Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
This past year, I considered having a surgical procedure performed, but first I had to be given two evaluations to determine whether I would even benefit from the surgery. I decided against going on to have the surgery. This year I found out that a deposit which I had paid for the sake of these evaluations, and which I had thought (based on what the surgical-center staff told me) to be refundable if I were to decide against the surgery, is refundable only if such a decision is made before the second evaluation, or if that evaluation shows me to be an unsuitable candidate for the surgery. I probably would not have even considered the surgery, had I known that this is the case, and nothing in the information that the surgical center gave me says that it is. The deposit cost $140. Since this presumably would be less money than the fees of a lawyer who might take my case, my question is: Do I have a case for a lawsuit, and is there a possibility that I would be reimbursed for the costs of said action, as well as for the deposit?
You may or may not have a legal cause of action depending on the contract law of your state. You stated that the agreement would allow you to receive a refund if you decided against the surgery before the second evaluation, or if you were an unsuitable candidate for the surgery. Based on your statement, if you met either of these two terms, then you would likely be entitled to a refund.
In regard to bringing a cause of action, you may be able to sue the surgical center in small claims court if it is determined that the terms of the agreement were breached in regard to the deposit. You can ask the court to reimburse you for the costs of the action in addition to the deposit amount.
You should contact a local attorney who is versed in the contract law of your state to obtain legal advice regarding the circumstances of the deposit.