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Florida 401 articles

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

NASA Contractor Sued For Alleged Tire-Replacement Fraud


United States prosecutors have filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against a NASA contractor and subcontractor, alleging the two companies cheated the national space agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars with a scheme that involved changing vehicle tires excessively. Federal prosecutors say that URS Federal Solutions Inc., a NASA contractor and subcontractor Yang Enterprises Inc. submitted more than one thousand fraudulent claims for undocumented and unnecessary, premature tire replacements on cars used at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. URS and Yang were responsible for overseeing a General Services Administration (GSA) fleet of about 400 vehicles at the Space ... Read More

China Rejects Drywall Litigation, Says Its Companies are Immune From U.S. Law


Plaintiffs suing Chinese companies that made allegedly defective drywall likely face an uphill battle as the Chinese government, which owns the manufacturing companies, shields them from litigation in the U.S. As many as 4,000 U.S. homeowners claim that sulfuric drywall made by Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. emitted fumes that corroded metal wiring and appliances, destroyed their belongings, and made them sick. Many of the homeowners, who live in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Virginia, say the defective drywall has forced them to abandon their homes, leaving them bankrupt. Damages could exceed $1 billion. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs have been ... Read More

Walter Investment Pays Nearly $30 Million To Settle Whistleblower Complaint


Walter Investment Management Corp. of Tampa, Fla., has agreed to pay $29.63 million to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit that it submitted false claims to the U.S. Department of Housing, which insures “reverse” mortgage loans. Through its subsidiaries, including Reverse Mortgage Solutions Inc., REO Management Solutions, and RMS Asset Management Solutions, Walter Investment submitted claims for interest payments to which it was not entitled, the U.S. Department of Justice said in announcement Sept. 4. The Justice Department alleged that the Walter Investment companies submitted the false claims in connection with their participation in the Department of Housing and ... Read More

Airbus Exec, Wife Recovering After Fiery Airplane Crash In Everglades

airplane - Lancair IV

A Florida couple is recovering in the hospital after surviving a fiery airplane crash in the Everglades Sunday morning. Ken McKenzie, a former pilot for the Canadian Armed Forces and the former Chief Operating Officer for Spirit Airlines, was piloting a Lancair IV-P he and his wife Sonia purchased in the spring. They were headed north from Fort Lauderdale to visit their daughter in Virginia when they began to experience engine trouble shortly after takeoff. Mr. McKenzie, who is now an executive with Airbus, told authorities that there was an oil pressure problem in the engine. At some point the ... Read More

FDA announces frozen corn recall after it tests positive for Listeria monocytogenes

Recall - frozen corn, FDA image

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recent press release, Bonduelle USA Inc. has announced a frozen corn recall, which affects more than 9,300 cases of the frozen corn due to the possibility of Listeria monocytogenes. If Listeria is present in the frozen corn, serious infections may occur in those with weakened immune systems, such as children or elderly people. If a healthy person ingests Listeria, the individual may experience short-term symptoms including high fever, headache, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and stiffness. Pregnant women with a Listeria infection could have a miscarriage or stillbirth as a result of the ... Read More

Blue Bell ice cream is back on the market in select stores

Blue Bell Ice Cream 1

After nearly five months since the initial Blue Bell recall production stop, Blue Bell Creameries has now reopened distribution of its ice cream to select stores in Alabama and Texas. According to the USA Today, there will be five phases to reenter the market in 15 different states considering the only Blue Bell ice cream being produced is in Sylacauga, Ala. The first phase include distributing Blue Bell ice cream to stores in Montgomery and Birmingham, Ala., as well as well stores in Houston, Austin and Breham, Texas. The Blue Bell recall began in April when at least 10 people ... Read More