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Florida Opioid Pill Mill Doctor, Staff Go to Prison

A South Florida doctor busted for illegally dispensing prescription opioid painkillers to cash-paying “patients” has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. Dr. Andres Mecia, 64, of Fort Lauderdale, ran an opioid pill mill in his Oakland Park, Florida clinic, Adult & Geriatric Institute of Florida Inc., which operated under the name AGI Medical & Dental. According to the government’s allegations, Dr. Mencia and office personnel — Oscar Luis Ventura-Rodriguez, 41, of Ft. Lauderdale; Nadira Sampath-Grant, 51, of Margate, and John Mensah, 50, of Miami, performed sham consultations with patients seeking opioid drugs. In these consultations, Dr. Mencia and his co-conspirators ... Read More

Utah Driver Sues Tesla For Autopilot Crash

A Utah woman whose Tesla Model S sedan crashed into a firetruck near Salt Lake City in May is suing the automaker, claiming the vehicle’s Autopilot system drove her into stopped traffic. Heather Lommatzsch, 29, alleges in her lawsuit that Tesla salespeople told her when she was buying the car in 2016 that she would only need to touch the steering wheel occasionally with Autopilot activated. But instead of helping her avoid a collision, her vehicle drove her into the back of an idling firetruck, the lawsuit alleges according to the Associated Press. Tesla’s Autopilot is a semi-autonomous system that ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps Medicare Recover $4 Million From Florida Dermatology Practice

A dermatologist who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against a Florida dermatology practice alleging it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid has helped the U.S. government recover $4 million. Dermatology Healthcare, a Tampa-based provider of dermatology care to residents of assisted living facilities, agreed to settle the government’s claims of fraud, which originated with a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by Dr. Theodore A. Schiff, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. Dr. Schiff filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging Dermatology Healthcare failed to adequately supervise the administration of superficial radiation therapy to ... Read More

Colorado, Florida Tire Defect Plaintiffs Get Class Certification

Drivers in Colorado and Florida suing TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. over allegedly defective tires received state class certification for their complaints. Plaintiffs from Arizona, California, Colorado, and Florida filed a complaint in June 2017, alleging they all bought trailers fitted with TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. tires with defects that caused their treads to separate from their casings. The plaintiffs allege that the tire companies knew the tires were prone to tread separation but failed to disclose the defect to consumers. The drivers filed a motion for class certification on April 27, 2018. According to Law 360, ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Ends in $21 Million Recovery from Ambulance Kickback Schemers

A sprawling whistleblower lawsuit implicating an ambulance company, its affiliated companies, and several municipal clients in an illegal kickback scheme has been settled, federal prosecutors announced. East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Services (“the ETMC defendants”) their affiliated ambulance company, Paramedics Plus, and other defendants agreed to pay the U.S. more than $21 million to resolve the allegations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The government’s case against the ambulance industry defendants stems from a complaint filed by Dr. Stephen Dean under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The ... Read More

Women sue Massage Envy over sexual abuse charges

Eleven women are suing several Florida franchises of Arizona-based national chain Massage Envy alleging they were inappropriately touched, groped or raped by masseurs. The 163-page lawsuit was filed Monday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court in Florida, and names Massage Envy franchises in West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and three locations on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The lawsuit claims that when the cases of sexual abuse were brought to the attention of company officials, the company’s policy was to cover them up instead of notifying police or a state licensing board. Massage Envy grew to ... Read More

Hot pavement may increase risk of defective tire failure

As Labor Day weekend approaches and millions of Americans plan to hit the road, it’s a good time to remember that the tires on your car, truck, camper, or trailer have taken a beating on hot asphalt all summer long. It’s a great time to check your tires for any signs of excessive wear and tear or abnormalities. Remember, design and manufacturing flaws in tires can become deadly on blistering hot roads, so it’s always a good idea to keep tabs on your tire health. A tire tread separation caused Heidi Solis Perez to lose control of her Mercury Villager ... Read More

Two construction workers dead after scaffolding collapses near Disney World

Two construction workers fell six stories to their deaths early Wednesday morning after the scaffolding they were standing on collapsed. The workers were pouring concrete for a new hotel near Orlando, Florida, just outside Disney World. A third man survived by hanging onto part of the scaffold and pulling himself to safety. The men were working on the $282 million JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, scheduled to open in 2019. It is owned and developed by private equity group DCS Investment Holdings, which is owned by Dwight C. Schar, co-owner of the Washington Redskins. The construction project is still ... Read More

Jacksonville Landing Shooting Survivors To File Negligent Security Complaint

A lawsuit for the survivors of The Jacksonville Landing mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, will be filed this week, various sources say. The Aug. 26 mass shooting left three people dead, including the killer, identified as 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore. Eleven people were injured in the shooting, including nine with gunshot wounds. The killer used a single firearm to shoot at people who attended the Madden NFL 19 video game competition at The Jacksonville Landing shopping, dining and entertainment complex on the St John’s River in Jacksonville. The video game tournament was being held inside the GLHF Game Bar ... Read More

Gulf Rebounds 8 Years After BP Oil Spill, But Threats Persist

BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill was an unprecedented disaster for the Gulf of Mexico, but eight years after the runaway spill was capped, many scientists monitoring the Gulf are cautiously optimistic that the worst of it has passed. Considered by some researchers to be the biggest ecological disaster in history, BP’s oil spill started when the Macondo well a mile beneath the Deepwater Horizon blasted nearly 5 million barrels of oil (about 210 million gallons) into the Gulf. Water currents mainly carried it north and east, depositing millions of gallons on the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. While ... Read More