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Florida 391 articles

IRS data breach class action alleges the government failed to protect citizen data


The IRS data breach, which has affected about 330,000 Americans to date, may have even more serious repercussions on the government agency, including a class action lawsuit now brewing behind the scenes. According to Forbes, Beck Welborn and Wendy Windrich, both taxpayers negatively impacted by the cyberattack, filed the lawsuit both individually and on behalf of a proposed class action to allege that the agency was aware of the website’s security issues. The defendants named in the lawsuit are the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen. “What should have been a trustworthy digital service had been ... Read More

Florida hospital ceases pediatric heart surgery program due to high death rate


St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., announced it is closing its pediatric heart surgery program after a CNN report found that the death rate among patients in the program was three times the national average. Between 2011 and 2013, nine infants have died following heart surgery at the Florida hospital – or about 12.5 percent. A tenth baby was left paralyzed after surgery. CNN said it calculated the death rate for the program by filing record requests and independently confirming the deaths with parents of the infants who died. Last year, the Florida Department of Health sent expert ... Read More

The Fraud List: Adventist Health System demonstrates a history of health care fraud

The Fraud List

Adventist Health System is a non-profit health care organization run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based organization network encompasses about 45 hospital campuses in 10 Southern and Midwestern states in addition to a number of urgent care centers, home health care and hospice centers, and nursing homes, making it the largest Protestant-affiliated non-profit health care provider in the U.S. Adventist Health says its organization “incorporates Christian values at every level of service” and conducts its business “with integrity, honesty and fairness,” yet somehow these values have led it into numerous multimillion-dollar settlements to resolve allegations of fraud, most ... Read More

NTSB says drugs, fatigue contributed to fatal tractor trailer crash

I75 truck crash Tennessee - Chattanooga DOT image

Federal investigators have released a preliminary report on the causes of a deadly June 25 tractor trailer crash that killed six people and injured four others on I-75 in Chattanooga, Tenn., citing mechanical problems, drugs and fatigue as some of the contributing factors. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the its report on the same day that truck driver Ben Brewer was charged with multiple felonies, including driving under the influence of narcotics and vehicular homicide. According to the report, Mr. Brewer, an employee of Cool Runnings Express of London, Ky., was to haul a 2005 Great Dane refrigerated trailer from ... Read More

Toxic wastewater Spill Turns Colorado River Bright Orange

colorado river

A million-gallon spill of toxic wastewater flowed from an old mine into the Animas River in Southern Colorado Wednesday, turning the waterway into a thick sludgy vivid orange and yellow and threatening human health and wildlife for miles. The release occurred when Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers were using heavy machinery to assess pollutants at the Gold King Mine, about 55 miles north of Durango, Colo. The mine is the property of San Juan Corp. of Golden, Colo., but it has been inactive for several years. The EPA has been monitoring the site for years without incident, but an apparent ... Read More

Jimmy John’s FLSA lawsuits will not be consolidated

Jimmy Johns

Popular sandwich delivery company Jimmy John’s Enterprises was denied the request to consolidate claims stemming from the chain’s employees, stating they are misclassified under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and thus denied basic minimum wage and overtime pay. Jimmy John’s argued that two FLSA misclassification lawsuits against the company were “substantially identical;” however, U.S. District Judge Charles P. Korocas denied the consolidation request without a stated reason. In July 2014, plaintiffs Emily Brunner and Caitlin Turowski filed a putative class action on behalf of current and former Jimmy John’s assistant managers allegedly misclassified by the sandwich chain and its ... Read More

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


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


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