PITTSBURGH – A company that sells health insurance plans must hand over certain information about contracts with third parties, but not all requested information, a federal magistrate judge has ordered.
The case is a class action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Texas-based Agentra and others. It is alleged the company violated federal telecommunications statutes by contracting others to robocall potential customers.
Plaintiffs, led by Pennsylvania resident Stewart Abramson, asked for information relating to Agentra's relationship with the outside companies. Magistrate Judge Patricia Dodge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but only in part, in October.
At the core of the complaint is a claim that Abramson was contacted on his cellphone by an individual offering to sell a health plan despite the fact that the plaintiff's number was on the National Do No Call Registry for more than a year. He is suing on behalf and all others similarly situated.
The plaintiffs filed three requests to compel defendant Agentra to hand over information and documents. They wanted documents related to agreements involving Scott Shapiro, Health Advisors of America and CRS Marketing. Agentra initially objected, but this was withdrawn in connection with the former two.
On CRS Marketing, the plaintiffs state it is "is owned and operated by Mr. Shapiro, which also worked with Agentra agents related to lead generation," Dodge noted.
The plaintiffs argued that these documents are relevant as they will reveal to what extent CRS is acting as an agent of Agentra and to what degree the Texas company "authorized telemarketing calls, controlled its activities and benefited from them," the motion states.
Dodge noted Agentra claimed the plaintiffs have failed to detail how CRS is relevant to the action, including "any facts to support that CRS Marketing made any calls or even uses a robodialer."
Dodge agreed that the plaintiffs have not added additional facts relating to CRS, but noted that "Agentra previously agreed to produce documents regarding CRS Marketing in response to a request for documents regarding 'telemarketing or customer acquisition.'"
On that basis, information related to the existence of any contracts or agreements with CRS Marketing should be handed over, according to the judge, adding that "it may lead to evidence that supports plaintiffs' contention that CRS Marketing worked with Agentra to generate leads."
The plaintiffs also want documents related to internal communications at Agentra regarding Shapiro, CRS Marketing or Health Advisors of America. The information is not relevant or proportionate, Agentra argued, a position Dodge largely agreed with, describing the request as "overly broad and not proportionate to the needs of this case."
All information regarding leads provide to Agentra by the parties named were also requested. Agentra noted that this information would include leads or customers not generated via robodialing and suggested a compromise involving cross-checking the names and numbers the plaintiffs' lawyers have in their possession with those held by the defendant. Dodge agreed