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criminal 188 articles

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

GM employee warned company of Impala ignition stall in 2005, emails show

A General Motors (GM) employee whose 2006 Chevy Impala suddenly stalled as she drove onto a gravel surface from a paved road warned company officials that GM should issue a “big recall” to fix an ignition switch defect that went unheeded for several more years. According to GM’s internal emails made public on Wednesday, GM employee Laura Andres sent an email to company engineers in 2005 documenting her own experience with a sudden stall. Ms. Andres said in the email that a technician who examined her Impala said the car’s ignition switch may have been at fault. “I think this ... Read More

Texas woman blamed for fiancé’s car crash death sues GM after it admits link to ignition switch defect

Candice Anderson, the Texas woman who was tried and convicted for killing her fiancé in a 2004 crash has filed a lawsuit against General Motors (GM) after discovering the automaker knew all along its ignition switch defect caused the crash. In Nov. 2004, Ms. Anderson was driving her 2004 Saturn Ion in Canton, Texas, with her fiancé Mikale Erickson when she lost control of the vehicle upon entering a slight curve in the road. The car left the road and crashed into a tree, throwing both driver and passenger through the windshield. Because the crash occurred in a rural part of Texas, an hour passed ... Read More

GM no longer paying daily ignition switch recall fines

General Motors (GM) is no longer paying federal fines for failing to answer questions about its handling of defective ignition switches and its failure to recall vehicles affected by the potentially deadly flaw. The automaker has been racking up fines of $7,000 per day since April 3, the deadline set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The safety regulator stopped the fines on April 5, the day GM turned in a 315-page report documenting the results of an internal investigation commissioned by GM. Total fines GM amassed came to about $430,000. NHTSA also fined GM $35 million for ... 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

The “GM nod” illustrates GM’s incompetent handling of deadly ignition switches

Last week, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra told GM employees and journalists that an internal investigation of the way the company handled its deadly ignition switch problem did not find a “conspiracy by the corporation to cover up the facts.”  However, the investigation did reveal something equally bad, if not worse: a company defined by incompetence and willful ignorance. One of the defining characteristics of GM’s corporate culture was, according to the report by investigator Anton Valukas, the “GM nod,” which he described as a situation “when everyone nods in agreement to a proposed plan of action, but then ... 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

Without trial lawyers, would families have chance at justice against GM for ignition switch defect?

When Brooke Melton’s 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt suddenly lost power and crashed on a rainy night, killing her on her 29th birthday, her parents knew in their hearts that a defect in her automobile was to blame. The same problem – her car stalled while she was driving it – had happened to Brooke just three days before, prompting her father, Ken Melton, to insist they take it to a dealership for repairs. After the fatal crash, the gut feeling Mr. Melton and his wife Beth had that the car was to blame for their daughter’s death was so strong, they ... Read More

Texas woman convicted of manslaughter learns GM ignition switch caused fiancé’s crash death

A Texas woman who became a convicted felon for causing a 2004 car crash that killed her fiancé has learned that General Motors (GM) counts the accident as one of 13 deaths it blames on its defective ignition switches. Candice Anderson was driving her 2004 Saturn Ion in Canton, Texas, with her fiancé Mikale Erickson in November 2004 when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Mr. Erickson, the father of two small children, was killed. Ms. Anderson was thrown through the windshield and barely survived the crash herself. The vehicle’s airbags never deployed. Police could find no causes ... Read More

“Incompetence and neglect” drove GM’s handling of defective ignition switch, report finds

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra responded Thursday morning to the findings of an internal investigation led by lawyer Anton Valukas into the company’s handling of an ignition switch defect, saying that the probe found “a pattern of incompetence and neglect” within the company. “I can tell you, this report is extremely thorough, brutally tough and deeply troubling,” Ms. Barra said of Mr. Valukas’ conclusions. “For those of us who have dedicated our lives to this company, it is enormously painful to see our shortcomings laid out so vividly. As I read the report, I was deeply saddened and disturbed.” ... Read More