Company sued for fraud for not paying for employee's health insurance

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 18, 2011, 9:14am

SHERMAN - A Plano woman is suing her former employer for fraud alleging that her payroll-deducted health insurance premiums were not paid to the health insurance company.

Ashley Osborne filed suit against Rambling Oaks Assisted Living Center and Dirk O'Hara on Feb. 11 in Collin County Judicial District Court. The defendants removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on April 4.

Osborne was employed by Rambling Oaks in Frisco from May 2009 until February 2010. She states she was enrolled in the insurance program through Rural Healthplans Initiative and paid premiums of $500 per month for coverage for her family.

After she left her employment, Osborne learned that her premiums had not been paid and thousands of dollars were owed to the insurance company. Shortly thereafter, Osborne was diagnosed with a chronic and permanent health condition.

She states it is now impossible for her to obtain health insurance because she had been without coverage for six months without her knowledge and is now classified as having a pre-existing condition.

The defendant is accused of fraud for making material representations that Osborne was enrolled in an insurance plan and for conspiring to defraud Osborne through payroll deduction.

Osborne states she has incurred thousands of dollars in medical bills that should have been paid by the health insurance plan.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of the benefit of the bargain damages, interest, court costs, attorney fees and exemplary damages.

Osborne is represented by G. Michael Stewart and Jennifer M. Owens of Godwin Ronquillo in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:11-cv-00169

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