IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-Idaho Falls businessman Frank VanderSloot and his wife Belinda will receive the John and Abigail Adams Award from the Alturas Institute on February 1.
The VanderSloots were selected for the recognition because of their work in creating a consumer protection fund to defend Idahoans from excessive attorney fees in medical debt collection cases.
The legal defense fund, Idaho Medical Debt, was created April 25, 2019 and has so far represented 201 citizens. The couple has contributed $1 million to the effort. The VanderSloots have also proposed medical debt collection legislative reform.
According to Alturas Institute President Dr. David Adler, the award reflects the mission of the institute in promoting equal protection under the law.
"The principle of equal protection of the law rests on the assurance of legal counsel and access to justice," Adler said. "The VanderSloots's creation, and generous funding, of the defense fund provides legal counsel for many Idahoans who could not otherwise afford legal representation, which would deny them access to justice. Through this program, the VanderSloots are extending the time-honored and hallowed American principle, bolstered by John Adams' s defense of Tories during the American Revolution, of providing legal counsel and access to justice."
The awards dinner will also feature Ninth U.S. Circuit Court Judge Ryan D. Nelson and U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Bart Davis.
The event will be held at the Idaho Falls Hilton Garden Inn, beginning at 6 p.m. February 1. Tickets are $45 and are available through the Alturas Institute website.