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criminal 188 articles

CDC contractor pays $18 million to settle whistleblower allegations

A California pharmaceutical distributor has agreed to pay the U.S. $18 million to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that it improperly set temperature monitors in shipping vaccines while it was under contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide vaccine distribution services. The U.S. Justice Department said that San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation failed to comply with the shipping and handling requirements of its vaccine distribution contract with the CDC, which had contracted the company to receive vaccines purchased by the government from manufacturers and then distribute them health care providers. The CDC contract required McKesson to ensure ... Read More

GM’s new ignition switch website offers recall info by model and year

“There is a risk, under certain conditions, that your ignition switch may move out of the “run” position, resulting in a partial loss of electrical power and turning off the engine,” GM’s newly refurbished ignition switch recall website informs drivers who need to look up information about GM ignition switch defects. The website allows consumers to find specific General Motors (GM) recall information online by clicking on a list of vehicle models and years. Users are then directed to safety information that describes the ignition switch problem. The website also warns drivers that the risk of an ignition-related problem “increases ... Read More

Whistleblower sues Milwaukee aircraft manufacturer, others for deliberately overcharging government

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee of a Milwaukee-based aircraft manufacturer alleges the company used special software to hide illegal markups on bills it submitted to the U.S. Defense Department for reimbursement on aircraft parts. Plaintiff Mary Patzer, a former financial analyst and assistant controller at Derco Aerospace Inc., filed the lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of the federal government under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act. The case was unsealed this week by federal judge Rudolph Randa. Ms. Patzer alleges that Derco, its parent company Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. of ... Read More

NHTSA chronically slow responding to auto safety petitions, AP analysis finds

Federal auto safety regulators routinely fail to address consumer safety concerns in a timely manner, an Associated Press (AP) analysis found, underscoring a problem that may contribute to dangerous vehicles remaining on the road and more people being injured and killed needlessly. The AP reported that since 2010 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 15 petitions filed by consumers and safety advocates who wanted the federal regulators to investigate potential safety problems in some vehicles. Of those petitions, NHTSA missed the four-month deadline that the law requires it to meet in granting or denying the request 12 times. ... Read More

Savannah hospital faces whistleblower allegations of false claims, wrongful retaliation

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The federal government has filed a lawsuit against Memorial Health Inc. and an affiliated physicians group for filing allegedly fraudulent claims for Medicare reimbursement that stemmed from improper physician referrals and illegal financial relationships. The lawsuit, filed in a Savannah federal court, is based on the allegations of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Memorial Health President/CEO Phillip Schaengold in April 2011 under the False Claims Act, which allows private individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government. After Memorial Health hired him in June 2009, Mr. Schaengold began a comprehensive analysis of the hospital’s financial ... Read More

GM unable to locate nearly 140,000 owners of vehicles with ignition switch flaw

If you own a General Motors (GM) vehicle that is subject to the company’s ignition switch recall and haven’t yet received a recall notice in the mail, you could be one of several thousand the automaker has failed to reach. In its quarterly filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) July 25, GM said that about 6.4 percent of the 2.2 million recall notices it mailed to owners were returned as undeliverable. That’s about 140,000 Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Saturn, and other model cars, trucks and SUVs. GM has said several times that it is aiming for a 100-percent ... Read More

Federal court holds Chinese drywall companies in contempt for ignoring U.S. litigation

China’s state-owned drywall manufacturers have abandoned litigation in the U.S. involving thousands of American homeowners who sued the companies over allegedly toxic and corrosive drywall they claim has damaged their homes and their health. In addition to not responding to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Louisiana federal court, Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and other gypsum manufacturers owned by the Chinese government’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission ignored a $2.7 million default judgment against them in 2010. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon held Taishan in civil and criminal contempt on July 17 for its refusal to appear in court to ... Read More

Top U.S. hospital system will pay $98 million to resolve whistleblowers’ fraud allegations

A Tennessee-based hospital system has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $98 million to resolve lawsuits filed by several whistleblowers who alleged the company cheated Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded health care programs through fraudulent billing practices. The U.S. Justice Department said that Community Health Systems Inc., the largest operator of acute-care hospitals in the U.S., will pay $98.15 million to resolve the lawsuits, which multiple physicians, nurses, other caregivers, and administrators filed under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers accused 119 Community Health Systems hospitals of improperly billing the federal government ... Read More

GM recall website gave some consumers wrong info, NHTSA warns

Owners of General Motors (GM) cars and trucks who recently used the automaker’s VIN-entry website to check whether their vehicle is subject to a safety recall are urged to check again or call the company because the website was giving out wrong information to some users. Federal investigators probing GM’s response to a potentially deadly flaw in the ignition switches of nearly 3 million vehicles said Friday that GM’s website, designed to help consumers through the recall process, isn’t working properly. GM has recalled about 30 million vehicles in North America this year alone, with about 25.5 million of those ... Read More

Attorneys in GM litigation seek access to all of automaker’s ignition-switch-recall disclosures

Lawyers appointed as temporary counsel in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against General Motors (GM) for lost value of its vehicles have told the federal judge overseeing the litigation that the automaker should submit all pre-discovery disclosures and other documents it has already released to federal officials investigating GM’s handling of recalls over ignition switch failures. GM has already released a substantial amount of discovery to government officials, including the House Energy & Commerce Committee, a Senate Commerce subcommittee, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the lawyers argued. Those disclosures have not been released to the public, and attorneys ... Read More