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claims 2625 articles

Whistleblowers Help U.S Recover $75 Million From Hospice Chain

Three whistleblower lawsuits have led to a recovery of $75 million from Vitas Hospice Services LLC, the nation’s largest for-profit hospice chain, and its parent company Chemed Corporation of Cincinnati, Ohio. An agreement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Oct. 30 resolves three lawsuits filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows private parties to sue on behalf of the U.S. in cases of suspected fraud targeting federal agencies and programs. The whistleblower lawsuits alleged that Vitas and Chemed knowingly submitted claims to Medicare and caused the submission of claims to Medicare for hospice ... Read More

Whistleblower Contract Fraud Allegations Return $3 Million To U.S.

Two New York contractors and their owners agreed to pay more than $3 million to settle whistleblower allegations that they violated the wrongfully acquired government contracts reserved for service-disabled veterans for which they were not qualified. The settlement resolves allegations brought by an individual under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA), which authorizes private parties to file suit on behalf of the federal government in cases of suspected fraud. According to the whistleblower complaint, Zoladz Construction Company Inc, Alliance Contracting LLC, and owners John Zoladz and David Lyons obtained the veteran-reserved contracts by creating a sham company ... Read More

Hip implant jury won’t hear witness tampering claims

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade refused to allow jurors in a trial over alleged defective hip implants manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics to hear testimony related to alleged witness tampering involving communication between a DePuy attorney and a company pharmaceutical sales representative. The ruling comes after an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office into allegations that DePuy sales representative Glenn Swajger influenced David Shein, a surgeon who had treated three of the six plaintiffs, when the two conversed just days before Shein was to testify for the plaintiffs. Swajger agreed to be questioned by the ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Exposes Missouri Neurosurgeon’s Kickback Scheme

A lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act against a Missouri neurosurgeon and his fiancée has resulted in a recovery for the Medicare program. The lawsuit, brought by a group of physicians and other health care providers in 2014, accused Dr. Sonjay Fonn of Cape Girardeau and his fiancée Deborah Seeger of operating a mutually beneficial kickback scheme that resulted in the submission of false claims to Medicare. According to the whistleblower suit, the kickback scheme was hatched in 2008 when Ms. Seeger started a spinal implant distributorship, DS Medical, that supplied most of the spinal ... Read More

Fewer IVC filters implanted since FDA warning

The rate of inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement has declined nationally since reaching a peak in 2010, a trend experts say was triggered by a 2010 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning regarding serious risks associated with long-term use of the blood clot-catching devices. An IVC filter is a tiny, cage-like device that is implanted into the inferior vena cava – the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart – to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs, a condition called pulmonary embolism. The FDA warning stated that long-term risks associated with IVC ... Read More

Whistleblower Allegations Lead To Prison Sentence, Fines For Medical Equipment Vendor

The owner of an Iowa medical supply store has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for submitting falsified documents to federal authorities investigating fraud allegations raised by a whistleblower in a False Claims Act lawsuit. According to The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette, James O’Connor, 64, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $350,000 in restitution to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Mr. O’Connor owned and operated O’Connor Medical Supply Inc., a durable medical equipment vendor in the Des Moines, Iowa area. A whistleblower filed a False Claims Act suit against Mr. O’Connor and ... Read More

Plaintiff Alleges Benzene in Consumer Products Caused Husband’s Death

An Illinois woman who lost her husband to an aggressive form of brain cancer has filed a lawsuit against several manufacturers, alleging their products exposed her husband to benzene and other potentially carcinogenic pollutants containing benzene. According to the Madison County Record, Cheryl Stamper filed her complaint in Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois Oct. 18, naming as defendants Turtle Wax Inc., Shell Oil Co., Shell Chemical LP, BP Products North America, and others. Ms. Stamper claims that her late husband, Steve Stamper, “was exposed to and inhaled or ingested benzene and benzene-containing pollutants that were negligently released into the ... Read More

Xarelto trial delayed over possible witness tampering

Opening statements in the first Xarelto side effects bellwether trial to be heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas were set to begin Monday, but were delayed due to a tussle between parties over the significance of a meeting between the plaintiff’s treating physician and a sales representative for Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, maker of Xarelto. Janssen’s attorneys said the meeting was a routine call between a drug rep and a doctor. But the plaintiff’s attorneys said it smelled more like the events that occurred with a witness in a bellwether trial involving DePuy Orthopedics’ hip implant, ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Epic Systems, Alleging Fraudulent Double Billing

A whistleblower suing Verona, Wisconsin-based Epic Systems alleges the medical IT company’s software defaults to double-billing Medicare and Medicaid for anesthesia services, costing U.S. taxpayers to overpay by hundreds of millions of dollars. According to Law 360, Geraldine Petrowski, an employee of Raleigh, North Carolina-based WakeMed Health between 2008 and 2014, filed the False Claims complaint against Epic under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act after her experiences with implementing Epic’s billing system raised “major concerns” about overbilling the government. Ms. Petrowski’s whistleblower complaint contends that Epic’s billing software defaults to charging Medicare and Medicaid for actual time ... Read More

Dangerous drugs found in bodybuilding supplement

Dietary supplement maker and marketer IronMagLabs, of Henderson, Nevada, was hit with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter for peddling products that contain steroids, steroid-like substances, or selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). “Synthetic steroids have been associated with life threatening reaction, including liver damage, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis,” the warning letter states. “In addition, life threatening reactions, including liver toxicity, have occurred in people taking products containing SARMs. SARMs also have the potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.” At issue is the company’s dietary supplement called Super DMZ 4.0, which ... Read More