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Medical billing manager gets $1.4 million in whistleblower retaliation case


A federal jury in Tacoma, Wash., has ordered a Washington State hospital chain to pay a former billing manager nearly $1.4 million, finding the plaintiff in the whistleblower retailiation case was fired for reporting Medicare billing irregularities. Lori Cook, a billing supervisor with nearly four decades of experience at other hospitals, took a job in 2011 as billing manager for Harrison Home Care, a division of Harrison Medical Center and Franciscan Health, where she inherited a large backlog of Medicare billing. She was working to resolve the billing issue when she discovered “irregularities in Harrison’s billing which could have Medicare ... Read More

Toyota issues its second-largest recall to date of more than 6.3 million cars globally

toyota cars

Nearly 30 models of more than 6.3 million Toyota vehicles are currently being recalled in Japan, the U.S., Europe and various locations globally in the auto maker’s second-largest recall in company history. Some of the models under recall include the RAV4, Corolla, Highlander, Tacoma, Matrix, Highlander and Yaris. Although no crashes or injuries have been reported from the various problems, faults have even been found in two vehicles built for General Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries – the Pontiac Vibe and Subaru Trezia. A problem with the engine starter did result in fires with two separate Toyota vehicles. Flaws plaguing ... Read More

Toyota recalling 2.16 million vehicles worldwide, including Prius hybrid, Toyota and Lexis models

toyota cars

Toyota has announced a recall of more than 2.16 million vehicles worldwide. The recall includes 711,000 Prius automobiles in the U.S. and a total of about 1.9 million Prius autos worldwide; as well as an additional 260,000 non-hybrid vehicles. The Prius recall includes 2010-2014 Prius models, whose transistors may overheat or become damaged due to errors with the powertrain software. The glitch may cause the vehicle to stall or shut off completely while driving. The recall does not affect the Prius V nor Pricus c models, or the Toyota or Lexus hybrid vehicles. According to MSN, the transistor is a ... Read More

Fatal Oregon bus crash triggers multiple personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits

Oregon bus crash - Photo by LocalNews8

A number of lawsuits are piling up across the Pacific Northwest in connection with a 2012 tour bus crash in Oregon that killed nine people and injured more than two dozen others. One of the complaints, filed in Umatilla County, Ore., by a Vancouver, British Columbia attorney, seeks $700 million in damages from the tour operator and several other defendants. Days after the crash, U.S. authorities deemed Vancouver, B.C.-based Mi Joo Tour & Travel an “imminent hazard to public safety” and banned it from operating in the U.S. The bus company caters to Americans and Canadians of Korean descent and ... Read More

Utah tour bus crash kills NFL player’s father

bus crash viking father killed

A bus driver was killed and three passengers critically injured when the tour bus they were traveling in collided with a utility truck near the Utah-Nevada border Oct. 28. The driver of the bus, Pita Asiata, 53, of Bountiful, Utah, was the father Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata, officials investigating the scene said. The bus, operated by Utah-based company Le Bus, was carrying 50 passengers when the accident occurred on Interstate 80. The vehicle departed from Wendover, Nev., and was bound for Salt Lake City, according to bus company officials. The Utah Highway Patrol said that Mr. Asiata was ... Read More

Fatal NJ bus crash prompts “massive crackdown” on drivers, bus companies

new jersey bus crash driver

Another massive crackdown on commercial bus companies is underway in the New York City area following the death of a little girl who was struck by a traffic pole felled by an out-of-control bus Tuesday, July 30. The bus driver, 48-year-old Idowu Daramola, was allegedly speeding and texting on his cell phone when he veered off of Kennedy Boulevard East in the town of West New York, N.J., and hit the pole that killed 8-month-old Angela Paredes. The bus then struck a tree, another pole, and a parked car that in turn struck three other vehicles. Seven other people were ... Read More

Woman injured in Texas bus crash files lawsuit

Irving Texas bus crash - NBC DFW

The first of what may likely be many personal-injury lawsuits has emerged from the crash of a bus in Irving, Texas, April 11 that killed two people on a Texas highway and injured more than 40 others. The Associated Press reports that Charlotte Reed, 74, of Fort Worth, Texas, filed a lawsuit Monday in Dallas against Cardinal Bus Lines Inc. of Mansfield, Texas. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff broke several ribs as the bus suddenly crashed into barriers, crossed lanes of traffic, and flipped on State Highway 161 (President George Bush Highway) in Irving. The plaintiff blames the crash ... Read More

Federal and state authorities begin nationwide crackdown on unsafe bus companies

Bus crash - ABC News

Police across the county are joining federal authorities in a nationwide effort to root out bus companies with a history of accidents and safety violations. The crackdown comes in response to two deadly tour bus crashes in recent weeks, one in Oregon that killed nine people and injured dozens more, and a more recent crash in Southern California that killed eight and injured about 40 others. Although investigations are still ongoing in both the Oregon and California crashes, preliminary reports indicate regulatory violations and chronic maintenance issues likely played a role. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that ... Read More

Canadian bus company banned from U.S. after deadly Oregon crash

Oregon bus crash - Photo by LocalNews8

The Canadian tour company whose bus tumbled off an Oregon highway December 30, killing nine passengers and injuring 26 others, has been deemed an “imminent hazard to public safety” and banned from operating in the U.S. by federal regulators. The U.S. Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is charged with regulating commercial carriers and motor coach operators in the U.S., is investigating the deadly crash. So far, the probe has found Mi Joo Tour & Travel has a history of serious safety violations in the U.S. and had been suspended from operating in the country previously. The ... Read More

South Korean students injured in Oregon bus crash sue tour company

Oregon bus crash - Photo by LocalNews8

A couple of South Korean exchange students who survived a bus crash that killed nine other people in Oregon December 30 are suing the Canadian tour company for their injuries. The students, Chae Jong-hyun and An Seong-jun, cousins from South Korea, had been living in Tacoma, Washington, for several months before they embarked on a nine-day tour of the western U.S. Vancouver, British Columbia-based Mi Joo Tour & Travel Ltd. organized the bus trip, which was on the final stretch when the crash occurred. The bus was traveling north on Interstate 84 when it slid off the road and rolled ... Read More