Patient says doctor was determined to collect bill

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June 20, 2008

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) -- A Gwinnett County doctor has been charged
with false imprisonment after a patient complained she was detained
at his clinic when she was unable to pay her bill.

Police say 36-year-old Frances Bales of Duluth sought treatment
for arm pain last october from Dr. John Drew Laurusonis.

Bales' attorney, Joseph Fried, said Friday she was told the
visit would cost $98. Fried says that after X-rays and other tests, Bales was charged $755.

Fried says the staff refused to allow her to leave and locked
her in a room. He says that eventually she was allowed to retrieve
a check from her car and cash it.

Two members of the doctor's staff also have been charged. His
attorney, Richard Ryczek, says the doctor did nothing illegal.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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