This should have been a charity case. The hospital knew one of his clients and sent the bills and made collection calls to her house, along with the huge bill.  BD

WALNUT CREEK -- The hospital bill stunned Mary Olsen. The half-inch-thick packet arrived at her home addressed to Phil Hughes, a homeless man she had befriended when he showed up one day and offered to paint her house number on the curb for cash. She gave him $5 and a lunch of turkey and mashed potatoes. During the next few years, she hired him for painting, yard work and other odd jobs. Hughes has no family in the area, so when he developed a high fever and blood infection a year and a half ago and sought treatment at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, Olsen told him to give her name and address as an emergency contact.

Phil is so obviously an indigent person that no one would expect he would have enough money for lunch," she said, "let alone a hospital bill." - Hospital seeks $42,000 -- from a homeless man


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