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University of Florida Pays $20 Million to Settle Complaint Alleging Grant Fraud


The University of Florida will pay the U.S. government nearly $20 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) for salary and administrative costs on hundreds of federal grants and misused grant funds. The federal government filed a False Claims Act complaint against the University of Florida after a Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) investigation uncovered evidence of fraud. The Justice Department’s Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the Dept. of Health and Human Services office of the Inspector General coordinated the settlement with the University of Florida. The University ... Read More

NTSB Pushes To Fix Flawed Tire Recall System

shredded tire BA istock

Auto manufacturers and suppliers are usually able to track down vehicle owners whenever a safety recall is underway and make any needed repairs.  But when tires are recalled over safety concerns, manufacturers may not be able to find and contact customers. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation, the U.S. needs a better tire recall system to connect tire manufacturers with customers because the way tires are currently registered and recalled is ineffective. “Our investigation revealed that very few tires are actually registered for recall purposes,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart. “So manufacturers cannot contact drivers if their ... Read More

Nine Confirmed Dead In Ohio in Corporate Jet Crash


Seven passengers and two pilots were killed in a  corporate jet crash Tuesday afternoon. The small plane crashed into an apartment building in a suburban Akron, Ohio. The fiery crash completely demolished one building and partially burned others, but no people on the ground were injured, local authorities said. The airplane, a 10-seat Hawker H25 jet, was carrying seven employees of a Boca Raton, Florida-based real estate investment company called Pebb Enterprises. The company confirmed the deaths on its website but said it would not be responding to media requests at the time. “Our hearts are broken this morning with the news of ... Read More

Whistleblowers Alleging Improper Cardiac Implants Help Medicare Recover $250 Million

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

The U.S. Justice Department announced it has reached 70 settlements involving nearly 500 hospitals in 43 states, recovering more than $250 million to Medicare, thanks to a pair of whistleblowers who filed a False Claims Act complaint alleging cardiac devices were being implanted in patients against the recommendations of medical authorities who inform Medicare rules. The whistleblower complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, involved the surgical implantation of cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) – electronic devices that are connected to the heart. ICDs deliver a shock to the heart and restore its natural rhythm ... Read More

Petty Holdings cited $7,000 in workplace violations following death of driving instructor


Petty Holdings, owner of Richard Petty Driving Experience at the now-demolished Walt Disney World Speedway, was recently cited $7,000 in fines related to the death of an on-site instructor, Gary Terry, who died when the Lamborghini he was a passenger in crashed into a guardrail end. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the citations involved the guardrails, which were not continuous through the whole track and did not have guard barriers at their ends. The vehicles also needed to run counterclockwise due to the track’s layout and guardrail placement. The Exotic Driving Experience cars were running clockwise ... Read More

Truck In Pensacola Bus Crash Was Unfit For Road, Police Say

School Buses

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Florida Highway Patrol authorities investigating a Pensacola bus crash have hit a Florida construction company with fines and a poor safety rating after one of its dump trucks hit a school bus in August, injuring 16 students and triggering an investigation that discovered a multitude of safety violations. The Florida Highway Patrol Compliance Investigation Unit began an investigation of G.B. Green Construction Management and Consulting, Inc., whose dump truck and driver ran through a red light August 27 and struck an Escambia County School bus carrying 22 Pensacola High School students. The impact of the crash caused ... Read More

Alabama joins multi-state investigation into Volkswagen emissions fraud

VW consumer fraud

Alabama has announced it is joining at least 27 states in an investigation of potential vehicle emissions fraud committed by Volkswagen. The multi-state probe plans to subpoena Volkswagen to learn more about the company’s diesel vehicle emissions. “We take any allegations of consumer fraud very seriously and will review the representations made by Volkswagen to its diesel customers in Alabama,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. The following states, including Alabama, have announced participation in the Volkswagen fraud probe:  Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, ... Read More

Boy suffers devastating TBI after home pesticide exposure


A Florida family is blaming the pest control company that fumigated their home for their 10-year-old son Peyton’s traumatic brain injury (TBI). The McCaughey family claims that a Terminix subcontractor, Sunland Pest Control, sprayed their home for termites on Aug. 14, and they were told that it would be safe for them to return to the home two days later. But immediately upon their return, all four family members started vomiting and became ill. Everyone, including Peyton’s 7-year-old sister, recovered, except Payton. His condition deteriorated to the point he couldn’t stand or speak. They rushed him to a local medical ... Read More

Whistleblower Complaint Recovers $69.5 million From Florida Hospital District


The North Broward Hospital District, a special taxing district in Florida that operates hospitals and other health care facilities, will pay the U.S. $69.5 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians, the Justice Department announced Tuesday. The settlement resolves allegations of fraud brought to the federal government’s attention by Dr. Michael Reilly, who sued North Broward Hospital District under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which authorizes individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. Dr. Reilly and the U.S. accused the hospital district of ... Read More

Orange Beach condo fire calls premises liability issues into question

condo fire, Orange Beach AL - WBRC video footage

Island Dunes Condo, a large condominium building in Orange Beach, Ala., caught fire overnight this week, resulting in a blaze that flamed for hours. More than 50 firefighters from surrounding areas, including Florida, responded to the condo fire and helped evacuate the building, Orange Beach Fire Chief Shane Phillips reported. “I’m glad nobody was hurt today, this was a deathtrap,” Phillips said about the Orange Beach condo fire. Officers and fire fighters were responsible for five rescues, including a man, a woman, a Great Dane dog and a cat. “I am so proud of this organization I can’t stand it.” ... Read More