A Douglas County judge will decide if an attorney can continue to represent Optima, LLC, a small Roseburg company that provides custom software services, in the lawsuit against ATRIO Health Plans, which offers Medicare Advantage health plans.
Optima is represented by Eugene attorney Randy Turnbow in a suit which claims 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.
Sacramento attorney Richard Sieving, representing ATRIO, filed a motion to disqualify Turnbow because of his past connection with ATRIO, Umpqua Health and the Douglas County Individual Practice Association, claiming that he was ATRIO’s attorney at one time and would have had access to confidential information.
Turnbow disputed that and testified that he never represented ATRIO even during the time he worked with the DCIPA and Umpqua Health, which were connected with ATRIO.
“Your testimony based, supposedly on your personal knowledge that I was a general legal counsel to ATRIO, was absolutely false,” Turnbow said while under questioning by Sieving. “I had no dealings with ATRIO whatsoever between sometime in 2013 until this dispute.”
Optima provides custom software services upon request, under the business name of “inteligenz” and set up a billing program for ATRIO.
Sieving told Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Frances Burge, during closing statements, that Turnbow should be disqualified from working on the lawsuit because he had worked in the past as an attorney for ATRIO and could have confidential information about the company that would give Optima a benefit in the suit.
“We got a lawyer that turned on his client, it’s a pretty clearcut case that he should be disqualified from this case, it’s a clear case of an attorney against his former client,” Sieving said.
Turnbow said: “I am unaware of any kind of information that I would have learned in that position that would have helped Optima.”
Judge Burge said she would take the case under advisement but did not say when she expected to have a decision.
Meanwhile, a related $60 million lawsuit which was filed by ATRIO against Optima and Performance Health Technology, a Salem company that provides claim processing and related services, that began in Marion County was moved to federal court in Eugene.
ATRIO has filed a motion to move the case back to Salem, which is where the company’s headquarters are now located.
But Turnbow filed a motion Monday, asking for partial summary judgement to dismiss nine claims against Optima in the federal suit.
ATRIO claims in that suit that Performance Health Technology of Salem, a company that provides claims processing and related services, breached its contract and provided negligent services, and Optima provided defective services.
ATRIO’s lawsuit alleges that Optima’s software failed to catch numerous errors by PH Tech.
PH Tech processes information to send to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for bills and claims.
A ruling on the motion to return the case to Marion County is not expected for several weeks.