Health First Files to Recover Attorneys’ Fees Against Omni Healthcare and Craig Deligdish

By  //  May 10, 2021

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Health First Prevailed Against Frivolous Litigation in Federal Court in April

Health First filed a motion last week to recover $1.7 million in attorneys’ fees against Omni Healthcare, owned by Craig Deligdish, and its lawyers after a federal court dismissed a federal False Claims Act lawsuit they brought against Health First.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First filed a motion last week to recover $1.7 million in attorneys’ fees against Omni Healthcare, owned by Craig Deligdish, and its lawyers after a federal court dismissed a federal False Claims Act lawsuit they brought against Health First.

In April, the United States District Court Middle District of Florida dismissed the lawsuit because the Court found Omni violated a written stipulation against Health First.

The case had also been reviewed by state and federal investigators, which decided not to pursue litigation.

In its filing, Health First explained it is entitled to recover attorneys’ fees because Omni and Deligdish’s allegations were “clearly frivolous, clearly vexatious and/or also brought primarily for purposes of harassment,” and that the conduct of Omni’s counsel “multiplied the proceedings unreasonably and vexatiously.”

“The only falsehoods found in this False Claims Act suit were those of Omni and Craig Deligdish,” said Nicholas Romanello, Health First Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer.

“Omni and Craig Deligdish have a long history of suing Health First. Omni, Craig Deligdish, and their attorneys are all experienced litigators, and they broke their word to the Court. Health First intends to pursue every legal remedy to recover attorneys’ fees for this frivolous and harassing litigation.

“Craig Deligdish has publicly attacked the character and reputations of Health First executives’ multiple times over the past few years all while also trying to use the legal system for his personal financial reward. Health First is proud of our service to Brevard County and remains committed to improving the wellness and health of our community,” said Romanello.

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■ On April 21, the Court dismissed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against Health First as an impermissible shotgun pleading.

The lawsuit – filed only on Monday, April 19, 2021, by three Brevard residents, including leaders of the Brevard Federation of Teachers – was primarily based on the same allegations Deligdish asserted in other unsuccessful litigation and dating back many years.

■ On April 22, the Court dismissed a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by Omni Healthcare, which is owned by Deligdish.

In his ruling, the judge found Omni violated a written stipulation to not file a third amended complaint against Health First in this case. The case had also been reviewed by both the Federal and State’s Attorneys office which decided not to pursue litigation.

Founded in 1995, Health First is Brevard County’s not-for-profit, community healthcare system.

The fully integrated delivery network (IDN) includes health insurance plans, hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and outpatient and wellness services. As a locally owned, not-for-profit organization, Health First is committed to investing in our community. Since 2012, Health First provided more than $1 billion in community support.

To learn more about Health First, visit HF.org

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