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Tennessee 278 articles

The Fraud List: Community Health Systems typifies fraud targeting government health care programs

The Fraud List

Community Health Systems Inc. is the largest for-profit operator of general acute-care hospitals in the United States, with more than 200 hospitals in a network that spans 29 states. On its website, the Franklin, Ten.-based corporation says its hospitals “are dedicated to providing quality healthcare for local residents and contribute to the economic development of their communities.” But as The Fraud List demonstrates, some of the nation’s biggest corporations can also be some of its biggest fraudsters. Earlier this year, Community Health Systems Services and three New Mexico hospitals in its network agreed to pay the U.S. government $75 million ... Read More

Kroger recalls seasonings for possible salmonella contamination

Recall - Kroger products - image courtesy WRIC and WVEC

Popular supermarket chain Kroger has announced a sizable recall of four Kroger-brand seasonings sold in its stores. The Kroger recall was sparked by the FDA’s discovery of Salmonella in a sample of the Kroger-brand Garlic Powder sold by a South Carolina store. According to the supermarket’s press release, the following Kroger-brand seasonings were produced in the same facility with the same equipment as the Salmonella-tainted Garlic Powder and are now under recall: Kroger Bac’n Buds: 12 oz containers (Sell by: May 20 18PS4) Kroger Coarse Ground Black Pepper: 17.1 oz containers (Sell by: May 18 18PS4, Sell by: May 19 ... Read More

Truck driver faces criminal charges for deadly Oklahoma bus crash

bus crash Texas softball team members killed - KFOR News image

The truck driver whose tractor trailer crashed into a bus and killed four members of the North Central Texas College softball team in Oklahoma last year has been charged with four counts of first-degree manslaughter. Authorities in Murray County, Okla., charged Russell Wayne Staley, 53, of Saginaw, Texas, Thursday in Murray County District Court for the deaths of the players in the Oklahoma bus crash. The players were returning to Gainesville, Texas, Sept. 26, 2014 after a scrimmage in Oklahoma. Mr. Staley was driving northbound on Interstate 35 when for unknown reasons his truck veered into the median and drove ... Read More

Fiery plane crash into home kills Tennessee doctor and family in Massachusetts

airplane propeller

A Knoxville, Tenn., physician, his wife, and their teenage daughter were killed Sunday evening when their private airplane crashed into the back of a Plainville, Mass., home Sunday evening. Investigators believe Dr.  Richard Kalister, the directing emergency room physician at Starr Regional Medical Center in Athens, Tenn., was piloting the Beechcraft BE36 airplane that he reportedly co-owned with another doctor. Dr. Kalister was flying to Norwood, Mass., in the Boston area from Lancaster, Penn., with his wife Betty and their daughter Nicole, who was starting her freshman year of college at Northeastern University. According to police and witnesses, the Kalister’s ... Read More

Red light camera fraud scheme implicates dozens of municipalities, officials


An alleged red light camera enforcement bribery scheme exposed by a whistleblower last year that encompassed several municipalities in more than a dozen states keeps growing larger. Aaron Rosenberg, once the top national salesman for Chicago-based Redflex Traffic Systems, alleged in his federal lawsuit that the company doled out hefty bribes and showered government officials with gifts in “dozens of municipalities” in exchange for lucrative contracts. Mr. Rosenberg says he was fired in 2013 in retaliation for providing information about the alleged scandals to federal and local officials investigating Reflex for alleged misconduct. The whistleblower then filed a civil defamation ... Read More

Wright Medical to pay $4.5 million for artificial hip manufacturing defect

metal on metal hip parts

A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury slapped Wright Medical Technology Inc. with a $4.5 million judgment in a lawsuit that alleged defective manufacturing of the company’s Profemur R artificial hip implant caused injuries. Wright Medical faces more than 1,000 lawsuits over faulty hip implants. The Profemur R case was different from others because it involved a particular component. In that case, plaintiff Alan Warner claims he received the Profemur R implant in 2007 as a replacement to a previous artificial hip. Three years later, he was experiencing severe pain. Doctors discovered that the laser etching in the manufacturing of the ... Read More

Trucking firms allege Pilot Flying J rebate scam was bigger than most realized


Several trucking firms that refused to settle fraud claims with truck-stop chain Pilot Flying J say that they have discovered another dimension of the alleged fraud that other trucking companies overlooked. In November 2013, Pilot Flying J, the largest travel center chain in the U.S., agreed to pay $85 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the company defrauded thousands of trucking firms by not paying them the proper fuel rebates. According to that complaint, the plaintiffs agreed to buy fuel exclusively from Pilot Flying J in exchange for lower fuel prices, which were to be based on the cost ... Read More

Deceased man’s estate sues Viagra maker over melanoma-related death


The wife of a deceased Tennessee man is suing Pfizer Inc., alleging the pharmaceutical company’s erectile dysfunction drug Viagra caused her husband’s melanoma-related death. The lawsuit was filed by Tina M. Stockton, on behalf of the estate of David Stockton, who died Sept. 9, 2008, from a pulmonary embolism consequent to metastatic mucosal melanoma, according to his death certificate. David Stockton began taking Viagra for erectile dysfunction in 2000 and continued with the medication through 2007. The lawsuit claims that had the deceased known that using Viagra would put him at risk of developing the deadly skin cancer he would ... Read More

Judge nixes Bayer’s plan to reinstate whistleblower


An Arkansas federal judge who ordered the reinstatement of a whistleblower terminated after implicating Bayer Corp. in a Medicare fraud scheme rebuked the pharmaceutical giant for attempting to reinstate the former employee to a job 500 miles away. Bayer fired sales representative Mike Townsend in 2010 after he blew the whistle on a scheme by a major Bayer customer to defraud Medicaid by illicitly billing the program for intrauterine contraceptives. Mr. Townsend had worked as a Bayer sales rep for six years when he caught on to a Medicaid scam he alleges was orchestrated by Arkansas physician Kelly Dean Shrum, ... Read More

Blue Bell won’t resume making ice cream for several months

Recall - blue bell ice cream cups

Blue Bell Creameries said on its website that its ice cream won’t be back in stores for several months as the company cleans it three manufacturing facilities in the wake of a deadly listeria outbreak and develops a plan for its ice cream products to return to production. “Unfortunately, we do not yet have a firm timeline for when Blue Bell Ice Cream will be back in stores, but we believe at this time that it will be several months at a minimum,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “We are evaluating all of our operations in light ... Read More