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Judge dismisses lawsuit against infamous contractor over employees' unpaid health insurance premiums

1 year 2 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, March 16 2022 Mar 16, 2022 March 16, 2022 11:00 PM March 16, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE -  A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a troubled contractor who had his license revoked by an oversight board amid a series of WBRZ Investigative Unit reports.

Former employees had sued Kelly Sills and his company Coastal Bridge after they learned their medical expenses would not be paid by the company health insurance plan because the company had not paid the premiums and the plan had been canceled.

Judge Shelley Dick ruled that the employees had waited too long to file the lawsuit, but left open the possibility of an amended filing in the case.

The former employees said they owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital bills.

Their lawsuit claimed they were informed by Blue Cross Blue Shield "several months" after their procedures that the insurance plan was retroactively canceled and that their payment was denied.

Luis Nieves-Rivera, one of Sills' former employees who was a plaintiff in the suit, shared paperwork with WBRZ showing that Coastal Bridge was deducting health insurance from their paychecks. But that money was never paid to Blue Cross. 

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

Despite that, the judge ultimately ruled in Sills' favor after finding the two employees missed the window for filing a claim under the company's policy, which requires filing within 90 days of a medical procedure and no later than 15 months after the fact. 

"Plaintiffs do not make allegations that explain why, during the several months before they received the letter, it was not reasonably possible to file a claim," the decision read.

The ruling also argued the timeline of "several months" laid out in the suit was too ambiguous and could "arguably" extend through the duration of the 90-day period during which they were supposed to file a claim.

WBRZ has reported extensively on Sills, including a drunk-driving arrest and another arrest at Disney World in 2021 during which he was charged with trespassing after refusing to comply with COVID safety precautions. 

Body camera video of the arrest went viral after Sills, who still had unpaid bills in Louisiana—including $900,000 owed to State Police for a security detail—repeatedly shouted at workers over the $15,000 he claimed to have spent on his family's trip. 

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