that there was no plan for treatment, that my psychiatrist had hung up on me without making a follow-up appointment, and that Lindsey seemed to enjoy treating my psychological distress seriously when it came to her liability, but not when it came to actually advocating for me to get more help. Lindsey and I discussed whether therapy is actually effective, and how many different types I will have to try over the course of my life, in what one could reasonably characterize in an existentialist manner. As a speech-language pathologist, one thing I cannot stand about therapy is the lack of transparency about how often it is not effective. There have to be people who do not benefit. At the time, I thought about the rest of Lindsey’s clients and wondered if I was wasting my time, if counselors were going to lie to me for the rest of my life about what would work for me, and if I would still be suffering decades from now. There were contractors at my house that day, so while I was doing teletherapy, I was also having to multitask slightly in case they needed something. Lindsey knew about this ahead of time. I was alert, yet calm and focused.
·      Lindsey, at one point, admitted that she thought there was a possibility that I could not find the exact right treatment until my 50s or 60s. I was seething. For someone who had stood back and watched while I tried relentlessly to help myself, I thought that that comment was unforgiveable. It also does not coincide with the beliefs I have developed in adulthood; in numerous countries around the world, people believe that the pain and suffering of individuals with serious psychiatric illnesses may not always be treatable, manageable, or endurable, and the latter would definitely coincide with experiencing mental and emotional anguish for 10 or 20 years. When I heard Lindsey discuss searching for the right treatment until my 50s or 60s, I thought of how unacceptable I find that expectation. In some countries, several of which I have visited personally, serious psychiatric illnesses may make someone a candidate for assisted suicide or euthanasia. As I have traveled, I have learned that not all cultures, religions, or life philosophies teach the ideas that all life is sacred, that all lives are worth living, or that all people are obligated to live the entirety of their natural lives. That does not mean I keep stockpiles of ropes and sharp knives in my house– it just means that my personal ideology does not allow space for the martyrization of mentally ill people experiencing senseless suffering with no end in sight, and nobody to help them.
·      I stepped away from my computer to help the contractors during my session and then returned to speak with Lindsey. I remember that at one point I expressed that I was angry about not hearing from any providers since the 14th about what services I will receive from Kaiser. As I remember it, Lindsey said that [redacted] had mentioned something about maybe being able to get me into a program within a few weeks, but she did not know anything more than that. I am sure it is an immature thing to think, but I blamed Lindsey for the mess I was in, for my shattered expectations, and for my being directionless with respect to treatment. I questioned why I was even continuing to see her if I felt like this in my sessions; my EMDR sessions made me feel frustrated and ashamed, so I told Lindsey I was thinking of switching providers. I knew things were not working, and I had been in therapy long enough to know that you try a new therapist in most instances if things are not working.
·      During the session, I continued to feel hurt. I thought that Lindsey must have an incredibly low opinion of me if she was comfortable setting me up to fail this badly. I wondered if she would care if I stopped seeing her. I did not want to keep carrying the weight of my mental illnesses by myself without any help, and I did not know how much longer I could commit to doing that. I also thought it was an unreasonable thing to commit to– why do I have to accept another “few weeks” of waiting for some unknown plan that may or may not happen? I could not believe I was being treated like the crazy one in this situation, and I wished I were dead; that was always something I was perfectly allowed to say in therapy for 14 years. I told her this. Lindsey knew that I wanted to be dead, but that I would feel too guilty because it would hurt my parents. I started to think out loud about what I could ever give them to console them, to make it hurt just a tiny bit less. I’m a typical 28-year-old, and all I have to my name is a car and a bank account. I guess I could try to make sure they could keep my car because my mom has always liked it, and my parents once made me draft a will with an attorney, so maybe I should just find it and sign it. It would be pointless, but no one cares about helping me, so I’m trapped. I just kept talking, shrugging and staring into space, so hurt that I considered letting Lindsey know that if I were ever as lazy as her when I worked, I would be fired, but clearly everyone else could get away with doing nothing because I did not matter. Lindsey did not realize it because a normal person would never do this, but as someone with very severe PTSD and depression, I was just daydreaming about how worthless I was because I was very angry at her– one “I would” or “I guess I should” statement after another, all hypothetical. I remember getting off that topic and thinking about how guilty I would be if I ever killed myself because I was an organ donor, and as a healthcare provider I would always want to fulfill that duty. I thought about a documentary I had watched days before about football players with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), many of whom killed themselves by shooting themselves in the chest so that their brains could be used for CTE research after their death. I wondered aloud if anyone would gain anything from posthumous analysis of my brain– speech-language pathology covers plenty of neurology, but its overlap with psychiatry is very limited, so I do not know too much about the neuroanatomy of mood disorders or PTSD. I was genuinely curious. I realized I was not explaining myself very well, but at that point I honestly did not care what Lindsey thought, and I figured that like so many past appointments, no matter how clearly I expressed my pain, all she would care about is how much trouble I would cause her.
·      There was a brief silence. Lindsey then said that she was going to need to consult a colleague because of what I said, and then probably call the police so that they can come and do a welfare check at my house. I thought it was such an unusual thing to say that I did not know how to respond; no therapist had said anything like that before. I just stared. She said it again in different words. I thought about whether she was actually paying attention when I had told her, at least once, that I had started new medication (topiramate) and had been very clear about the side effects, which included impairments to communication (specifically language) and processing speed. [redacted] prescribed it, so she likely would have been informed from him, and even if all she remembered was the name of the medication, she could have researched it to verify the side effects. I remember discussing this with her because of my profession and the irony of a speech therapist having language issues. Because making a legitimate 5150 report for a situation like mine requires a record of what the person said, I feel very strongly that Lindsey did not remember or deliberately withheld information about whether the medication could have had any impact on what was going on in the session. What I do know for sure is that Lindsey did not care to ask any clarifying questions. Lindsey did not seem even remotely interested in whether I had any intent to kill myself, whether I had plans, or whether I had means; she does not have the skill or training to make an actual safety plan, so obviously she did not attempt to do that with me. She simply informed me that she was consulting with a colleague and asked if I would like to be called once she makes a decision. I said that it was up to her, still feeling very calm yet confused as to why Lindsey would be so haphazard and opportunistic in her procedures to call the police. I did not even believe that she would do it, because with nearly all past therapists, I had always been told that I was safe to express thoughts like those I mentioned, and that it was the therapist’s job to clarify how imminent the risk was at the end of the session. Lindsey then asked if I would be able to “keep myself safe until Friday.” I said yes. She also asked if she would see me for my appointment on that day, to which I also replied yes. Again, these were typical liability mitigation questions for her.
·      After the phone call, I was still angry at Lindsey, but phone records will show that I spoke to my dad and trauma therapist, as well as helped the contractors as they finished up their work. I then started a crossword puzzle on my computer and watched TV, completely forgetting that Lindsey had threatened me with a welfare check by law enforcement until officers knocked on the door. The 5150 report is in the medical record, and Lindsey accuses me of stating that I had established plans “to commit suicide,” and that I was resolving to “leave property behind." Lindsey accused me of having researched how long organs are viable after a cardiac event during suicide, and said that I am still developing a plan. How bizarre, creepy, and embarrassing, for someone with my acute care experience; why on Earth would there be any kind of established protocol for organs procured in that manner? If anyone reading this is wondering why California's mental health system is failing, it's not simply an access problem; MFTs like Lindsey are given far too much power and credibility when they have no science or medical training, so they clearly do not actually think through the implausibility of that scenario. Lindsey also erroneously stated that she has seen me for treatment since March, and told the officer that detained me that because I was highly educated, I would say the “right things” to avoid a 5150. Lindsey cannot simulataneously say that I am intelligent enough to be deceptive, while also stupid enough to think that I could preserve my own organs after cardiac death. It's one or the other.
·      Though I very well could have been experiencing difficulty formulating certain ideas quickly at the discourse level during my session due to my medication, it does not cause difficulty with cognition or comprehension. Additionally, I am a nationally certified and state-licensed expert in language and communication. In states of heightened emotion, it is not uncommon for individuals to misinterpret or misremember what they hear, and they will often remember sentences and phrases as more intense or passionate than what was actually said. I am the client, this is my life and my feelings, I was the one wronged by inadequate care when I needed it most, and I have no reason to lie now that the hospitalization has already happened. I will repeat that I am also an expert in communication and language, and it is absolutely impossible that what Lindsey heard was in the past tense, for one (e.g., was resolving, researched) and none of it could have been a planned, past action. Lindsey fabricated these statements because she feared for her own liability, as was typical for her each session, and perhaps she had just had enough of me and did not know how to end our relationship the right way. After all, she admitted that she had limited experience with someone with my psychiatric history, and her inability to manage care coordination suggested that she may have been far too overwhelmed. She may have also been experiencing her own unmitigated countertransference due to my anger and feelings of apathy about continuing therapy with her. Perhaps, like many Americans, she was experiencing psychological distress due to complications from the pandemic. What I do know is that for some reason, Lindsey snapped, and she was not interested in having someone come to my house to make sure I was OK; she wanted me confined and punished in the most restrictive environment possible.
·      Lindsey appears to deliberately make no mention to any clinicians about my attempt to access higher levels of care for myself, and as a result, I end up looking as though I am trying to avoid treatment. With this omission and the final statement of the 5150 from the officer, Lindsey succeeded in creating a narrative of someone in denial about their mental illnesses and who refuses help. Lindsey also lied repeatedly about her “safety checks,” which were really just liability checks, and insinuates that they had to occur every 12-18 hours because I could not control myself. In reality, phone records show that Lindsey made 5 phone only calls during our entire therapeutic relationship, and one was to find out the results of [redacted]’s evaluation. Lindsey also preemptively accuses me of intending to lie to officers and clinicians to avoid a 5150; wouldn’t an ethical, caring therapist be more concerned that an officer find their client safe and comfortable at home? Lindsey simply would not take no for an answer while I was with the officers and remained on the phone with dispatchers, demanding that the officer write the 5150 based on her observations instead of his and his partner’s. Perhaps what is most bizarre to me about that is that if she were doing a thorough risk assessment, Lindsey would be able to state what my plan was if I actually said that I had a plan, because ideally she would have asked, and that would have been able to be included in the 5150 report.
·    Because Lindsey insisted that I was not to be believed because I was bound to deceive everyone to avoid being detained, my psychiatric evaluations were abusive, ableist, biased, and humiliating. In my first, the evaluator literally reported that I had no imminent risk factors, and then later in her report, she wrote that I was an imminent danger to myself. Lindsey’s lies were the primary source through which she could raise enough suspicion to justify a hold, and to this day, I do not know why Lindsey was so forceful in her words and actions in demanding that I be held against my will. All I wanted was to get help without it having to be painful. Now, because of Lindsey’s abuse, I am without any help, and the master plan she devised to have me institutionalized continues to cause pain to this day.
·    For the rest of my life, I will have to worry about how this hospitalization will hold me back. I know that I will be asked about it, or someone will run a background check and find it, or that I will need to disclose it. It will be a skeleton in my closet and a stain on my record. I have done countless things that I am not proud of. But because I have been serious about my career in healthcare for some time now, an occasional speeding ticket is all that I have allowed as far as civil encounters with law enforcement. Every time I have pressed my foot too heavily onto the gas pedal has been indisputably my fault, and there have been objective data to back it up; luckily, I have been able to pay my ticket, do some traffic school, and go on with my life. In general, people do not think less of me for it. I cannot say the same for my hospitalization. In the months since all of this happened, Lindsey might be quickly forgetting who I am and what she did to me, but I am still crying and suffering as though it happened yesterday, devastated by all of the new things she has made me ashamed and afraid of.
·    When Lindsey and I worked together, I thought that I understood what it meant to have severe post-traumatic stress disorder; as it turns out, I had no idea until she decided to have it control my life. I can no longer watch a TV show where someone gets arrested, because if I hear the noise of handcuffs tightening around someone’s wrists, my heart starts racing and I burst into tears. I felt fortunate to be back at work in a hospital for a while, but I had flashbacks every few days when I evaluated a patient with a food tray that looked too much like the one I had in the emergency room. Sometimes I became so disoriented that I had to leave and come back later. There are times when, without warning, I panic because I start to worry that someone will forcefully take me from my home. I am not sure Lindsey is aware of this, but I never received any follow-up therapy, because all Kaiser offered was a virtual version of an outpatient group program that I tried in January but was not effective for me. Lindsey was the first one in this house of cards to make everything fall apart. All of my providers abandoned me. I have no one. None of them were sorry to hear about what I went through, and none want to help.
·   I cannot rest until Lindsey Hockridge is recognized for who she is: a reckless, selfish alarmist who has the potential to cause more harm. It may not look that way to an untrained eye, particularly because we normally think of abusive and exploitative therapeutic relationships in the context of romantic and sexual misconduct, but this is classic emotional manipulation and exploitation. No client, especially who was suffering like I was, should have to take care of their therapist’s emotional needs by assuring them that they will not kill themselves, for the sole purpose of lessening the therapist’s stress over professional liability. No client should have a therapist that could not care less if they feel calm and cared for, and only wants them in handcuffs on the way to solitary confinement, where no one will listen to or believe them. No client deserves a therapist who makes a client believe that they must attend a program just because the therapist personally endorses it, placing undue pressure on the client to gain access to that program and ensuring certain disappointment if the client cannot attend. No client should be told that they should have hope for treatment because they may one day get better decades from now, or should be called a suicide risk when they refuse to unconditionally commit to suffering for 10 or 20 years. No client should have to learn that their therapist lied about them behind their back while they were powerless in an emergency room, when what they really needed was an advocate.
Lindsey Hockridge is not a true therapist. I am a testament to the fact that she is an abuser. She has hurt me in ways words could never describe.
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Exhibits View
Additional Communication Between Claimant and Lindsey Hockridge Hide
  • May 08, 2021, Claiming party added:
  • Welfare checks by law enforcement carry a modestly high risk of physical injury, abuse, excessive force, and even death. Having a history of welfare checks has been shown to escalate subsequent law enforcement encounters with a particular mentally ill person before police even arrive on the scene. Lindsey had no evidence and no reason to believe I had access to lethal means, nor an imminent risk of suicide, yet she reacted with an intervention that is shown to be deadly to people with mental illnesses. This behavior was reckless and negligent, and could have caused me irreparable physical harm. Indeed, it did result in the officers transporting me to a hospital that is not licensed for 5150 admissions, thus making the transport unlawful. Lindsey was free to advocate for immediate voluntary treatment, as I repeatedly asked of her, but instead she criminalized my diagnoses and caused life-ruining trauma.

  • May 18, 2021, Claiming party added:
  • This Twitter thread explains Lindsey's fundamental misunderstanding of her mandatory reporting responsibilities:

What Claimant Wants Hide
What By When How Much
1. Apology: Written, notarized apology May 14, 2021 N/A
2. Information: Written, notarized affidavit de-legitimizing 5150 hold May 14, 2021 N/A
1. Damages: Hospital bill, treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering May 14, 2021 $10,000.00
2. Other – Copy claim to regulators May 14, 2021 $14.99
3. Other – Pay for claim posting cost May 14, 2021 $14.99
4. Other – Physical delivery charges May 14, 2021 $4.99
Cash total : $10,034.97
Non-cash: 2 items
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Respondent's Counteroffer

There has been no response to this claim from Lindsey Hockridge. This claim will remain posted until resolved
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  • Contributed Solution: by George Maxwell On 05-28-2021
    What did the hospital determine? More...
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