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claims 1054 articles

Verdict in whistleblower guardrail case could be breakthrough for False Claims Act suit

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Just because the U.S. government fails to intervene in a False Claims Act case doesn’t mean the lawsuit can’t prevail in court, a fact demonstrated by the $175-million verdict a Texas federal jury handed down this week in a whistleblower case against the nation’s leading guardrail manufacturer. According to the Wall Street Journal, the verdict in whistleblower Josh Harman’s case against Trinity Industries Inc. should serve as a “False Claims Act wake-up call” to companies that contract with or in other ways do business with federal agencies and programs, signaling that even false claims lawsuits without the government’s backing can ... Read More

U.S. settles whistleblower allegations with diagnostic centers for $2.6 million

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Two groups of Houston-based medical diagnostic centers have agreed to pay the U.S. more than $2.6 million to resolve a group of whistleblower allegations that they entered into improper financial agreements with physicians in schemes to boost Medicare referrals. According to the U.S. Justice Department, One Step Diagnostic has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle allegations it violated the Stark Statute and the False Claims Act by entering into bogus consulting and medical director agreements with physicians who referred patients to One Step Diagnostic Centers. The other group of centers consists of Complete Imaging Solutions doing business as Houston ... Read More

More U.S. farmers sue Syngenta for tainting corn supply with genetically engineered strains

corn supply contamination negatively affects US farmers export

Farmers in Alabama and 10 other states have filed lawsuits against Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta AG alleging the company contaminated the U.S. corn supply with a genetically engineered strain of corn that China refuses to import. The lawsuits claim that Syngenta’s contamination of the corn supply, much of which is bound for export, caused China to reject nearly 1.5 million tons of U.S. corn shipments, resulting in an 11-cent-per-bushel drop in prices and depressing the overall corn market. This in turn, plaintiffs allege, has hurt corn farmers across the country. The complaints stem from Syngenta’s genetically modified Agrisure Viptera corn, which ... Read More

Kentucky cardiologists settle health care fraud charges brought by whistleblowers

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Two Kentucky cardiologists have agreed to pay $380,000 to settle allegations made by whistleblowers that they violated the U.S. False Claims Act, federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and the Stark Law by making “sham agreements” with a London, Ky., hospital that resulted in referrals for cardiology procedures and other health care services. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Dr. Satyabrata Chatterjee and Dr. Ashwini Anand jointly own Cumberland Clinic, a physician group that provides cardiology services. The government alleged that St. Joseph Hospital of London, Kentucky had agreements with the doctors under which the hospital paid the physicians to provide fictitious management ... Read More

Texas guardrail maker loses whistleblower case, jury orders company to pay $175 million

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A Texas guardrail manufacturer accused by a whistleblower of defrauding the federal government has been ordered to pay $175 million by a federal jury. Dallas-based Trinity industries for years has manufactured guardrail systems for the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), which uses them on highways in most every state. In 2012, whistleblower Josh Harman, a Virginia guardrail installer and safety advocate, sued Trinity under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of secretly changing the design of its government-approved ET-Plus guardrail system. According to Mr. Harman, the redesigned ET-Plus guardrails cost less for Trinity to produce ... Read More

Merck company Organon to pay several states $31 million to settle Medicaid fraud allegations

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Following an investigation into possible Medicaid fraud, Drug maker Organon USA Inc., a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck, has agreed to pay $31 million to settle allegations by several U.S. states that it overcharged their Medicaid programs for the anti-depressant Remeron and Remeron SolTab. The states claimed that Organon encouraged pharmacies to offer Remeron to their nursing home clients by providing the drug at a discount, which gave Organon a competitive edge against other drug manufacturers. Organon then reported the drug’s full cost when it sought reimbursements from the Medicaid programs in multiple states, the plaintiffs alleged. Washington D.C. and ... Read More

Generic drug maker Ranbaxy settles Texas Medicaid fraud lawsuit for $40 million

whistleblower

Indian generic drug manufacturer Ranbaxy Laboratories has agreed to pay the State of Texas nearly $40 million to resolve a Texas Medicaid fraud lawsuit alleging the company defrauded the Texas Medicaid program by reporting inflated market prices for its drugs, resulting in larger reimbursements. The agreement calls for Ranbaxy to pay the Texas general revenue fund and the federal government each $17.875 million and another $4 million in attorney fees to the state’s attorney general office. The federal government receives a percentage of the settlement funds because it subsidizes state Medicaid programs. The payments, totaling $39.75 million, will be made in ... Read More

Anti-insurance-fraud coalition objects to Illinois court’s ruling against whistleblower

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The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud has filed an amicus brief in Illinois state appellate court following a lower court’s ruling that struck down a physical therapist’s whistleblower complaint. According to the Property Casualty 360, the Coalition believes the Illinois court’s decision will weaken the state’s whistleblowing laws and diminish fraud-fighting efforts there. The objectionable ruling centers on complaint brought by Jocelyn Zolna-Pitts against her former employer accusing the clinic of routinely overbilling insurers for patient services. Ms. Zolna-Pitts filed her whistleblower lawsuit in an Illinois Circuit Court under the state’s Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act. The court dismissed the lawsuit, ... Read More

Jury awards $73 million to plaintiff in transvaginal mesh lawsuit

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A woman injured by transvaginal mesh intended to treat urinary incontinence has received the largest jury award of any plaintiff to date in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. Boston Scientific was ordered by a West Virginia jury to pay plaintiff Martha Salazar $73 million for injuries she received from the company’s bladder sling device. Salazar, 42, claims she was a healthy woman with a full-time job when she underwent surgery to repair a condition causing urinary incontinence. But she says the transvaginal mesh that was implanted in her – the Obtryx mesh – was defective, causing severe chronic pain. The $73 million ... Read More

Nursing home giant settles fraud allegations for $38 million

One of the largest nursing home chains in the United States has agreed to pay the federal government $38 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that it routinely billed Medicare for “substandard” and “worthless” patient care services and therapy services that were medically unnecessary or unreasonable, the Justice Department announced Friday. The settlement between the federal government and Extendicare Health Services, which operates 146 facilities in 11 states, is the largest False Claims Act settlement involving “failure of care” allegations the Justice Department has ever reached with a nursing home company. “Protecting this nation’s vulnerable populations – including our ... Read More