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Coastal Bridge owner target of federal lawsuit after leaving sick employees high and dry

3 years 1 month 6 days ago Monday, June 14 2021 Jun 14, 2021 June 14, 2021 5:38 PM June 14, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- The owner of Coastal Bridge, Kelly Sills, is the target of a federal lawsuit after multiple employees told the WBRZ Investigative Unit that Coastal Bridge deducted health premiums out of their checks but didn't pay the bills.

Luis Nieves-Rivera found out that he had no health insurance after he needed to have his leg amputated following a crash.

"First, I was told Blue Cross Blue Shield would not pay the claim because my employer did not pay the premium," Nieves Rivera said.

Joe Sauls learned he had no health insurance after undergoing a heart procedure.

This month, Kelly Sills was sued in federal court along with his company and Mike Giambrone, whose listed as the chief financial officer of Coastal Bridge Company, LLC.

The lawsuit states money was not used to fund the health plan and was misappropriated instead. The lawsuit seeks damages for the former employees' medical bills and their attorney fees.

"It's just unbelievable," said Gregory Miller, attorney for the former employees. "You would think even if your company is struggling, one of the first things you'd pay would be your employees' health insurance premiums. I've never seen anything like it."

While we were reporting on Sills owing people money, he was busted not following COVID-19 protocols at Disney World. He got arrested and kicked out. He told Florida sheriff's deputies he spent too much money to be kicked out.

"I paid $15,000," Sills told them. "You can't trespass and pay $15,000."

Sills' money problems also affect taxpayers. Sills owes Louisiana State Police nearly $900,000 for patrols they conducted on the Sunshine Bridge during emergency bridge repairs.

Sills has avoided doing an interview each time the WBRZ Investigative Unit has requested.

"We were lucky, the private investigator found him and he got served," Miller said. "We were anticipating we would have more problems than we did, but we hired a really good private investigator."

WBRZ reached out to Sills again Monday. A woman who answered the phone at his business said he was not available.

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