A Douglas County judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by Optima LLC against Atrio Health Plans LLC should be transferred to Marion County in Salem, where the Atrio administration offices are now located.
The suit will also be consolidated with another suit that was filed by Atrio attorneys in Marion County.
Optima is a small Roseburg company that operates under the business name of “inteligenz” and set up a billing program for Atrio, a company that offers Medicare Advantage health plans.
The suit that originated in Douglas County was filed by Optima attorney Randy Turnbow of Eugene on April 29, 2018. It claimed that Atrio “breached the master software license and technical services agreement” with Optima by failing to make any payments after January 2018 with 1 1/2 years left on the 2016 contract. The suit asks Atrio to pay for the remaining $1.4 million of the contract.
The Marion County case is a $60 million lawsuit filed by Atrio against Optima and Performance Health Technology of Salem for breach of contract and providing negligent services.
Circuit Court Judge Frances Burge said in her ruling issued Thursday, that she did not find that Douglas County Circuit was not the improper venue for Optima’s litigation, but the decision to file the complaint in Douglas County was clearly strategic by Turnbow who was the Optima attorney at that time.
“Mr. Turnbow confirmed on the record in a prior hearing on this case that he filed this case in Douglas County to essentially beat Atrio to the courthouse,” Burge wrote in her ruling.
In the Marion County case, Atrio claims that Optima’s software failed to catch numerous errors by PH Tech, a company that provided processing and related services for Atrio. PH Tech processes information to send to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for bills and claims.
Optima attorney Aaron Potter of Portland, who took over after Turnbow was disqualified from the case by Judge Burge on Oct. 18 because of a conflict of interest, said during arguments at the hearing on Tuesday, that if the change of venue was granted, he may file a motion in Marion County to try to get the case sent back to Douglas County.
Atrio Health Plans LLC was established in Roseburg in 2004 by a group of physicians, and the company still has offices in Roseburg, but moved its administrative offices to Salem just a few years ago.