Consumer Fraud 1449 articles

Whistleblower Helps Medicare Recover $4 Million From Florida Dermatology Practice

A dermatologist who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against a Florida dermatology practice alleging it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid has helped the U.S. government recover $4 million. Dermatology Healthcare, a Tampa-based provider of dermatology care to residents of assisted living facilities, agreed to settle the government’s claims of fraud, which originated with a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by Dr. Theodore A. Schiff, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. Dr. Schiff filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging Dermatology Healthcare failed to adequately supervise the administration of superficial radiation therapy to ... Read More

Colorado, Florida Tire Defect Plaintiffs Get Class Certification

Drivers in Colorado and Florida suing TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. over allegedly defective tires received state class certification for their complaints. Plaintiffs from Arizona, California, Colorado, and Florida filed a complaint in June 2017, alleging they all bought trailers fitted with TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. tires with defects that caused their treads to separate from their casings. The plaintiffs allege that the tire companies knew the tires were prone to tread separation but failed to disclose the defect to consumers. The drivers filed a motion for class certification on April 27, 2018. According to Law 360, ... Read More

Court Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Suit Against New Mexico DA to Stand

A whistleblower lawsuit against a southern New Mexico district attorney has survived a second attempt by the defendant’s attorneys to get the case dismissed. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that New Mexico state judge Jarod Hofacket denied a motion by lawyers representing Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio to reject a whistleblower lawsuit brought by Marylou Bonacci, a former office manager at Mr. D’Antonio’s office. According to the Sun-News, Ms. Bonacci claims she was terminated in retaliation for speaking out against corruption and other wrongful conduct she allegedly witnessed in the D.A.’s office. The whistleblower lawsuit, which Ms. Bonacci filed ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Ends in $21 Million Recovery from Ambulance Kickback Schemers

A sprawling whistleblower lawsuit implicating an ambulance company, its affiliated companies, and several municipal clients in an illegal kickback scheme has been settled, federal prosecutors announced. East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Services (“the ETMC defendants”) their affiliated ambulance company, Paramedics Plus, and other defendants agreed to pay the U.S. more than $21 million to resolve the allegations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The government’s case against the ambulance industry defendants stems from a complaint filed by Dr. Stephen Dean under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The ... Read More

Sitka Police Detective Files Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint Against Department

A police detective in Sitka, Alaska, has filed a whistleblower complaint against the city’s police department, alleging it took retaliatory action against him for raising concerns about gun procurement and other dubious practices within the department. According to Sitka’s KCAW News, trouble started for Sitka Police Department investigator Ryan Silva when he discovered the department had unlawfully purchased five fully automatic weapons in November 2017. Det. Silva joined the Sitka Police Department in 2008 after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was promoted to detective in 2011 and has served in that role since. He is also one of ... Read More

E-Liquid Companies Cease Child-Friendly Marketing After FDA Warning

E-liquid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers that pedaled nicotine products with kid-friendly appeal have stopped targeting children after receiving a federal warning in May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. The FDA, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent official warnings to 17 e-liquid companies that misleadingly labeled or advertised nicotine-containing e-liquids with lots of appeal to children, dressing their products in labels that resembled popular juice boxes, cookies, and candy. In addition to luring children to start using nicotine, the e-liquids, which are used in electronic vaping devices, posed real dangers to very young children who might mistake ... Read More

Utah Transit Whistleblower Wins Wrongful Retaliation Case

The Utah Transit Authority has been ordered to reinstate and compensate a former employee it fired after he raised concerns about safety violations. Michael Clara, who worked for the Utah Transit Authority as a transit planner, filed a complaint against the transit agency claiming he had been wrongfully terminated for voicing his concerns about alleged violations internally, the Associated Press reported. On Aug. 13, U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge Lee Romero Jr. ruled in Mr. Clara’s favor, saying the UTA “unlawfully discriminated against Mr. Clara.” The judge ordered the UTA to reinstate Mr. Clara to his former position ... Read More

New Opioid Fraud Lawsuits Say Medical Groups Contributed to Crisis

A number of communities in Cook County, Illinois, are taking opioid manufacturers and distributors to court for their role in fueling the deadly opioid epidemic sweeping across the U.S. Now three more Chicago-area towns have joined the fray, but adding three medical societies as defendants in addition to the usual defendants for their alleged contributions to the opioid epidemic. According to the Cook County Record, the towns of Bedford Park, Lyons, and Summit filed lawsuits last week in Cook County Circuit Court. Though filed separately, the complaints each name as defendants Purdue Pharma; Abbott Laboratories; Teva Pharmaceuticals; Cephalon, Johnson & ... Read More

Whistleblower’s False Claims Lawsuit Recovers $5.25 Million From Lincare

Lincare Inc., a major U.S. supplier of medical oxygen and other respiratory therapies, has agreed to pay the U.S. $5.25 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by offering illegal discounts to Medicare beneficiaries. Based in Clearwater, Florida, Lincare operates about 1,000 locations across the U.S. According to a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by whistleblower Brian Thomas and supported by the federal government, Lincare attempted to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace by unlawfully waiving or reducing co-insurance, co-payments, and deductibles for beneficiaries who participated in a Medicare ... Read More

Feds Aim To Slash Opioid Production Again in 2019

From opioid production to prescription, fraud has played a key role in the opioid crisis sweeping the United States. Federal authorities have taken measures in recent years to quell the growing problem, including pursuing legal action against doctors, pharmacies, and distributors who for years have unlawfully pedaled prescription opioids for years with impunity. But on Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department announced it plans to further strike at the root of the crisis by reducing the supply of opioids, a measure that would involve limiting the amount of opioid painkillers pharmaceutical companies can manufacture next year by about 10 percent. The ... Read More