CHARLESTON – A medical services company is suing over claims the defendants interfered with an existing contract.

West Virginia Medical Institute filed the suit in Kanawha Circuit Court against Innovative Resource Group, doing business as APS Healthcare Midwest; Kepro Acquisitions; West Virginia Department of Administration Purchasing Division; West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources; Angela Hobbs; and Kristyn Taylor.

According to the complaint, WVMI has provided claims review, prior authorization and other health care services to the state's Medicaid program. On Jan. 25, 2009, the state department defendants issued a request for proposals for these services in an attempt to consolidate the contract.

The plaintiff and defendant Innovative Resource Group agreed to team up to submit a bid, which they won; the new contract was effective Dec. 1, 2009. Because of bureaucratic delays, the suit claims, the contract was extended until Nov. 30. But two days after that extension was granted, Kepro acquired Innovative Resource Group, effective May 6; after the merger, the defendant announced it was severing the agreement between the plaintiff and IRG. Also, the plaintiff says the defendants began poaching employees, especially those with proprietary knowledge. Hobbs and Taylor are two employees that were recruited.

As a result, the plaintiff requests a temporary restraining order and for the court to prohibit employee poaching; keep the defendants from breaching the current contract; and maintain the status quo with the plaintiffs performing its obligations throughout the duration of the contract. It also asks for an order requiring the defendants to return all of the plaintiff's proprietary information.

Representing the plaintiff are Carte P. Goodwin, James A. Kirby III and Lucas R. White, Goodwin and Goodwin, Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 15-C-1680.

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