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Lisa French underwent spinal-fusion surgery in 2014 after her doctor warned her that a fall or trip might leave her paralyzed due to lingering complications from a car wreck.

Her recovery was arduous, but French says she was secure in her belief that her health insurance would make sure she suffered no financial harm from her medical bills.

Then, almost three years later, French, who works a night job as a billing clerk at a trucking company, answered a knock on the door one Sunday morning. A process server handed her papers that showed that the nonprofit St. Anthony North Health Campus in Westminster, where she had her operation, had sued her for $229,112.13.

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