Piedmont Healthcare to Settle False Claims Suit for $16M

Piedmont Healthcare — owner of Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayetteville — in federal court on June 25 agreed to pay a $16 million settlement to resolve false claims allegations dealing with Medicare and Medicaid billing.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak for the Northern District of Georgia said Piedmont Healthcare agreed to pay $16 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare and Medicaid for procedures at the more expensive inpatient level of care instead of the less costly outpatient or observation level of care.

Pak said the settlement also resolves allegations that Piedmont paid a commercially unreasonable and above fair market value to acquire Atlanta Cardiology Group in 2007 in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.

Read the source article at Home – The Citizen

Family of Woman Killed in Crash Awarded $2.5M Settlement

The family of a woman killed in a crash caused by a speeding Kern County sheriff’s deputy who ran a red light has settled its lawsuit against the county for $2.5 million. That amount will go toward the two adult children of Nancy Joyce Garrett, according to a spokesman with the family’s attorneys at Chain Cohn Stiles.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2016 against the county in U.S. District Court in Fresno said the actions of Deputy Nicholas Clerico were “negligent and reckless” on the night of the crash in Oildale.

The Sept. 24, 2014, collision happened when Clerico ran a red light while traveling 85 mph on North Chester Avenue where it crosses West China Grade Loop, according to court documents. He struck the driver side of Garrett’s vehicle, which was traveling east on West China Grade Loop at 43 mph.

Read the source article at Bakersfield News & Weather

Non-Profit Nurse Group to Pay $57M Settlement in Whistleblower Suit

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York, one of the largest non-profit home health care agencies in America, said Thursday it will pay $57 million to settle a federal whistleblower lawsuit over allegations of fraud and patient endangerment.

The suit, brought under federal and state False Claims Acts by a senior leader who worked at the agency for 16 years, alleged that the corporation collected Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and falsified time sheets for services that were only partially rendered or not provided at all.

The settlement, which did not have to go in front of a judge and has been approved by the federal government, does not admit liability for the non-profit. “For more than five years, we have been forced to defend ourselves against a lawsuit based on allegations that are simply untrue: we did not bill for visits we didn’t deliver, nor did we cause harm to our patients,” Kerry Parker, general counsel and chief risk officer for the organization said in a statement. “By resolving these claims through the present, we can put this distraction behind us and move forward.”

Read the source article at Politics, Policy, Political News

Over $10B Settlement Reached in Roundup Cancer Lawsuits

Bayer will pay more than $10 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits regarding claims that its herbicide Roundup causes cancer, the company announced Wednesday.

Monsanto, which Bayer bought in 2018, lost a lawsuit that same year brought by a school groundskeeper who claimed its weedkiller had caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Since then, thousands of U.S. lawsuits have been filed against the company.

 Bayer CEO Werner Baumann called the decision to settle the lawsuits the right one in order to end a long period of uncertainty. “The decision to resolve the Roundup litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of health care and food,” he said in statement. “It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”

Read the source article at NBC News

Court Reduces Johnson and Johnson Settlement from $4.69B to $2.12B

A Missouri appeals court refused to toss out a $4.7 billion jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson over cancer claims linked to talc-based products including baby powder but agreed to cut the total payout to $2.1 billion to the women who sued the company.

In a unanimous 83-page opinion issued Tuesday, a three-judge panel said 2018 trial testimony by plaintiffs’ experts about the risk of asbestos exposure from talc-powder use was based on “reasonable methodology” and provided the St. Louis jury a legitimate basis for holding J&J liable for the cancers in almost two dozen women.

While the judges upheld $500 million in actual damages awarded to the women, they cut the punitive damages to about $1.6 billion from about $4 billion. That brought the total down to $2.1 billion. J&J, which denies its talc powder is tainted with asbestos, plans to appeal the court’s decision.

Read the source article at Detroit Local News

Family of 16-Year-Old Heart-Attack Victim Files $100M Negligence Lawsuit

The family of a 16-year-old who died after being restrained by staff at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo is suing the school and the company that owns it for $100 million, alleging negligence. Cornelius Frederick died May 1 after suffering a heart attack on April 29. At the time, authorities said he was being restrained by staff after throwing a sandwich.

“We loved him very, very much,” said Frederick’s aunt, Tenia Goshay, who is representing the estate. “We just don’t know what happened. We don’t know why.”

The state on Thursday terminated its contracts with Lakeside Academy for youth in foster care or the juvenile justice system. All 125 youth at Lakeside were placed elsewhere, the state said.

The Kalamazoo County prosecutor said he is reviewing investigations of the case by the state and law enforcement.  According to a complaint and request for trial filed Monday in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court, Frederick died after he was restrained, during which staff allegedly sat on his chest.

Read the source article at Detroit Local News

$4M TCPA Text Message Settlement Granted Final Approval

Plaintiff filed an unopposed motion for final approval for the class action settlement in Larson v. Harman-Management Corp., , No. 1:16-cv-00219-DAD-SKO, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107938 (E.D. Cal. June 18, 2020).  According to the court order, both sides appeared telephonically at the final approval hearing, and there were no objectors present (no objections were filed). 

Previously, the Court had approved the class action settlement at the preliminary approval hearing.  As no class certification issues arose in the interim, the Court approved the following class: All individuals and entities who were sent text messages from the A&W Text Club between February 17, 2012, and the date of the Preliminary Approval Order.

The Court found that the notice to the class settlement was adequate, as 171,563 putative class members out of the 233,026 total members (or 74%) had received mailed notices after extensive efforts by the settlement administrator.  The settlement website which had the notice available received at least 19,000 hits.  Ultimately, approximately 17,800 claims were filed.

Read the source article at Legal News & Business Law News

Juul Faces Lawsuit for Allegedly Targeting Young People

The Natrona County School District officially filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette giant Juul this week, alleging the company had targeted young people and had misrepresented the true potency of the devices.

“As a result of JUUL’s youth-targeted marketing and misrepresentations about its products, JUUL has succeeded in addicting a new generation of youth to nicotine,” alleges the federal lawsuit, filed by a Jackson-based law firm. “Nicotine use among America’s youth is rising sharply. With JUUL as the dominant market-leader, e-cigarette use increased 78% among high-school students and 48% among middle-school students from 2017 to 2018.”

The school district’s board gave Jackson attorney Jason Ochs the go-ahead to file the suit last month. It broadly alleges that the company specifically marketed its products to teens, even designing its flash drive-like device to set it apart from the stigma-saddled traditional cigarettes. It charges Juul with downplaying and misrepresenting how much nicotine was present in the “pods.”

Read the source article at rocketminer.com

$14M Settlement Reached Against Electricity Maine

A lawsuit has been settled against Electricity Maine, a power supplier accused of deceiving customers. In a statement by the parties released on Wednesday, the company denies any wrongdoing, but has agreed to pay millions of dollars.

Attorneys say the claims process started on Friday, more than three-and-a-half years after the lawsuit was filed in federal court. Back in 2016, customers accused Electricity Maine of deceptive marketing practices, causing them to pay millions more dollars for power than they would have otherwise. At the time, attorneys told the I-Team some were offered artificially low rates only to see their bills double or triple.

Electricity Maine denies the allegations, but under a proposed settlement, agrees to pay up to $14 million to cover claims by affected consumers.

Read the source article at wgme.com

Guardrail-Making Company Sued for Negligence and Fraud

A Missouri commission is suing a company that makes guardrails, saying its equipment is defective.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Committee, a six-member board that governs the Missouri Department of Transportation, is suing Lindsay Corp. for negligence and fraud, KSHB-TV reported.

Court documents allege that the defendants “concealed or misrepresented the results of testing” done on the X-Lite system, showing it was defective and unsafe.

Read the source article at sunherald.com