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Orlando 76 articles

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

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

Whistleblower Case Leads to $1.7M Recovery From Florida Urogynecology Group

A Florida network of urogynecologists has agreed to pay $1.7 million to settle a whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit alleging the company billed Medicare for patient services that were never provided. The settlement resolves a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Holly Loebl, a former employee of FWC Urogynecology LLC, who accused the same company of knowingly misusing a certain Medicare billing code called “modifier 25,” which adds fees for extra services to Medicare billings, the U.S. Attorney in Orlando said. Orlando-based FWC Urogynecology operates more than a dozen clinics throughout Florida. Ms. Loebi filed her lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of ... Read More

Mother Sues For Teen Injured in Alabama Bus Crash

The mother of a teen severely injured in a March 13 bus crash near Mobile, Alabama, has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the charter bus company. The First Class Tours bus was transporting 46 passengers, mostly members of the Channelview High School band, home to the Houston area after a performance at Disney World when it plunged 50 feet down a ravine and flipped onto its side. The bus crash killed the bus driver and sent all of the 40 students and six adults to the hospital with injuries. According to the Houston Chronicle, the mother suing First Class ... Read More

Southwest Airlines Engine Has Missing Fan Blade, Investigators Say

Federal investigators said they have found evidence of a missing fan blade in the engine of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 that made an emergency landing Tuesday, April 17 in Philadelphia. The Southwest Boeing 737-700 was flying from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas when its left engine exploded, shattering a window and fatally injuring passenger Jennifer Riordan, a 43-year-old mother of two and Wells Fargo executive from Albuquerque. Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that someone found a Southwest Airlines engine cowling, the outer covering of the engine, on the ground ... Read More

Bus Crash Kills One, Injures Dozens in South Alabama

A bus crash near the Alabama-Florida border killed the driver and sent 46 people, mostly Houston-area high school band members, to area hospitals Tuesday morning, several with serious injuries. The bus, operated by First Class Tours Inc., was carrying 40 students and six adults from Channelview High School back to Channelview, Texas, after a Saturday performance at a Disney World music festival. Channelview is just east of Houston. The bus crash killed driver Harry Caligone of Houston, who was employed by First Class Tours for more than 20 years. The Associated Press reported that Mr. Caligone had a clean driving ... Read More

Jason’s Deli Data Breach Affects 2 Million Credit and Debit Cards

Jason’s Deli is advising its customers to check for suspicious activity in their banking and credit card accounts after it discovered a data breach affecting about two million accounts. The Beaumont, Texas-based company, which operates 275 restaurants in 28 states, says that hackers installed “RAM-scraping” malware at several point-of-sale (POS) terminals in various corporate-owned Jason’s Deli restaurants starting on June 8. Jason’s Deli headquarters said that the data breach came to its attention on Dec. 22 after it was notified by payment processors that credit card security personnel had discovered a large quantity of credit and debit card information appearing ... Read More

Three Convicted in $4.3 Million Kickback Scheme Targeting TRICARE

The owner of a Florida pharmacy, a physician, and a patient recruiter have been convicted of criminal charges for their involvement in an illegal kickback scheme that cheated a taxpayer-funded health care program for active military members out of $4.3 million. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Larry Howard, 53, the owner of Fertility Pharmacy in Oviedo, Florida, paid illegal health care kickbacks to patient recruiter Raymond Stone, 57, of Orlando. Mr. Stone in return referred patients to doctors selected by Mr. Howard. Those doctors then prescribed expensive pain and scar creams to Tricare patients. The prescriptions were ... Read More

150 Train Crashes, Hundreds of Deaths Preventable With Speed Control

Railroad data obtained by the Associated Press shows that nearly 300 people have been killed and several thousand maimed in 150 U.S. train crashes that could have been prevented had rail companies installed the speed-control technology that federal safety investigators have been advocating for decades. According to the AP, National Transportation Board (NTSB) investigators first pushed for “automatic train control” in 1969, after two Penn Central commuter trains crashed into each other in Darien, Connecticut, killing four people and injuring 43. Since that crash, there have been 298 deaths, 6,763 injuries, and $385 million in property damages in train crashes ... Read More

Alabama Pilot Killed in Florida Plane Crash

An Alabama pilot who was flying to Florida to visit his son for Christmas was killed when his plane crashed about 50 miles west of Gainesville, Florida, Wednesday, Dec. 20. William “Bill” Greenhaw, 78, departed from Alabama’s Guntersville Municipal Airport around 2:00 Wednesday afternoon in a Beechcraft BE-35. He was bound for Orlando Melbourne International Airport to see his son, who lives in Melbourne, Florida. Bob Martin, the manager of Guntersville Municipal Airport, where Mr. Greenhaw worked, told Huntsville, Alabama’s WHNT Channel 19 that Mr. Greenhaw had made the trip many times before. “He left here two o’clock time frame. ... Read More