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The Fraud List: CVS Caremark profits from Medicaid fraud

The Fraud List

CVS Caremark is the pharmacy benefit management and drugs-by-mail division of CVS Health, a Woonsocket, R.I., based company currently ranked by Fortune Global 500 as the 35th largest corporation in the world in terms of revenue. As both the owner of nearly 70,000 retail pharmacies and the manager of pharmacy services for thousands of clients, the CVS family of companies is well positioned to make enormous profits in the health care field. The corporation manages pharmacy benefit services for employers, health insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations, and other health care plan providers throughout the U.S. CVS Caremark, ... Read More

Construction companies fined for exposing workers to falls, eye injuries

Working on the Wall

Federal safety inspectors cited a pair of Jacksonville, Fla., construction companies for endangering workers with lax safety measures, including insufficient fall prevention and improper eye protection. In February and April, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent compliance officers to construction sites as part of its Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction, which identified areas with a higher than average number of construction accidents and targeted them for improvement. The agency said that in the course of these inspections, officials from OSHA’s Jacksonville office observed employees of Transformers Construction Services Inc. and Buildtronix LLC exposed to safety ... Read More

Chinese Drywall Class Action plaintiffs await ruling on damages

china

Nearly 3,000 homeowners who claim their homes and personal property have been ruined by cheaply made Chinese drywall await a federal judge’s decision after a trial to determine damages in a class-action lawsuit concluded Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Edon Fallon, who certified the class, heard testimony from expert witnesses in New Orleans and will decide damages without the participation of a jury. The judge plans to make a decision toward the end of the month, after meeting with attorneys from both sides. The class action includes homeowners from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia who contend the defective drywall ... Read More

Ford class action filed after automaker refuses to address carbon monoxide defect in certain models

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After reports that certain defective Ford vehicles allow the passage of carbon monoxide into the passenger compartment, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in New Jersey claiming that Ford knowingly disregarded its consumers’ safety by failing to warn owners to get the defect fixed. The issue appears to affect 2011-2015 Ford Explorers and 2011-13 Edge and MKX vehicles with 3.5L and 3.7L TIVCT engines. According to the complaint, Ford recognized the carbon monoxide defect as of 2012 and posted two different technical safety bulletins to Ford dealers in response; however, the automaker has refused to notify the vehicle owners ... Read More

BP oil spill settlement the largest of its kind in U.S. history

BP rig fire

BP reached a record $18.73-billion agreement with the U.S. government and five Gulf states Thursday to resolve most legal claims stemming from its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, considered the biggest environmental catastrophe in the U.S. The settlement is the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history. If approved by the court, the settlement will require BP to pay the federal government $5.5 billion in civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. NP subsidiary BPXP will make those payments over a 15-year period. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said that 80 percent of the Clean ... Read More

More people sickened by eating fish than previously estimated, new report finds

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The number of people sickened by eating fish such as barracuda and other sport fish is far greater than scientists previously believed, federal health officials warned Tuesday. Researchers say the illnesses are linked to a toxin in the fish, citing a new study documenting cases of ciguatera fish poisoning in Florida. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ciguatera fish poisoning is an illness caused by eating fish that contain toxins produced by Gambierdiscus toxicus, a relatively rare marine microalgae. People sickened with ciguatera usually experience nausea, vomiting, and neurologic symptoms such as tingling sensations, especially in the ... Read More

IKEA announces second minimum wage hike in two years

money

IKEA, known as the world’s largest furniture retailer, has announced its second minimum wage hike for employees in U.S. stores. This raise would increase IKEA’s hourly minimum wage from $10.76 to $11.87 – a 10 percent jump and exactly $4.62 over the current federal minimum wage. Considering retail sales workers in the U.S. normally receive an average wage of about $12.38, IKEA’s living wage announcement will push the company’s average U.S. store wage above $15. Beginning the first day of 2016, precisely 30 percent of U.S. IKEA employees will be earning at least $11.87, thanks to the retailer’s latest minimum wage hike. According to ... Read More

Red light camera fraud scheme implicates dozens of municipalities, officials

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An alleged red light camera enforcement bribery scheme exposed by a whistleblower last year that encompassed several municipalities in more than a dozen states keeps growing larger. Aaron Rosenberg, once the top national salesman for Chicago-based Redflex Traffic Systems, alleged in his federal lawsuit that the company doled out hefty bribes and showered government officials with gifts in “dozens of municipalities” in exchange for lucrative contracts. Mr. Rosenberg says he was fired in 2013 in retaliation for providing information about the alleged scandals to federal and local officials investigating Reflex for alleged misconduct. The whistleblower then filed a civil defamation ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuit against Florida nursing home leads to record $17-million settlement

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A whistleblower lawsuit filed against Miami, Fla.,-based Hebrew Homes Health Network by its former Chief Financial Officer ended with a settlement requiring the company to pay the U.S. $17 million. The U.S. Justice Department said the settlement was the largest ever involving Anti-Kickback Statute violations by a skilled nursing home. The U.S. Justice Department, which investigated the case and chose to intervene, said Stephen Beaujon accused Hebrew Homes, its former president and executive director, and its subsidiaries and affiliates of operating a “sophisticated kickback scheme” in which the nursing facility hired and paid numerous doctors into “ghost positions” that paid ... Read More

Investigation questions why so many babies die after heart surgery at Florida hospital

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At least nine infants have died following heart surgery at a Florida Hospital between 2011 and 2013, about 12.5 percent – or three times the national average – according to CNN calculations, and some family members want to know why. “Why won’t they stop?” Nneka Campell asked during the CNN interview that aired June 1. Her baby daughter Amelia died after heart surgery at the hospital. Davide Carbone, CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach Fla., is standing by the hospital’s program and its heart surgeon, Dr. Michael Black. In a letter to employees he wrote, “The patients ... Read More