Tagged Articles

Tampa Bay 29 articles

Worker decapitated by helicopter blade

A man working to jumpstart a helicopter at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport in Florida, “died almost immediately,” after being struck in the head by the helicopter’s spinning blade, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The accident occurred around 3:35 p.m. on Jan. 10. Salvatore Disi, 62, and another man were working near the hangars of the airport to jumpstart a 1993 Bell 230 twin-engine light helicopter, when unexpectedly the spinning rotor blades of the aircraft “suddenly jerked up and then came down.” The blades struck Disi in the head, decapitating him. Fire and rescue workers were initially called ... Read More

Deadly FIU Bridge Collapse Crushes Multiple Cars

A pedestrian bridge under construction at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami collapsed Thursday afternoon, killing and injuring multiple people. The FIU bridge was under construction and when it came toppling down over SW 8th St. at 109th Ave., crushing at least eight vehicles on SW 8th St. underneath tons of concrete and steel. The Miami Herald reported that construction crews had finished dropping the bridge’s elevated span in place less than a week ago. The bridge was expected to be completed in early 2019. The FIU bridge was being built to give university students a safer way to cross ... Read More

OSHA Cites Tampa Electric After Deadly Release of Molten Slag

Federal authorities have cited Tampa Electric Co. and Gaffin Industrial Services Inc. after a workplace accident involving a release of molten slag fatally injured five workers and left another with severe burn injuries. The deadly workplace accident occurred on Thursday, June 29, at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend River Station in Apollo Beach when the workers were performing routine maintenance on a slag tank, which holds molten coal waste after it’s burned. Slag is a lava-like substance that forms when burning coal is mixed with water. “We had employees that were working to unplug a blockage in that tank,” Tampa Electric President ... Read More

New Burn Center Opening in New Orleans

A new burn center will be opening soon in New Orleans, giving many patients along the Gulf Coast a more local option for the treatment of burn injuries. According to The Times-Picayune, the new integrated Burn Center and Level 1 Trauma Center at University Medical Center is expected to open in February or March 2018. The new burn center is a big deal not only for those in the New Orleans area but for the country as well. According to Dr. Jeffrey Carter, the Medical Director of UMC’s Burn Center, there are only 1,900 beds available for patients with burn ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps U.S. Recover Medicare Funds From Florida Doctor

A whistleblower played an instrumental role in helping the U.S. government recover nearly $2 million for Medicare from her former employer, Sarasota physician Dr. Arthur S. Portnow, and his two medical practices. According to the Middle District of Florida’s U.S. Attorney, the $1.95 million settlement concludes a lawsuit filed by Kathleen Siwicki under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which entitles private parties to sue on behalf of the federal government in cases of suspected fraud against taxpayer-funded agencies and programs. Ms. Siwicki worked as a certified cardiovascular technologist for Dr. Arthur S. Portnow, who owned and operated both ... Read More

Tire Blowout Kills Florida Couple in Everglades

Authorities in South Florida say a tire blowout appears to have caused a Ford Expedition SUV to crash Sunday afternoon in Alligator Alley, killing a Tampa couple and their dogs. The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the treads on the left rear tire of the Ford SUV separated, causing Kevin Livingston, 42, to lose control of the vehicle. The Ford veered off Interstate 75 near Mile Marker 32 and plummeted into a canal on the right side of the highway. I-75 runs through the Everglades, connecting Fort Lauderdale with Florida’s southwestern Gulf Coast. Mr. Livingston and his wife Michele Makiyama Livingston, ... Read More

Firefighters Sue Maker of Siren Over Alleged Hearing Loss

Five firefighters in Clearwater, Florida, have filed a lawsuit against the maker of the truck siren, claiming the blaring noise is to blame for their hearing loss. Pat Scanlon, a 64-year-old retiree from Clearwater Fire & Rescue, has trouble sleeping due to the phantom sirens that scream in his ears when he goes to bed at night. “And when I wake up, it’s still there,” Scanlon told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s constant.” The lawsuit accuses the manufacturer, Federal Signal Corp, of producing a siren that is inherently hazardous, saying they should have tested the product before selling it. The suit ... Read More

Fifth Worker Dies After Power Plant Explosion

Last Thursday, a fifth worker died of injuries sustained during the June 29th accident at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, Florida. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Armando Perez, 56, died of his injuries after being coated in molten slag, the abrasive waste after the smelting of ore. Slag can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees or more. Perez was a BRACE Industrial Group worker at the Tampa Electric (TECO) power plant, one of the largest power plants in Florida, who was contracted to assist with maintenance and cleaning of a slag tank. Five other workers were injured in ... Read More

Third worker dies after power plant blast

A third worker has died from the Big Bend power plant blast that originally killed two and injured four. The TECO power plant located in Apollo Beach is one of the largest Florida power plants. Operated by Tampa Electric, it is the site of a deadly explosion that killed two workers after they were coated in slag, the waste product of molten metal. Antonio Navarette, 21, was one of four additional workers who were hurt. Navarette, a contractor employed by Brace Industrial Group, has now died of his injuries at the Tampa General Hospital, The Bradenton Herald reports. “Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy are extended to his ... Read More

Two Florida Pharmacies Pay $750K To Settle Whistleblower Allegations of Medicare, Medicaid Fraud

Two Florida pharmacies have agreed to pay the U.S. government $750,000 to settle allegations brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that they overcharged Medicare and Medicaid for generic prescriptions and billed the health care programs for drugs they never dispensed. Lee Bentley III, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, said that Lemon Bay Drugs North Inc. and Brooksville Drugs Inc. provided Medicare and Medicaid patients generic versions of certain medications, but charged the health care programs for the brand-name versions of those drugs. The settlement also resolves allegations that the pharmacies knowingly submitted false claims by ... Read More