Osceola Schools a lawsuit against her former health insurance consultant won a court battle.
U.S. District Judge Anne Conway rejected the consultant’s request to dismiss the case last week.
For seven years, Gallagher benefits services helped the Osceola school district navigate the insurance industry by analyzing and making recommendations on which carrier should hire the district.
In exchange for Gallagher, annual fees were paid by insurance companies, but the school district set a ceiling on Gallagher’s commissions of $ 195,650, “to avoid the self-serving incentives that could accompany this financial agreement,” the judge said in his order.
In a lawsuit filed last year, the county accused Gallagher of violating the agreement and receiving more than $ 2 million in “secret commissions from insurance companies he recommended on board,” the order said.
“Gallagher has been sold as a company that is in a good position to provide consulting and brokerage services on board. He also said he would (remain) impartial during all business transactions, disclose all compensation received “and represent the best interests of the board in all ongoing interactions,” the judge wrote.
The judge ruled that the county case against Gallagher could continue despite Gallagher’s objections on several issues, including a case that did not provide specific details on how much and which insurance companies paid Gallagher’s alleged secret payments.
For the Gallagher case, the School District is asking for at least $ 2 million of Gallagher’s alleged secret payments to set up a fund for teachers in the area.
“The county is also seeking criminal damages for breach of trust and Gallagher’s fraud,” the judge wrote. “In this case, the factual allegations of the school board provide a reasonable basis to believe that Gallagher committed intentional misconduct. These allegations of fraud are sufficient to bring an action for criminal damages. … Greed, as the School Board points out, is a factor in criminal damages. ”
“Criminal damages are a great equalizer, the only thing that can cause corporate America to fall apart when it does the wrong thing,” the attorney general said. Tucker Bird he said when asked for comment on Wednesday.
Gallagher had recommended that Osceola Schools hire Cigna as its insurance carrier.
The relationship between Cigna and Osceola Schools eventually fell apart and led to more lawsuits in the Osceola County District Court.
The school district claims that Cigna “failed to approve conservative treatment and the failure to negotiate competitive prices for prescriptions and medical procedures has forced the school board to pay rudely to healthcare providers and pharmacies.”
Cigna, on the other hand, denied the allegations. Cigna sued the county, arguing that the district had not given adequate competitive bidding for new contracts after the school system decided not to renew Cigna’s contract.
Dean Mirabella, president of the Cigna North Florida market, told Florida Politics last year: “Before, we provided administration of the health plan to employees in the school district of Osceola County for almost 20 years. During this relationship, our contract was continuously evaluated and voted on by the District Procurement and Insurance Committee based on our successful experience in making health care accessible, predictable, and easy for teachers, administrators, and staff. “As a valuable partner for almost two decades, we have negotiated discounted prices that are fair and competitive for the customers we serve.”
Gallagher could not be found for comment immediately on Wednesday.