ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- State Farm Insurance is suing Dr. Gary Kompothecras, the Siesta Key chiropractor who built a massive empire around the 1-800-ASK-GARY hotline.
The suit filed in federal court claims Kompothecras, several of his companies, including The Physicians Group, and one of his cousins were involved in a "massive fraud scheme".
State Farm, which declined interview requests from 10 News, claims in the suit that "ASK GARY is not an independent and legitimate medical and legal referral service" and it only refers callers "to Kompothecras' own clinics," all in a "scheme to exhaust their unsuspecting patients' limited No-Fault Benefits".
State Farm says its paid $19 million since 2005 to the The Physicians Group, controlled by Kompothecras, and the money was used to continue building the "ASK GARY" brand.
Physicians Group's response to the lawsuit filed:
"The lawsuit filed by State Farm is a frivolous and malicious suit that has no merit and will be dismissed by the Court. It is evident that this lawsuit was filed as a result of the devastating loss to insurance companies, including State Farm, by the Florida Supreme Court in the recent case Virtual Imaging vs. Geico case, decided on July 3, 2013 which ruled against insurance carriers' failure to pay their insureds and medical providers the reasonable medical costs incurred by the policy holders.
This suit is a desperate act by State Farm, one of the largest and most profitable insurance companies, who owes Physicians Group over $9 million by its failure to pay over 1000 claims for medical costs incurred by its policy holders.
All the Defendants, including Physicians Group and the 1-800 ASK GARY hotline comply with all Florida and Federal laws. The statements in the lawsuit would be libelous of the Physicians Group and the other Defendants but for it being stated in this salacious lawsuit. None of the defendants have ever been cited as engaging in unlawful conduct by the Florida Bar or any medical board.
Examples of the blatant lies in the suit are that contrary to the claims in the suit, a great number of people who call the 1-800 ASK GARY hotline are not referred to the Physicians Group. Also all attorneys who are part of the Ask Gary network are not advised or required to refer any of their clients to the Physicians Group or any medical providers. This is a condition contained in the attorneys agreement with the Ask Gary network.
State Farm will be exposed to claims for malicious prosecution by pursuing this absurd action to attempt to avoid paying the millions of dollars it owes to the defendants. This is not the first, or the last time an insurance company acts in bad faith exposing it to significant liability."
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