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.

Prime Health Care Settles Another Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleging Medicare Fraud

Two employees of a Philadelphia hospital who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital’s parent company and its founder have helped the U.S. government recover $1.25 million in Medicare funds. Prime Health Care Services and Dr. Prem Reddy, the company’s founder and CEO, agreed to settle the whistleblower lawsuit Feb. 14, resolving allegations that two of its hospitals, Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, and Roxborough Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia, engaged in schemes to increase their Medicare billings. According to federal prosecutors, the whistleblowers alleged that the hospitals admitted Medicare beneficiaries who visited the ER when they should have ... Read More

Google Ending Forced Arbitration for Sexual Harassment, Assault

Responding to internal pressures, Google will end forced arbitration for its current and future employees starting March 21. Spurred by employee protests and walkouts last year, the Menlo Park, California-based tech giant says it will no longer include a forced arbitration clause in its regular employee contracts. The arbitration agreements Google is ditching required workers to waive their right to sue the company for sexual harassment and sexual assault. Google will also strike mandatory arbitration requirements for employees of Google subsidiary companies, including X research and development lab, the DeepMind AI program, and the Access broadband unit. But the changes ... Read More

Long Island Rail Road Commuter Train Crash Kills Three

Authorities investigating a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) commuter train crash Tuesday night that killed three people and injured several others say a car was trying to beat the gate when it was struck by two trains traveling in opposite directions. The three people killed in the crash were all occupants of the car that drove around the lowered gates at a grade crossing near the Westbury station. Long Island Rail Road president Phillip Eng confirmed that the gates were lowered and the lights were flashing when the car attempted to cross the tracks. Authorities said an eastbound train struck ... Read More

MacGyver Producer Gets Federal Fine for Stuntman’s Head Injury

Federal regulators hit producers of the CBS television show MacGyver with a penalty of nearly $10,000 for safety violations related to the on-set injury of a stunt man last summer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed that Eye Productions Inc., a CBS subsidiary company that produces the MacGyver shows, pay a penalty of $9,742 for failing to provide adequate protection from head injury during stunts. Stunt man Justin Sundquist suffered a serious head injury on the Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, film set when performing a stunt from a moving vehicle traveling about 18 mph, OSHA said. The head injury ... Read More

Underride Crash Kills One Person, Injures Two in South Carolina

Authorities are investigating a deadly underride crash that killed one person and critically injured two others when the van they were in collided with the back of a tractor-trailer in Beaufort, South Carolina, Feb. 17. The underride crash occurred around 7:20 a.m. when for reasons not yet known the van crashed into the back of the tractor-trailer. According to Charleston’s ABC News Channel 4, the City of Beaufort-Town of Port Royal Fire Department said all three van occupants were significantly entrapped in the wreckage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires tractor-trailers to be equipped with rear underride guards ... Read More

Pulse Nightclub Victims Appeal Claims Against Security Company

Several victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando and their family members are asking a Florida appeals court to revive their case against the Jupiter, Florida-based security firm that employed and trained the killer. The 30 appellants, including four estates of victims killed in the attack, allege that G4S Secure Solutions should have known there was a “deranged person … within their employment” and halted his annual firearms training and revoked his security license. Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born man of Afghani descent, drove two hours north of his home to Orlando on June 12, 2016, and ... Read More

NTSB Suspects Thermos Caused Deadly NYC Bus Crash

Federal investigators said a metal thermos that fell on the floor of a charter bus probably caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, sending it crashing through a Queens, New York intersection at a high rate of speed and into another bus. The collision killed three people. Analyzing surveillance video, vehicle data, and other information collected from the deadly bus crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it couldn’t definitively say whether the dropped thermos jammed the gas and brake pedals, but said evidence supports that conclusion. On the morning of Sept. 18, 2017, the Dahlia Group ... Read More

Whistleblower Instrumental in Recovering $2.5 Million in Taxpayer Funds From SC University

A whistleblower was instrumental in helping the U.S. government recover $2.5 million in taxpayer funds from a private South Carolina “Christian” university that allegedly engaged in unlawful incentive-based recruitment schemes. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, North Greenville University (NGU) entered a settlement agreement with the federal government resolving a False Claims Act lawsuit initiated by whistleblower Maurice Shoe. The complaint alleged NGU made payments in the form of commissions, bonuses, and other incentives to a company named Joined Inc., a marketing and recruiting company for Christian colleges and universities. The unlawful payments were based on the company’s success in ... Read More

Truck Underride Survivor Pushes For Tractor-Trailer Safety

Anita Bomgaars was just 19 when a tractor-trailer entered her lane and crashed into her car head-on, resulting in an underride crash that left her multiple debilitating injuries. Now 63, the Iowa resident has become one of the leading advocates of the Stop Underrides Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in 2017 that would require tractor-trailers and other heavy trucks to be equipped with side underride guards. The bill also seeks to raise standards for the already-required rear-underride guards that all tractor-trailers have. Ms. Bomgaars told the Sioux City Journal that she was driving from her parents’ home in Sioux Center, ... Read More

Benzene Pollution Leads to $775,000 Fine for Birmingham Coal Company

As Alabama coal company that was belching more than 10 times the amount of benzene it had been reporting to state and federal regulators will pay $775,000 in penalties. Birmingham, Alabama-based Drummond Company, one of Alabama’s largest coal operations, agreed to the settlement eight years after the Jefferson County Board of Health inspectors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that the company’s foundry coke facilities were releasing hazardous levels of benzene into the air. According to the County and the EPA, both of which have gone to great lengths to shield Drummond from the community’s concerns, the company ... Read More