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Tampa Bay 29 articles

Smokers often unaware of e-cigarette risks; believe vaping to be ‘harmless’

When cigarettes were first introduced a century ago, makers claimed that smoking was harmless, similar to the claims of e-cigarette sellers today. Several decades later, cigarette use has been proven to cause cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and other health hazards. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity in the U.S., claiming more than 480,000 lives annually. Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Not only is the nicotine in e-cigarettes highly addictive, it also has potential harmful vascular and neurologic effects. Although vaping is promoted as being a smoking cessation aid, there is no ... Read More

Florida Family Blames Samsung Note 7 Phone For Incinerating Jeep

A St. Petersburg, Fla., family whose Jeep became engulfed in flames on Labor Day believes a newly purchased Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is to blame. Nathan Dornacher told WTSP Tampa Bay that he and his family were dropping some things off at the house on Labor day and left the Samsung smartphone on the center console of the Jeep Grand Cherokee charging. When Mr. Dornacher went back outside he discovered the inside of the vehicle was on fire. Within minutes, the fire had spread from the dash to the entire vehicle, leaving it a skeleton full of ash and melted ... Read More

Wrongful Death Suit Claims Pilots Were Unfit to Fly

Human error and negligence are the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the widow of a man who was killed when the private airplane he was a passenger in crashed after it nearly collided with another small plane just after takeoff from a Tampa airport. Leann Carreno, whose husband Kevin Carreno was killed in the March 18 crash, filed the lawsuit in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, alleging that pilot Louis Caporicci was unfit to fly the twin-engine Cessna 340. Mr. Caporicci was Mr. Carreno’s friend and former U.S. Air Force Academy classmate. The lawsuit also claims that David ... Read More

NHL’s Stamkos benched due to injury, blood thinners

Professional ice hockey center and team captain for the Tampa Bay Lightning Steven Stamkos likely won’t be playing anytime soon after suffering a blood clot last March because his treatment puts him at risk for serious bleeding risks in the event he is injured. Stamoks is lucky, though. He suffered pain and swelling in his right arm after a game against the Canadiens – something a lot of people would have dismissed – and immediately associated it with symptoms his teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy had experienced. Vasilevskiy had been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. The condition, which occurs when the upper ... Read More

Florida Nursing Home Probed After Death of Severely Sunburned Resident

A Florida nursing home already on the state’s “watch list” of problem facilities is being investigated for possible abuse and neglect after the weekend death of a 65-year old resident who had been left in the sun on a 90-degree day. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Pinellas Park police said Wilbert Henry Moten, as wheelchair-bound resident of Gracewood Rehabilitation and Nursing Care, was taken to the hospital around 6:15 p.m. Saturday covered with second-degree burns and blisters and displaying symptoms of dehydration after being left in the sun for much of the day Saturday. He died later in the ... Read More

Florida Radiology Chain Settles whistleblower Medicare Fraud Case For $8.71 Million

TAMPA, FLA — Rose Radiology Centers Inc. will pay $8.71 million to the government to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by billing federal health care programs for radiology procedures that patients didn’t need or were rendered in an “unconscionable” way that violated federal rules for reimbursement. Rose Radiology operates about a dozen offices in the Tampa area and provides all of the radiology services for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The settlement resolves allegations originally brought in a lawsuit filed by two whistleblowers ... Read More

BP oil spill settlement the largest of its kind in U.S. history

BP reached a record $18.73-billion agreement with the U.S. government and five Gulf states Thursday to resolve most legal claims stemming from its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, considered the biggest environmental catastrophe in the U.S. The settlement is the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history. If approved by the court, the settlement will require BP to pay the federal government $5.5 billion in civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. NP subsidiary BPXP will make those payments over a 15-year period. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said that 80 percent of the Clean ... Read More

Flesh-eating bacteria in Gulf linked to BP oil spill

Cases of beach-goers contracting the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus continue to occur in the warm water of the Gulf Coast this year, and one Auburn University professor has uncovered a link between the potentially deadly bacteria and tar balls still present in the water after BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Dr. Cova Arias, professor of aquatic microbiology at Auburn University, who has studied the impact of Vibrio on the Gulf’s oyster industry, set out to find if the bacteria could live in the tar still found in the water and along the beaches of the Gulf Coast. According to ... Read More

Four Florida executives face prison time for WellCare Medicaid fraud scheme

A federal jury in Tampa, Florida found four high-ranking officials of a Florida health maintenance organization (HMO) operator guilty of multiple charges, including health care fraud, making false statements relating to health care matters, and making false statements to a law enforcement officer, the U.S. Justice Department announced this week. The federal grand jury indicted the WellCare  Health Plans Inc. executives on March 2, 2011, charging them with various criminal violations stemming from a scheme the company devised to defraud Florida’s Medicaid program. On Monday, June 10, the jury convicted WellCare Health Plans Inc. CEO Todd Farha, 45, of two ... Read More

BP will cease most oil spill cleanup work in June

BP is wrapping up its oil-spill cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast this month, pulling out of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and all but 83 miles of Louisiana coast, the company said. The oil giant has staged cleanup operations for more than three years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010 and flooded the northern Gulf of Mexico with crude. BP said on Monday that it invested more than $14 billion and 70 million personnel hours on the spill response and cleanup operations in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. According to the company, at its peak in 2010, ... Read More