Carmel health exec sues insurer, claiming it should have defended him in sexual assault case

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The president of a Carmel-based home health company is suing his insurance company, saying it improperly refused to cover his legal fees after an employee sued him for sexual assault.

Dr. Dev Brar, president of Home Health Care Providers Inc., is accusing Meridian Security Insurance Co. of breaching its contract by denying coverage of the employee lawsuit.

He said he bought a homeowner's policy in 2013 with a “defender option endorsement,” which he claims entitled him to have the insurer defend him against lawsuits.

Brar did not say how much it cost to defend himself, or how much he is seeking. He filed suit against the insurance company in Marion County Superior Court on Dec. 12.

"As a result of Meridian's breach, Dr. Brar incurred substantial costs, expenses and damages, including actual and consequential damages arising from Meridian's breach," he said in his complaint.

The insurance’s company’s parent, State Auto Insurance, did not return a phone call from IBJ.

One of Brar’s employees, Angelica Garrett, accused him of making sexual advances on her at his condominium in Florida during a business trip in 2014. The two had made a business presentation to prospective clients at his condo.

After the prospective client left, Brar instructed Garrett to take his bed, and said he would sleep on the living-room couch, according to a lawsuit Garrett filed against him in Hamilton County Superior Court in 2016. Soon after Garrett went to bed, Brar climbed into bed with her and started to fondle her breasts and caress her hair, she said.

Brar denied all the allegations, and a judge dismissed the sexual assault lawsuit last year.

Brar did not return several phone calls this week to IBJ. His lawyer, Steven A. Baldwin, declined to comment.

Brar’s company was formerly known as Nightingale Home Healthcare Inc. In 2016, it shut down its Indiana operations after months of battling charges from the Indiana State Department of Health that it put patients in harm’s way.

The state’s determination prompted the federal Medicare program—the source of most of its $14.8 million in annual revenue—to terminate its contract with the company. The company still does business in several other states.

The company later reached a deal to sell the Indiana operations for about $3 million, but that deal unraveled

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