Lubbock’s City Council unanimously approved a settlement agreement Thursday, ending part of a complex legal battle that dates back four years.
In 2006, the council ended the city’s health insurance benefit administration contract with the Ted Parker group of companies.
The Parker Group sued then-mayor David Miller and three senior city staffers, claiming defamation, amid questions about whether Parker and his companies profited beyond that contractual agreement.
Earlier this year the Parker Group, now known as Healthsmart, dropped its suit for defamation and all other claims against the four defendants.
The settlement agreement ends those defendants’ countersuit against the Parker Group for malicious prosecution and other claims.
Mayor Tom Martin says the $850,000 the city gets out of this deal, together with a $500,000 settlement recently reached with the city’s legal liability insurer, recovers “virtually all” of the attorney fees the city spent in this part of the legal battle.
The city is still in arbitration with the Parker Group in a dispute over records the city is seeking to conduct an audit. But those documents are apparently part of the settlement for the individuals’ countersuit.
A written statement released by the city states, “The city employees, former mayor, and Healthsmart all expressed that they are pleased an audit can now be completed.”
It continues, “Healthsmart said, ‘We regret that former management filed this suit. We believe that all disputes between our companies and the City of Lubbock should have been and should be resolved in the context of the arbitration in Lubbock. We steadfastly maintain that we did nothing wrong in relation to the Lubbock arbitration issues.'”
The individuals involved, City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld, Scott Snider, Leisha Hutchison, and former Mayor Miller, according to the statement, say, “We are thankful the city continued to defend us as we have maintained throughout this ordeal we did nothing wrong.”
According to Healthsmart, Ted Parker is no longer involved in the day-to-day management of the companies.