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Florida 788 articles

Whistleblower’s False Claims Lawsuit Recovers $5.25 Million From Lincare

Lincare Inc., a major U.S. supplier of medical oxygen and other respiratory therapies, has agreed to pay the U.S. $5.25 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by offering illegal discounts to Medicare beneficiaries. Based in Clearwater, Florida, Lincare operates about 1,000 locations across the U.S. According to a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by whistleblower Brian Thomas and supported by the federal government, Lincare attempted to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace by unlawfully waiving or reducing co-insurance, co-payments, and deductibles for beneficiaries who participated in a Medicare ... Read More

Drone, Helicopter Narrowly Avoid Crash Over Florida Beach

A YouTube video uploaded by a drone operator showing a helicopter narrowly missing a collision with a drone over Hollywood Beach, Florida, is being investigated by federal authorities. The video, uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, Aug. 16, but since removed, shows a helicopter approaching the drone over the ocean as it faces west toward the shore. The helicopter appears to be on a collision course with the drone, but fortunately flies just underneath it. According to Miami’s Local 10 News, the YouTube user who posted the video, identified as Masih Persian, captioned the video in a way that indicates he ... Read More

Dump trucks tangle with power lines, causing outages

The upturned bed of a dump truck became ensnared in power lines and took down at least 15 utility poles, leaving more than 1,200 residents in the Rochester, New York suburb of Henrietta without power. The driver, Florida resident Mark Inguaggito, was cited for operating an over-height vehicle and having an inoperable warning light. The light would have let Inguaggito know that his truck bed was upright and the accident could have been prevented. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether distracted driving was at issue during the crash. If they find that the driver was on his cell phone ... Read More

Family of Duck Boat Victims Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

An Indiana family gutted by the loss of nine family members who died when their duck boat sank during a Branson, Missouri tour have filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million from the boat’s operators and other parties. More than 50 members of the extended Coleman family filed the lawsuit Monday, July 30, in a federal court in Missouri. The plaintiffs name Ripley Entertainment Inc., Ride the Ducks International, Ride the Ducks of Branson, the Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., and Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing, alleging the companies prioritize profits over the safety of their customers. A second lawsuit was filed July 31 ... Read More

Amazon accused of resisting compensating injured employees

Amazon is allegedly refusing to file worker’s compensation paperwork, unexpectedly cutting off paid leave, and forcing employees to sign non-disclosure agreements or statements saying they weren’t injured on the job in exchange for compensation, according to a new report from The Guardian. The news article features the story of a 49-year-old woman who claims she injured her back last year while working at a defective workstation in an Amazon warehouse in Texas. Afterwards, she says she went to Amazon’s medical triage area where she was treated with a heating pad for her back. She says the injury limited the range ... Read More

Semi-truck crash causes multi-vehicle pileup, fatalities

A semi-truck driver’s distracted driving was likely the cause of a fiery multi-vehicle crash in Idaho in June that claimed the lives of three airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base as well as the driver of the truck, according to a report issued by the Idaho State Police. Illya D. Tsar, an employee for Krujex Freight Transport Corp., was driving a 2019 Volvo semitractor-trailer truck east on the freeway just before noon on June 16 when he failed to stop and careened into a 2008 Jeep Wrangler carrying the airmen. The Jeep and other vehicles were stopped just ahead ... Read More

Whistleblowers Help Recover $10 Million From Alabama, Florida Nursing homes

Two management consulting companies and nine affiliated Alabama and Florida nursing homes will pay $10 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who accused the defendants of scheming to provide patients with unnecessary therapy and then billing Medicare for the unneeded services. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Southern SNF Management, Inc., Rehab Services in Motion (doing business as Dynamic Rehab) and the nursing homes instituted corporate policies and practices that encouraged the nursing facilities to provide patients with “medically unreasonable and unnecessary therapy without regard for patients’ individual clinical needs.” The defendants then ... Read More

Florida Ambulance Co. Settles Whistleblower Fraud Case

A whistleblower was instrumental in helping the U.S. recover $1.2 million in federal health care funds from a Jacksonville, Florida-based ambulance company, the U.S. Attorney in Orlando said. Liberty Ambulance agreed to pay the $1.2 million to resolve allegations that it overbilled Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded health care programs for transporting patients. Liberty knowingly up-coded claims for life-support services from “basic” to “advanced” without justification, according to the whistleblower lawsuit. The complaint also alleged that Liberty billed Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for unnecessary patient transportation. The alleged activity occurred between June 2005 and ... Read More

Midair Flight School Plane Crash Above Everglades Kills Four

Federal and local authorities are investigating a plane crash involving two Dean International Flight School aircraft that collided midair over the Everglades Tuesday, killing four people. The plane crash involved a Piper PA 34 and a Cessna 172 airplane operated by Dean International out of Miami Executive Airport in West Kendall, according to NBC Miami, Preliminary reports indicate that the plane crash killed two flight instructors and two students, presumably one instructor and one student per plane. Authorities identified the plane crash victims as Jorge Sanchez, 22; Nisha Sejwal, 19; Carlos Alfredo Zanetti Scarpati, 22; and Ralph Knight, 72. Mr. ... Read More

Shipbuilder faces citation after employee drowns on the job

An employee of North Florida Shipyards Inc., a shipbuilding and repair company, drowned after an air pressure manifold struck him and knocked him into the St. Johns River at the company’s Commodores Point facility in Jacksonville, Florida. The fatality prompted an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which found the company was exposing employees to safety hazards such as struck-by, drowning, amputation, caught-in, and electrical. North Florida Shipyards was also cited for allowing scuba divers to be unaccompanied by another diver, and failing to ensure machine guarding. The company faces $271,061 in proposed penalties. ... Read More