A plaintiff erroneously invoiced for patient care can proceed with her defamation claim against the billing hospital, but not her state consumer-protection claim.
Despite its promise to correct the mistake, the hospital reported to its collections agency that the plaintiff was responsible for the invoice. The debt then showed up on her credit report. This allegation was sufficient to support the defamation element of actual malice, since the hospital knew or should have known that the information it reported was false and would subsequently be published to credit reporting agencies. However, the plaintiff failed to allege that the hospital made any misrepresentation in connection with a consumer transaction and that she relied on such misrepresentation.