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business 152 articles

U.S. paying legal fees of corporations in Hanford whistleblower case, senator wants to know why

Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz demanding to know why the federal government has paid at least $3.5 million in legal expenses on behalf of private contractors fighting the claims of two whistleblowers who allege the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State is riddled with serious safety hazards. Senator McCaskill, head of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, is investigating the claims of Walter Tamosaitis and Donna Busche, two longtime Hanford employees who claim they were fired in retaliation for reporting serious and widespread safety threats at the site. Hanford is the ... Read More

Whistleblowers allege Florida prison officials tortured, killed inmates

Four investigators from the Florida Department of Corrections have filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the state in a Florida federal court, accusing it of allowing, and in some cases officially sanctioning, horrific brutality, gang violence, drug and contraband smuggling, sexual favors, and other forms of corruption within the Dade Correctional Institution and other state prisons. The four whistleblowers also accuse the state of retaliating against them for attempting to expose the wrongdoing. Whistleblower Aubrey Land investigated the death of Randall Jordan-Aparo, a 27-year-old inmate at Franklin Correctional Institution who was serving an 18-month sentence for credit card fraud and drug ... Read More

Nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy provider settles whistleblower lawsuit for $124.24 million

Omnicare Inc., the country’s largest provider of prescription drugs and pharmacy services to nursing homes, has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $124 million to settle whistleblower allegations that it defrauded federal and state Medicare and Medicaid programs through false billings and engaged in illegal kickback schemes. The latest settlement marks the third time in one year that the Cincinnati-based corporation has agreed to settle whistleblower allegations brought against it under the federal False Claims Act, which contains provisions allowing individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government when they have good, original evidence of wrongdoing. Additionally, Omnicare ... Read More

Navy vet says Trader Joe’s fired him for reporting safety hazards, files whistleblower lawsuit

NEWARK, N.J. – A Navy Veteran who says his employer, a Trader Joe’s store in Westwood, N.J., fired him for reporting dangerous and unsanitary conditions, has fired a whistleblower lawsuit against the company. Joe Meyers, 57, says in his lawsuit that Trader Joe’s violated the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act when it fired him after he complained of several health and safety violations at the grocery chain. The act is designed to protect workers from retaliation when they blow the whistle on unsafe work practices and conditions, fraud, and other wrongdoing. The complaint, filed July 2 in federal court ... Read More

U.S. Supreme Court to review whistleblower lawsuit against KBR, Halliburton

The U.S. Supreme Court said that it will review a whistleblower lawsuit against KBR Inc. (Kellogg, Brown and Root) and Halliburton Co. alleging the corporations overbilled the U.S. government for work they performed on water-purification projects at two camps in Iraq. The Justices said on Tuesday that they will consider whether the lawsuit, filed by former KBR employee Benjamin Carter under the federal False Claims Act, should move forward. KBR, a global engineering and construction firm, has appealed the decision of a lower court reinstating Mr. Carter’s whistleblower lawsuit. According to the Associated Press, a federal judge had tossed the ... Read More

Celgene’s bid to have whistleblower case tossed is invalid, U.S. argues

The U.S. government threw its support behind a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act against drugmaker Celgene Corp. after the defendant asked a California federal court to throw out the complaint. The lawsuit, filed in 2010 by former Celgene sales representative Beverly Brown, alleges the company illegally marketed its cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for off-label uses and then submitted reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medicaid for the prescriptions. Only drugs that are prescribed for purposes approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reimbursable by federal health care programs. Drugs sold for off-label or “unapproved” ... Read More

Kentucky hospital agrees to pay $41 million for allegedly performing unnecessary heart procedures

A Kentucky hospital has agreed to pay the U.S. nearly $41 million to settle allegations that it billed federal and state health care programs millions of dollars for medically unnecessary heart stents and diagnostic catheterizations and for violating anti-kickback laws by rewarding physicians for referrals. The case is likely the largest ever in the U.S. involving fraudulent claims for unneeded heart procedures. King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., part of the Ashland Hospital Corp., will pay $40.9 million to resolve the allegations, the U.S. Justice Department said. The U.S. alleged that King’s Daughters Medical Center billed Medicare and Kentucky’s ... Read More

Medtronic whistleblower gets $1.73 million for exposing illegal kickbacks, false claims

A whistleblower who exposed illegal kickback schemes and false claims at Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc. will receive $1.73 million as his share in the government’s nearly $10-million recovery, the U.S. Justice Department said. Medtronic, a major manufacturer of pacemakers and defibrillators, agreed to pay the U.S. government $9.9 million to resolve allegations brought by Adolfo Schroeder, a former Medtronic employee, under the False Claims Act. The Act’s qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions allow individuals with knowledge of fraud and other wrongdoing targeting U.S. agencies and programs to sue on behalf of the federal government. In return, whistleblowers receive up to 30 ... Read More

Whistleblower claims Nike fired him for reporting safety concerns

A whistleblower who sued footwear giant Nike claiming the company fired him for reporting unsafe working conditions at its 600-acre headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., should receive a jury verdict within the next few days, the Portland Business Journal reports. Douglass Ossanna, who worked for Nike for years as an electrician, says the company fired him in 21013 in retaliation for raising safety concerns. He seeks economic damages of $572,000, non-economic damages of $1.5 million, and punitive damages up to $25 million from the company. His lawyer argued that Mr. Ossanna reported adverse working conditions to six different Nike managers over ... Read More

U.S. government joins whistleblower complaint against technology contractor

The federal government has filed a complaint against information technology contractor CA. Inc. for violations of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of intentionally overcharging the government for its products and services over the course of several years. The government’s lawsuit was prompted by another complaint brought by a former CA employee who filed a lawsuit against the company under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The U.S. government contracted CA in September 2002 to provide software licenses, maintenance, training, and consulting services to the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, Health And Human Services, and Labor. According ... Read More