Battle of employers: Granite City v. Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 21, 2005, 5:42am

Madison County Administration Building

Granite City filed suit against Madison County Jan. 20 seeking more than $50,000 for medical bills the county refused to pay for a worker with insurance coverage from both employers.

Ray Romine Jr., who was a commander of the Granite City Fire Department, retired from the city May 2, 2001, with health insurance benefits.

He went on to become a bailiff for Circuit Judge Philip Kardis in Granite City on May 4, 2001. He died in October 2004.

According to the complaint, under article AD4 the Granite City health plan provides that if a person retires, is laid off or takes another job and has coverage under another employer’s plan, the plan becomes secondary and the other employer’s plan becomes primary.

Granite City claims its insurance plan became secondary since Madison County furnished Romine with health insurance coverage.

On May 17, 2003, Romine had a heart attack and incurred more than $170,000 in medical bills, according to the complaint. Madison County refused to pay any medical bills, Granite City alleges.

In order to avoid adverse action being taken against Romine, Granite City claims it paid all the medical bills.

“The City of Granite City, in order not to breach its agreement with Mr. Romine to provide coverage when it had been wrongfully denied, paid the medical bills,” the complaint states.

Granite City claims the plans should share the cost in a pro rata fashion, otherwise the county has been unjustly enriched.

Demanding a trial by a jury of 12, Granite City is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 plus costs of the suit. Granite City is represented by Ronald A. Roth of Roth & Evans in Granite City.

Flags at the courthouse flew at half mast on Oct. 25, 2004 on the day of Romine's funeral.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.

05 L 059 (3rd circuit)

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