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attorneys 356 articles

Quest Diagnostics Settles Whistleblower’s Allegations Of Fraudulent Billing Practices


Quest Diagnostics Inc., a multi-billion-dollar medical testing corporation, has agreed to pay the U.S. $1.8 million to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower that it defrauded Medicare with a double-billing scheme. United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, whose office investigated the whistleblower complaint, welcomed the recovery and said it represented a commitment to “fight fraud and abuse to help preserve scarce Medicare funds for those who need it the most, the sick and the elderly.” Whistleblower Elisa Martinez, a former phlebotomist at Quest Diagnostics, filed her complaint under the federal False Claims Act, which authorizes private citizens to sue on ... Read More

SEC declines to levy charges in Target data breach


After exposing the personal and financial information of millions of unsuspecting consumers in late 2013, the Target data breach will not be penalized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “The SEC’s Enforcement Division concluded its investigation during the second quarter of 2015 and does not intend to recommend an enforcement action against us,” Target claims in its quarterly filing. The lack of disciplinary action comes as a surprise to many, considering how many unlucky Target customers were forced to shoulder the tireless aftermath of having their personal and financial information stolen by cybercriminals. However, other agencies, such as the ... Read More

Recent TVM settlements, verdicts may lead to resolution in outstanding MDL

transvaginal mesh

A number of high-profile transvaginal mesh settlements and verdicts in the past few months may prompt larger larger-scale settlements in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in West Virginia. That MDL involves pelvic mesh devices manufactured by a several medical device companies including C.R. Bard Inc., Endo International PLC unit American Medical Systems, and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. Last month, American Medical Systems announced it had resolved more than 100 personal injury lawsuits with the $830 million the company had set aside to settle a large number of the lawsuits waged against its transvaginal mesh device. In May, Boston Scientific ... Read More

Power morcellator lawsuits could produce large awards


Manufacturers of controversial power morcellators used to perform hysterectomies and uterine fibroid removal may not face a large number of lawsuits alleging cancer spread caused by the devices, but the awards or settlements could be huge, plaintiffs attorneys say. Victims and their family members harmed by power morcellators tend to have major medical bills and most are in their peak earing years. Power morcellators are surgical tools fitted with a tube-like blade that shreds uterine fibroids or entire uteruses inside the uterine cavity and removes them through a small incision in the abdomen. The devices have been favored over open ... Read More

Peanut exec faces life sentence in “unprecedented” food poisoning case


U.S. government prosecutors have recommended a life sentence to a former peanut company owner convicted of knowingly selling and distributing a variety of peanut products contaminated with salmonella. Lawyers for both prosecution and defense say the recommended sentence of life in prison for Stewart Parnell, the 61-year-old head of Peanut Corporation of America, is “unprecedented” for a food poisoning case. Court documents show the U.S. Probation Office determined that Mr. Parnell’s crimes fell “in a life sentence Guidelines range” using sentencing calculations and guidelines. These calculations and determinations will be given to the federal judge to assist in sentencing Sept. ... Read More

Alleging ignition-switch cover-up, plaintiffs seek GM’s legal communications

GM recall

Plaintiffs seeking documented communications between General Motors and its lawyers urged a New York federal judge Thursday to order GM to release the documents, arguing the automaker and its lawyers conspired to commit fraud to conceal a deadly ignition switch defect and therefore should not be allowed to hide their misconduct behind attorney-client privilege. Plaintiffs’ lawyers singled out three cases demonstrating how GM and its attorneys allegedly lied and buried evidence that it knew the ignition switches in millions of its cars were unsafe – actions that constitute a crime or fraud as defined by the crime-fraud exception to the ... Read More

Chinese Drywall Class Action plaintiffs await ruling on damages


Nearly 3,000 homeowners who claim their homes and personal property have been ruined by cheaply made Chinese drywall await a federal judge’s decision after a trial to determine damages in a class-action lawsuit concluded Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Edon Fallon, who certified the class, heard testimony from expert witnesses in New Orleans and will decide damages without the participation of a jury. The judge plans to make a decision toward the end of the month, after meeting with attorneys from both sides. The class action includes homeowners from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia who contend the defective drywall ... Read More

Xarelto lawsuits mount in recent months


Lawsuits involving the bleeding side effects with the blood thinner Xarelto have seen a steady increase in recent months according to an analysis of statistics from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation through mid-June. The biggest increases in new filings were seen in products liability litigation before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The lawsuits target Xarelto makers Bayer and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The lawsuits allege the drug makers did not adequately warn of major bleeding events including gastrointestinal bleeds and brain hemorrhages associated with use of the drug. Xarelto is ... Read More

Wrongful-death lawsuit filed against Philadelphia amphibious boat tour company


The family of a woman who was hit and killed by an amphibious tour boat on a downtown Philadelphia street in May has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the tour company and the City of Philadelphia, asserting the vehicles should not be allowed on city streets. Elizabeth Karnicki, 69, of Beaumont, Texas, was touring Philadelphia on foot with her husband May 8 when the tour boat on wheels hit her as she was crossing a street. The Ride The Ducks tour drives visitors around Philadelphia’s historic neighborhoods and attractions before descending a ramp into the Delaware River for views of ... Read More

Train conductor gets reinstatement, back pay after whistleblower retaliation probe

railroad tracks

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad must reinstate a train conductor allegedly fired in retaliation for reporting a work injury and pay him $536,000 in compensatory damages, back pay, and attorneys’ fees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said. According to the agency, BNSF, the second-largest freight railroad in North America, took disciplinary action against the conductor after he reported a knee injury that he received on board a train traveling from Vancouver, Canada, to Pasco, Wash., in 2010. The company’s actions prompted the conductor to file a Federal Railroad Safety Act anti-discrimination complaint with OSHA in February 2011. ... Read More