$4.7 Million Penalty For Steward Health Care System
Mon, 06/13/2022 - 13:30

Plaintiffs' legal representation has announced that Steward Health Care System has agreed to resolve a whistleblower action claiming kickback payments for patient referrals to its accountable care organization.

The federal government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will get roughly $4.7 million from the for-profit system in the 2018 case on behalf of three whistleblowers, which would be split into approximately $725,000.

The lawyer representing the whistleblowers said that the healthcare system is devoted to serving the patients and the employees, and such settlements would only serve the main purpose of the firm.

The False Claims Act breaches that were charged in the lawsuit were not acknowledged by Steward. Additionally, the federal and state governments said that they would voluntarily drop the lawsuit and would not express an opinion on any alleged infractions by Steward.

However, the health system revealed and admitted responsibility for three areas of conduct linked to the claims as part of the settlement. In its leasing agreements with hundreds of doctors, medical groups, and non-physician organisations, Steward allegedly admitted to "failing to charge the necessary rent," according to the whistleblowers' legal firm.

According to the release, the system revealed that one hospital, Steward Good Samaritan Medical Center, had a pay agreement with one doctor "for services that Steward cannot certify were provided." According to the company, the hospital reportedly established plans with two urology facilities for certain treatments that weren't provided.

Alongside the monetary settlement, Steward Good Samaritan Medical Center will enter a corporate integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. The company cooperated fully with the government investigation, in fact, self-reporting two of the three issues raised, and through actions like self-reporting, demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of compliance and corporate integrity as informed by Steward. While Steward admits no wrongdoing, expediently putting this matter behind us now allows the company to focus without distraction on delivering accessible, high-quality healthcare to the local communities and patients it serves every day.

The bulk of False Claims Act settlements and judgments obtained by the Department of Justice include claims of healthcare fraud. The department said in February that investigations involving the healthcare business accounted for more than $5 billion of the $5.6 billion in False Claims Act recovery made by the government during fiscal 2021.

One of the biggest accountable care organizations in the nation, the Dallas-based Steward Health Care System now operates in nine states. More than 6,600 physicians and 43,000 staff members give services to 12.3 million patients each year through its integrated system, which includes 39 hospitals and 326 office sites.

Idaho Falls Man Gets $11.7M In Wrongful Conviction
Fri, 06/10/2022 - 13:21

A man who was convicted wrongly in a lawsuit will get $11.7 million from the officials in the eastern Idaho city of Idaho Falls.

The man has served a sentence of 20 years in prison for being wrongfully convicted in a rape and murder case in 1997. The plaintiff tried to appeal the conviction on multiple occasions as his DNA did not match the DNA at the crime scene.

The plaintiff was released from prison in 2017 and was cleared from the lawsuit in 2019 when the investigators of the case arrested the real criminal, who was later sentenced to 20 years of prison in 2021.

The plaintiff said that no amount could ever compensate the 20 years he spent in prison for the crime he did not commit. However, the money would be helpful for a satisfactory future life.

He filed a lawsuit in a federal court in October 2020 against the city of Idaho Falls and the police department of Idaho Falls. The judge was asked to dismiss the claims against the city, but Idaho Falls City Council approved the settlement.

The lawyers representing the plaintiff said that the police officials need to be careful during the investigation and should refrain from the practices of lying, deception, and coercion as sometimes it costs a lifetime of punishment for an innocent. The mayor of the city has apologized to the plaintiff and his mother in a letter.

$3M Civil Rights Settlement For A Man Shot In North Carolina
Tue, 06/07/2022 - 13:46

A lawsuit brought by the family of an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed in his car by sheriff's deputies more than a year ago has been settled for $3 million, according to a North Carolina sheriff's office.

The plaintiff died as a result of police' deliberate and reckless disregard for his life, according to the plaintiff's family, who filed a $30 million civil rights claim in 2021. On April 21, 2021, Pasquotank County Sheriff's officers shot and killed him in his Elizabeth City, North Carolina, residence while executing drug-related search warrants. His BMW was encircled by deputies before it backed up and started to drive. They shot at and into his car repeatedly. A gunshot to the back of his skull claimed his life.

At a press conference the previous year, the district attorney said that the plaintiff had used his vehicle as a lethal weapon, leading deputies to conclude that lethal action was justified. However, the plaintiff's attorneys argued that the shot was unlawful since the man did not constitute a threat because he was driving away from the officers rather than toward them. They claimed that the plaintiff was sitting in his stopped car with his hands on the wheel when the first of several rounds were fired after seeing body-camera footage of the shooting.

The settlement was approved by the Pasquotank County Board of Commissioners. It includes a special $1-million compensation to go along with $2 million from the county's insurance policy, which was supplied by the North Carolina Counties Liabilities Pool, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. That amount is at the limit of the policy. The settlement was reached over several weeks last month. The case was overseen by a federal magistrate in U.S. District Court in Raleigh.

The county's contribution settles any possible claims against the defendants and any individual officers, who were identified as defendants in the action or who may have been. The plaintiff's family also signed a stipulation waiving any claims against the defendants, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II and three sheriff's deputies as well as any other claims that may have resulted from the plaintiff's passing. According to the sheriff's office, his children will get a portion of the settlement money as his estate's heirs.

According to a statement from the five attorneys representing the plaintiff's family, the plaintiff was a caring father who wanted his children to enjoy the things he did not. This arrangement is about protecting those children's futures, insuring their education, and making sure their aspirations didn't die with their father, even if no settlement could ever completely cover the hole his death left in their hearts.

The plaintiff's family's case was the most recent in a line of federal civil rights lawsuits brought after high-profile police shootings of Black and brown persons at the time. Many resulted in settlements, which frequently included cash but did not contain an acknowledgment of guilt. A jury may make enormous settlements in some instances that go to trial, which are later reduced on appeal.

The plaintiff was shot five times, including once in the back of the head, according to an independent autopsy that was requested by the family. Family members who later watched a piece of the body camera footage in private testimony claimed the plaintiff was attempting to flee in his car when he was shot. Days of demonstrations in the small, rural northeastern North Carolina city followed the incident.

$2.45M To Family Of A Michigan Inmate Who Died in Jail
Tue, 06/07/2022 - 13:35

The family of a man who passed away while being detained for a minor traffic infraction has reached a settlement of $2.45 million with a county in the Detroit region and a healthcare provider.

In 2014, the plaintiff had severe drug withdrawal symptoms while incarcerated in the Macomb County prison for 30 days for reckless driving.  Despite proof that he was having seizures and hallucinating in his cell, he was not given the required care, according to his attorney.

With some insurance coverage, the county agreed to pay $1.15 million, while Correct Care Solutions, now known as Wellpath, contributed $1.3 million. According to the County Attorney, an insurance provider assumed control of the lawsuit's defense in 2018. He said that a court decision from 2021 concerning a Tennessee jail established a precedent in Michigan's federal courts.

Even yet, the lawyer acknowledged that it is challenging to win such cases. According to him, jails may be held accountable if they had reason to believe a prisoner was in medical distress and failed to act.

Although the FBI looked into the death, no charges were brought. An attorney for the family claimed that the footage made it very evident that nobody was paying attention to the man's care.

$1M Settlement For Plaintiff Over Sweeper Collision
Mon, 06/06/2022 - 13:42

A potential $1 million settlement has been reached in the case of a man who was hurt when his automobile collided with a street sweeper in Hacienda Heights in 2018.

The county Claims Board and the Board of Supervisors must approve the settlement in the plaintiff's lawsuit. The plaintiff was driving a Toyota southbound on Hacienda Boulevard close to Glenmark Drive on January 18, 2018, according to the lawsuit filed in January 2020. The plaintiff's vehicle collided with the county street sweeper when the sweeper's driver, who was travelling in the same way on the same route, attempted to perform a U-turn directly in the plaintiff's path, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff had serious, expensive bodily injuries that need medical attention as well as lost pay and his capacity to work.