Author

Kurt Niland

5296 posts

Kurt Niland has been a professional editor and writer for 15 years. He is the author of four books and a number of articles for trade journals, newspapers, magazines, and web blogs. He attended New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico, and Auburn University Montgomery, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English. His lifelong interests in geography, anthropology, political science, literature, and religion fuel his writing and inspire him to travel at every opportunity. Originally from Connecticut, Kurt has resided in Montgomery, Alabama since 1991.

Feds Bust $8.6 Million Home Health Care Fraud Operation in Miami

Two Florida residents face time in federal prison for operating a home health care fraud scheme that cheated Medicare out of $8.6 million. The U.S. Department of Justice said that a federal judge in Miami sentenced Alexander Ros Lazo, 54, the owner of T.L.C. Health Services of Miami to 87 months in prison. According to the government’s complaint, Mr. Ros Lazo and his employee, Misleidy Ibarra, 46, conspired with others in building their Medicare patient base and in billing the government for illegitimate physical therapy services. Federal prosecutors said that Ms. Ibarra performed home health therapy services without a license ... Read More

Ohio Truck Driver Barred From Road After Two Deadly Collisions

An Ohio-licensed commercial truck driver who struck and killed two people with his tractor-trailer in separate accidents within six months has been deemed a hazard to public safety, federal officials said. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered truck driver Doug Jones to cease driving a tractor-trailer or operating any other commercial motor vehicle across state lines after the second deadly accident. On July 2, 2018, Mr. Jones was driving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, when he struck a man who was standing near his disabled vehicle on the right shoulder. After investigating that accident, ... Read More

OSHA Addresses Nebraska’s Alarming Workplace Amputation Trend

Work-related amputation injuries are on the rise in Nebraska workplaces, and so is the number of employers failing to report these debilitating accidents as required by federal law, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said in a recent advisory. An OSHA review of Nebraska workers’ compensation claims found 42 employees suffered amputation injuries statewide in 2018, and employers failed to report more than 65 percent of those injuries to OSHA within 24 hours, as workplace rules and regulations stipulate, the agency said. Farming, meat processing, and other agricultural industries are the cornerstone of Nebraska’s economy, and worker exposures ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps U.S. Nab California Urology Chain For Medicare Fraud

A whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit has led to a $1.85 million settlement between Skyline Urology and the U.S. government, resolving allegations that the Torrance, California-based health care company deliberately overbilled Medicare. Federal prosecutors investigated the whistleblower’s claims and alleged that from January 1, 2013, through 2016, Skyline Urology systematically billed Medicare for evaluation and management services in violation of federal rules. Although some exceptions exist, health care providers are not permitted to bill Medicare for evaluation and management services on the same day a related procedure is performed. This is because the cost of evaluating a patient is included ... Read More

Texas University Faces Negligent Security Complaint Over Alleged Rape

A former Huston-Tillotson University student who alleges she was raped by a campus security guard is suing the college, the man she claims assaulted her, and the security company he worked for. The plaintiff, who did not want to be identified in the lawsuit, was 17 and enrolled as a freshman at the private Austin college when the alleged rape took place on July 30. She says she went off campus to smoke marijuana with a security guard employed by G4S Secure Services, the company contracted by Huston-Tillotson University to provide security. The woman rode with the G4S guard in ... Read More

Will Gottlieb’s Resignation from FDA Jeopardize Vaping Regulations?

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Scott Gottlieb, whose leadership has been dominated in recent months by a crusade against the vape and tobacco industries, told his staff on Tuesday that he will resign in April. The surprise announcement casts a shadow over the bold initiatives Dr. Gottlieb spearheaded to combat the opioid addiction and youth vaping epidemics, both of which gripped the nation largely because of aggressive and sometimes illegal marketing and sales efforts by manufacturers. His bold efforts to beat back youth vaping and tobacco use have rankled many industry officials and Republican lawmakers, who have criticized ... Read More

OSHA Orders Salon To Pay Employee Fired For Whistleblower Complaint

A Pennsylvania hair salon will have to pay a former employee $40,000 in back pay after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found the salon owners unlawfully fired the employee in retaliation for contacting OSHA with health and safety concerns. OSHA said the U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, on behalf of the hairstylist. The lawsuit was prompted by a complaint the hairstylist’s husband reported to OSHA. Business Insurance fills in some of the details of the case, announced by OSHA on Feb. 19. In March 2017, ... Read More

Subaru To Launch Record Recall in U.S. to Fix Brake Lamp Defect

Japanese automaker Subaru will recall more than 2 million vehicles in the U.S. to repair a brake light problem that could lead to ignition trouble and increase the risk of collision. Aside from the Takata airbag recall, which affects millions of Subaru vehicles globally, the brake light recall would be Subaru’s largest-ever recall in the U.S., the automaker’s largest market. The recall affects some 2 million model-year 2008-2017 Subaru Impreza and Forester models in the U.S., with another 300,000 cars in Japan and other countries. According to Motor1, certain liquids such as cleaners containing silicone can seep into the brake ... Read More

Birmingham Water Works Chemical Release Sickens Dozens

An accidental chemical release at a Birmingham Water Works facility in Alabama sent dozens of workers to the hospital Wednesday morning and prompted a “shelter in place” warning for residents of the surrounding communities. The accident occurred at the Birmingham Water Works’ Shades Mountain water filtration plant when two chemicals used in the water treatment process, sodium hypochlorite and ferric sulfate, were accidentally mixed, creating what Birmingham Fire & Rescue described as a “hazmat release.” According to Birmingham Water Works, 54 people were taken to Birmingham area hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. More than a dozen of the ... Read More

Texas Food Plant Worker’s Amputation Accident Triggers Lawsuit

A worker who underwent an amputation of two fingers after her hand became mutilated in a food manufacturing machine is suing her employer, a Houston, Texas-based company that manufactures and distributes prepared Indian foods. The plaintiff, Edith Alcantara-Tobar, filed the personal injury lawsuit in a Harris County district court Feb. 14 against Satyam Foods and Snacks, Inc, a wholesale manufacturer and distributor of pani puri and chaat puri. According to the SE Texas Record, Ms. Alcantara-Tobar alleges her supervisor at Satyam Foods told her to clean a pani puri manufacturing machine. While she was cleaning the semi-automatic machine, a band ... Read More