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Maryland firm's wrongful termination lawsuit to continue

A Maryland Medicaid contractor that claims the government of Louisiana wrongfully ended a multimillion dollar deal between the two parties will be allowed to pursue a lawsuit against the state following a recent judicial ruling. A judge who previously ordered that the civil litigation be delayed lifted a stay on the case, explaining that attorneys for Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal's administration failed to submit the evidence needed to support the stay, which would have lasted six months.

The Maryland firm, Client Network Services Inc., asserts that the Jindal administration broke its $200 Medicaid contract. The administration reportedly accused CNSI of wrongdoing, claiming that the firm secured the contract due in part to its connection to Louisiana's then-Secretary of Health and Hospitals, who formerly served as the firm's vice president. That official resigned shortly before the Jindal administration canceled the contract, though he and representatives for CNSI reject assertions that the connection resulted in an unfair advantage for the Maryland business. The breach of contract lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

The judge overseeing the case initially agreed to enforce a stay, effectively suspending litigation for six months, basing the decision on information from an apparent secret probe launched by the Louisiana attorney general's office. That information was never shared with the public or CNSI's legal team.

CNSI argued that state attorneys failed to properly notify the company that it intended to forward secret findings to the judge and wrongfully did so without giving the Maryland firm sufficient time to contest the action. The judge ultimately agreed, revoking the stay. State officials say they will refile their request for a stay, saying it is crucial in maintaining the integrity of a grand jury's investigation into the awarding of the Medicaid contract.

Maryland companies that bid on government contracts often face substantial legal hurdles. These can be especially complex when dealing with government agencies in other states, making the legal knowledge and expertise provided by a qualified attorney critical for success.

Washington Post, "Judge lifts stay in fired Medicaid contractor's lawsuit against state, Jindal administration" No author given, Sep. 10, 2013

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