UnitedHealth Sues Former Employee After Trade Secrets Allegedly Revealed to Humana

Healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group filed a complaint against Jeffery Corzine, a former employee, Sunday. The complaint, filed in the Southern District of Ohio, alleged that Corzine left UnitedHealth for Humana, and breached agreements made with his former employer when he worked on Humana’s Medicaid bid for the state of Ohio.

According to the complaint, “Corzine was responsible for the strategic development of  business opportunities through the creation of new strategic partnerships, new channels, and market development in the State of Ohio.” He was reportedly instrumental in preparing the plaintiff’s bid for Ohio’s Medicaid managed care organization services procurement process, which began in 2019.

The complaint recounted that Corzine was compensated via stock options and restricted stock units, which were subject to restrictive covenants, which the plaintiff described as reasonable and “for the explicit and agreed benefit of UnitedHealthcare.” Corzine was laid off in 2019 and soon found employment at Humana. The plaintiff reportedly contracted Humana and ensured that the defendant would not be working on Humana’s competitor bid for the Ohio procurement process. However, UnitedHealth proffered that they “learned on January 6, 2021 that Mr. Corzine was, in fact, serving as Humana’s key contact in support of its Medicaid MCO services bid for the State of Ohio.”

The plaintiff objected to the defendant’s role in the Ohio bid process in writing, citing the restrictive covenants. Humana replied, stating that the defendant would be presenting as part of the bid and had prepared for 80 hours. The defendant reportedly carried out the presentation on January 12. UnitedHealth said the work performed by Corzine for Humana is identical to the kind of work he performed in his prior role.

UnitedHealth alleged that these actions constituted both a breach of UnitedHealth’s contracts with the defendant, but also an appropriation of their trade secrets. The plaintiff is seeking injunctions prohibiting Corzine from working on the Ohio bidding process, any further conduct in violation of the covenants, and any conduct that misappropriates the plaintiff’s trade secrets. UnitedHealth is represented by Carpenter Lipps & Leland.