Grand County sues Granby trustee over insurance claim
February 4, 2015
Grand County has filed a lawsuit against a Granby trustee over what it asserts was a fraudulently filed health insurance claim.
A complaint filed against Charles LaBrake in Grand County District Court alleges that he was injured on June 10, 2012, while working for Willow Creek Logging LLC.
LaBrake then fraudulently filed an insurance claim under the county's insurance policy, the complaint states.
The county's insurance policy bars compensation for injuries that occur in the course of outside employment for wage or profit.
The county is seeking $18,399.70 in damages.
LaBrake said that he fell off of a logging truck and broke bones in his ankle.
While in the hospital, LaBrake said he learned that Willow Creek Logging LLC did not have worker's compensation insurance.
LaBrake was also working in detentions at the Grand County Sheriff's Office at the time, and filed a claim on the county's insurance.
"Unbeknownst to me, there was a clause in the insurance policy that they don't have to pay any bills that are incurred by somebody working a job outside the sheriff's office and getting injured, so the claims were denied," LaBrake said.
But only after the county had paid around $92,000 of LaBrake's medical bills, according to minutes from a June 2014 county commissioners meeting.
DiCola told the board that LaBrake had turned the claim into the insurance company and "it was paid before Mr. DiCola caught it," according the minutes.
DiCola also stated during the June 2014 meeting that Kohlwey had signed an agreement to repay the approximately $90,000 in medical expenses that the county had already paid.
Kohley paid $46,165.87 to the county in December 2012 but failed to pay the remaining $46,000, according to the minutes.
LaBrake said he still has around $300,000 in medical bills.
"Mr. DiCola stated that he knows of no reason that the County should not go after Mr. Kohlwey because Mr. DiCola had Mr. Kohlwey sign an agreement to pay both individually and as Willow Creek Logging LLC," the minutes state.
At that time, the Grand County Board of Commissioners decided that its issue was with Bruce Kohlwey, the owner of Willow Creek Logging LLC, rather than LaBrake, according to the minutes.
"The big thing is Jack DiCola did not do his job, and it looks like once again the board is covering his a–," LaBrake said.
The lawsuit contends that the county's reliance on LaBrake's representation that he wasn't injured while employed for wage or profit was "justified."
LaBrake has an ongoing lawsuit against Willow Creek Logging LLC, he said.
The county also has a lawsuit pending against Willow Creek Logging LLC, which also asks for $18,399.70 in damages.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.