Worker claims he suffered two heart attacks waiting for coverage

By The Madison County Record | May 6, 2014


A man claims he incurred medical costs of more than $65,000 after suffering two heart attacks while waiting for promised health care coverage from his employer.

Gary R. Otremba filed a lawsuit April 25 in the Madison County Circuit Court against REM Staffing.

In his complaint, Otremba, who began working at REM Staffing on Oct. 3, 2011, alleges he was told he would be eligible to receive health insurance following nine months of employment. In July 2012, he contacted REM Staffing’s president, Roberto Escalet, to ask about the status of his health insurance, according to the complaint.

Escalet promised Otremba he was working on “something” for him, so Otremba allowed his COBRA health insurance plan to expire. After still not receiving health insurance by November 2012, Otremba contacted an insurance representative for REM Staffing, but was told there was no insurance available to him, the suit states.

In turn, Otremba attempted to obtain his own health insurance policy, but could not due to the prohibitive cost, the complaint says.

Escalet told Otremba he would address the matter in March 2013. In the meantime, Otremba suffered a heart attack Jan. 5, 2013, and a second cardiac arrest on Jan. 10, 2013, he claims.

Because of his heart attacks, Otremba incurred costs of more than $65,000, according to the complaint.

He alleges breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation against REM Staffing.

Otremba is seeking a judgment of more than $260,000, plus attorney’s fees and other relief the court deems just. He is being represented by Albert S. Watkins of Kodner, Watkins and Kloecker in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-625.

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