Court Asked to Dismiss TMFPA Case and Sanction Whistleblower and His Lawyers

Lawyers for one of the defendant dentists in the Lafountain TMFPA lawsuit filed a motion June 1 asking the Dallas County district court judge presiding over the case to dismiss it and sanction the whistleblower and his lawyers for bringing a “groundless, brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment” lawsuit per the court document.

Relator never worked for dental practices

As TDMR previously reported, the case is about Medicaid fraud allegations brought by a former dental employee, Joshua Lafountain, against 71 Medicaid dental entities and dentists for which he had never worked.

Testified under oath no personal knowledge or evidence of wrongdoing

Per the filing, the basis for the motion is that Lafountain’s testimony under oath in a deposition in April “contradicts and disproves allegations in his pleadings as well as representations previously made by Relator’s counsel to the Court.” Lafountain had testified in his deposition that he had no personal knowledge or evidence against any provider named in his TMFPA lawsuit, according to court documents.

Lawyers told Court that he did have knowledge or evidence

The motion states:

“When Defendants challenged Relator’s claims through a jurisdictional plea in 2019, Relator’s counsel assured the Court that Relator “has personal knowledge from his relationships with the defendants. He has personal knowledge because he has seen it through portals. He has information that he has glea[n]ed from public sources like the ones that we have already cited to the Court in prior hearings associated with reviews and also with public information requests.” The Court has given Relator the benefit of the doubt. But in 2020, Relator gave sworn testimony, in his court-ordered deposition, establishing that these representations are false and he has no evidentiary basis for his claims.”

“In light of Relator’s deposition testimony confirming he has no personal knowledge of any TMFPA violations by any Defendant, any protestation by Relator that he cannot provide evidence of each Defendant’s purported TMFPA violation(s) until after his expert reviews documents produced by Defendants during discovery is an admission that:

  • Relator does not currently have any evidence to support any TMFPA claim against any Defendant;
  • Relator (and his counsel) filed this lawsuit without a good faith basis, in violation of Texas law;
  • Relator is using this lawsuit as a tool to investigate theoretical claims, which is beyond the qui tam authority delegated by the Texas Legislature; and
  • Relator’s discovery requests are fishing expeditions prohibited by Texas law.”

Seeking monetary sanctions

The motion goes on to seek monetary sanctions against Lafountain and his counsel asserting that the lawsuit was “groundless, brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment.”

“Relator has filed other TMFPA lawsuits. When he commenced this suit, he had nothing but conjecture and a filing fee. His deposition testimony confirms he had no factual basis to provide his lawyers in this case. His lawyers had no basis to certify that Relator possessed facts that he did not, in fact, possess. Well-established Texas law compels the conclusion that Relator and his counsel should be sanctioned under Rule 13 and chapter 9.”

Relator wanted every patient file relating to 250,000 Medicaid payments

One of the paragraphs in the motion provides an ominous warning to other Medicaid providers about such lawsuits.

“Moreover, the circumstances under which Relator and his counsel have made false allegations and representations in the pleadings and other papers and the length of time they have persisted in doing so demonstrate that this lawsuit was filed for purposes of harassment. Through groundless pleadings invoked through groundless and false representations in court and other papers filed in opposition to dismissal under Rule 91a and jurisdictional case law, Relator and his counsel evaded dismissal and parlayed no personal knowledge and no supporting evidence into a free look into hundreds of Defendants’ files in hopes that Relator might find a colorable claim. Relator initially asked for every patient file related to over 250,000 Medicaid payments, and his counsel made false representations at hearings about what his client already knew and possessed in the way of evidence. In reliance on Relator’s allegations and his counsel’s representations, the Court compelled Defendants to produce-at first 60 and now 600—patient files.”

If no dismissal, judge asked to order evidence to be provided

Should the judge not agree with the motion for dismissal and sanctions, the motion, in the alternative, asks the judge to compel the production of documents supporting Lafountain’s claims, which should have been produced through the discovery process.

motion for sanctions and dismissal

19 Responses

  • Unbelievable that this case is still going on. It is legalized extortion and someone needs to put a stop to it. Hundreds of good providers are leaving Medicaid every year and garbage like this just makes more leave. Needy kids are paying the price. This has to stop now.

    • Right?!?? This guy literally said everything opposite his lawyers. This is the bar that is set to act as the State of Texas in a case!! Get caught in obvious lies and you couldn’t keep your job in most businesses. OAG? No problem, we don’t care, go get steal me some money. Disgusting.

  • On its face this seems to be the definition of a bad faith lawsuit. How can someone not ever work for the defendants but claim personal knowledge of their business practices???
    Absolutely ridiculous

  • Again, totally báseles lawsuit. If this wins, then we are all trouble!! Any Joe Shmoe can make up any allegation and we have to produce thousands of charts?!?! This is America!! Please make your voice heard to your State Reps and Attorney General

  • Seems like the OAG is corrupt, allowing for this type of injustice to take place. It might be time to revaluate the position of the AG and relieve him of the position. Time for for change is now!

  • So in Texas anyone can come off the street that doesn’t know you, or hasn’t even stepped foot inside your office, and accuse of fraud? Then you have to spend enormous amount of time and money to prove your innocence ?

    Besides this being a clear money grab, why is the judge (and who is it?!) allowing this to get this far? Shame on our AG for allowing this to go on. This is not how we do business in Texas.

    • I agree! The way the AG and this judge is behavior goes far deeper then just surface incompetence. This is a rotten system for money grab shake downs. We need changes in the AG office and we need to have this judge investigated. ASAP!

  • How is this still going on? The Oag is allowing this Lafountain guy make these claims against these dentists with no real evidence. This is absolutely absurd

    • This case against these dentists is outrageous! It really shows the systematic issues we have in our legal system. The AG allowing this to go on reminds me of what’s happening in the news these days. Someone with the power to do the right thing and looking the other way is just as guilty!!

      I’m contacting my TDA rep

  • This whole thing is basically true definition of extortion and frankly biggest waste of our tax-payers money!! Someone with no evidence can file a Baseless lawsuit against you by just paying few bucks for filing fee and hoping their “lotto“ ticket will win! They’re taking away from what Medicaid was implemented for, helping underprivileged kids with the medical attention they require. STOP THIS NONSENSE NOW!!!

  • It’s terrifying to think that your business and life could be completely ruined by someone who’s unemployed and know nothing about your business like this Lafountain person.
    Attorneys should be held accountable.
    Especially if they lied to the courts!
    I do hope the state helps them out soon!!!

    Another terrifying thought is right now during this pandemic, how many more people are going to be left in a desperate jobless position, like lafountain, and learn that you can sue any company for anything and you “don’t have to have any evidence”.
    I can hear the personal injury lawyers salivating already .
    Changes must be made !!

    • The State is playing with fire with Lafountain. “We didn’t know” will not be enough to save this situation, and some very tough questions will have to be asked.

  • How is this still going on? So this how our tax dollars are being used? This is absolutely absurd! Anyone can make false claims with no evidence and waste everyone’s time and tax dollars.
    Just terrible. This case needs to be dismissed.

  • This is terrible. Can’t believe the judge would even allow this. The AG’s office is completely incompetent. It’s time for a change. We need to clean house.

  • The Texas Dental community needs to take a stand. This needs to be the straw that breaks the camels back. We all need to identify those in the AG’s office that have sat on their hands and allowed the extortion of dentists and hold them accountable. Absolute power corrupts Absolutely and this is ABSOLUTE corruption. This very kind of action was done against a close family friend of mine more than a decade ago. The attorney generals office is getting more brazen and sloppy with the trust of the public. They need to be checked by those in State Government. We need a whistleblower on this AG office!!

  • Unbelievable! It’s ridiculous that the courts have let such a baseless lawsuit drag on for so long. Clearly Lafountain and his attorneys are fishing for cash for personal gain. This lawsuit was made in bad faith for sure! This should have been stopped and dismissed a long time ago. How can someone that initially says he has evidence of wrongdoing file a suit, not produce any evidence when asked to produce it and admit under oath that he has no personal evidence or knowledge of any wrongdoing be allowed to continue with their suit?? It’s obvious LaFountain and his lawyers are attempting to extort money. Changes need to be made to stop these kinds of frivolous lawsuits against providers.

  • Wow! Either the relator lied for hours under oath, or his lawyers have been lying for years! honestly the attorney generals office and this judge need to dismiss this case, or clearly they are both incompetent or too corrupt to represent the public. there should be investigations into both! this needs to be a front and center hearing in Austin! TDMR can you please print the names of the individuals at the OAG and the judges name responsible for this debacle?? there has to be hearings on this case. am I the only person that is in complete shock here?? ALL Texas dentists should stand together to MAKE TEXAS JUDICIAL SYSTEM GREAT AGAIN!!

  • If this case isn’t dismissed and a precedent made here, then I plan to gradually sell off my medicaid offices and get out of this business. I’m extremely careful, and already feel like I’m going above and beyond anything I’d do on a normal adult patient to preemptively prove my innocence for the inevitable audit by OIG or OAG.

    This is absolutely a money grab. First it was Dentaquest and MCNA who constantly change the rules retroactively. One audit everything is fine, the next year they want money back for the exact same consent forms that they didn’t have an issue with previously. I cannot meet requirements retroactively.

    Then it was OIG who audited a ton of offices last year, huge money grab. I was audited, found nothing thank God.

    This lawsuit will be the final backbreaker if allowed to proceed. Imagine being sued by some random guy who you’ve never met and having to put together 600 patient files for the lawyers. Hundreds if not thousands of man hrs. As anyone who has had in depth audits knows, this is a massive pain and borderline extortion as most providers would rather pay than have to waste this much time putting together the files.

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