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Backyard explosion leaves Largo man fighting hospital over treatment he never received

Posted at 4:21 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 19:24:52-04

LARGO — LARGO, Fla. — A Largo man who landed in the emergency room after a home repair went wrong took on the hospital after being charged for treatment he never received.

David Shimkus was cleaning his pool filter last summer when it exploded. The metal top split open David's forehead down to his skull.

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"It hit me right here and split me thru about nine centimeters all the way thru to my eyebrow," said David, whose neighbors rushed him to Largo Medical Center.

David told ABC Action News that he explained to the ER staff he planned to go to a plastic surgeon for stitches because it involved his face.

"They didn't do any kind of stitches they taped it up and put gauze around it. Then they discharged me."

But then the bill arrived. The hospital charged David and his insurance company for more than $500 for sutures he never received. David says he appealed the charges in a letter last year and called the hospital for months but never got a response — but the bills kept coming.

"Every couple of months I would get a bill with a red mark across the top of it or a pink mark that says attention required this is our last attempt."

A year after the accident, David made a call for action and we contacted the hospital about his billing issue. Largo Medical Center did not respond to us but two days later, David said a hospital executive called him.

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"The first thing he said was 'I see you were charged for sutures and services that were never given to you.'"

David told us the hospital also erased the entire remaining balance of his bill — over $800.

When dealing with any medical bill, always ask for an itemized list, and confirm all charges. And don't be afraid to dispute any mistakes.