$3,150,000 Verdict Involving Predatory Lending

posted on:
January 15, 2008

author:
Staff

category:
Fraud

June, 1992 – This case involved mortgage fraud perpetrated on the plaintiffs dealing with their home mortgage. Plaintiffs were of limited education and were actually targeted by defendants. The jury was outraged at defendants' conduct and awarded this substantial amount.

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Chemotherapy drug Taxotere lawsuits skyrocketing over permanent hair loss

posted on:
April 27, 2017

author:
Beau Darley

beau darley Chemotherapy drug Taxotere lawsuits skyrocketing over permanent hair lossHair loss is something cancer patients have come to expect as a side effect of chemotherapy. The hair usually grows back after the treatments end and the body starts to heal. Unfortunately, many cancer patients who took the chemotherapy drug Taxotere are now experiencing permanent hair loss.

A growing number of the patients have filed suit against French drugmaker Sanofi Aventis, Taxotere’s manufacturer. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) reports that the number of lawsuits has more than tripled since the end of last year – growing from 267 in mid-December to 949 in mid-April. Last October the JPML established a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for permanent hair loss claims in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District for Louisiana.

Taxotere is two times as potent as its safer alternative, Taxol. Bristol-Meyers Squibb manufactures Taxol and despite Sanofi’s previous marketing claims, the two drugs have the same efficacy, according to the Jere Beasley Report. However, unlike Taxotere, Taxol does not destroy hair follicles, allowing the hair to regrow.

Permanent hair loss is more than cosmetic. Many cancer patients see it as an unnecessary side effect that serves as a constant reminder of their struggle.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Taxotere in 1997. Righting Injustice explains that Sanofi knew about the potential side effect and warned patients outside of the U.S. beginning in 2005. However, it did not caution U.S. consumers until 2015 and only after the FDA demanded the manufacturer update the label with a warning.

* * *

Lawyers at Beasley Allen are currently investigating potential cases involving individuals who have suffered permanent hair loss following chemotherapy with Taxotere. For more information on this subject, contact Beau Darley or Melissa Prickett, lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Beau.Darley@beasleyallen.com or Melissa.Prickett@beasleyallen.com.

Sources:
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
Jere Beasley Report (November 2016)
Righting Injustice

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At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Rebecca Gilliland: meeting challenges head-on as a U.S. Marine, Celestial Navigator, and attorney

posted on:
April 26, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

Rebecca Gilliland Rebecca Gilliland: meeting challenges head on as a U.S. Marine, Celestial Navigator, and attorneyWhen Rebecca Gilliland enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, she knew she was taking on the challenging physical endurance requirements the Corps is known for and a male-dominated environment. Women make up less than seven percent of the Corps and even fewer women are among the ranks within Rebecca’s particular classification as a Celestial Navigator. In fact, Rebecca was only the fifth female to graduate from the Marine Aerial Navigation School and, although she was enlisted, she was able to navigate C-130s alongside commissioned officer pilots.

Growing up, Rebecca thought she would follow in her father’s steps and become a physician. Yet, after leaving the military and while completing college, she felt a calling to enter the law enforcement field. This soon led to law school and the practice of law. Rebecca found law to be a perfect fit because of the mind-challenging issues that arise and the opportunities lawyers have each day to empathize with clients and to help them solve problems.

As a second-year law student, Rebecca was a Beasley Allen law clerk and one of her first assignments was no walk in the park. She joined the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) litigation team, which was representing several states against major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The companies provided inflated prices for pharmaceutical reimbursement and defrauded the states and taxpayers. The companies’ fraudulent action was costing the states millions of taxpayer dollars. One of Rebecca’s first assignments was to draft a brief opposing the pharmaceutical giants’ Motion to Dismiss. She credits her effective completion of this challenging assignment as her springboard for success in the firm.

Her passion and expertise in research and writing has also benefited the firm and especially her team in the fraud section. The section continues to work with various states to recover state funds, but one of Rebecca’s major cases right now is one of, if not the, largest antitrust cases she will ever face. The case involves mega insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and other Blue Cross Blue Shield entities.

Through agreements not to compete with affiliates in other states, this heavy-hitter, the Jere Beasley Report recently explained, is able to block competition and set prices for both reimbursement to medical service providers like physicians and hospitals and premiums paid by consumers at any price they choose. It is a practice that not only hurts physicians like Rebecca’s dad, but also hurts consumers held captive by strong-arm, fraudulent business practices. The case is part of an anti-trust multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Fraud-based MDL cases are less common than other types of MDLs, but do provide leadership opportunities for lawyers. As Beasley Allen recently reported, few women have access to these leadership opportunities, but the firm breaks with industry standard because of its inclusive environment. Rebecca plans to take advantage of these leadership opportunities as they come available – she plans to be part of a steering committee in the future, guiding the work on future MDLs.

She is still motivated most by helping clients find justice. She believes she is “helping those who need it most” even more than if she had opted to become a doctor.

“The Beasley Allen Law Firm’s culture far exceeds the expectations people have of lawyers. Cases aren’t just about making a profit – they are truly about the people and how we can help them,” Rebecca said.

It is this kind of environment, Rebecca feels, that sets Beasley Allen apart from other firms and allows female attorneys to show their strengths and flourish.

To contact Rebecca about the cases mentioned or other claims involving issues of Consumer Fraud, email Rebecca.Gilliland@beasleyallen.com or call 800-898-2034.

Sources:
Jere Beasley Report (2017)
Beasley Allen

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Whistleblowers help expose fraudulent, potentially dangerous EB-5 Visa schemes

posted on:
April 26, 2017

author:
Andrew Brashier

category:
Fraud

andew brashier1 Whistleblowers help expose fraudulent, potentially dangerous EB 5 Visa schemesObtaining legal U.S. residency and Green Cards is usually an exceptionally difficult and tedious process for would-be immigrants who want a shot at the American Dream. The EB-5 visa program, designed to attract foreign business talent and entrepreneurship to the U.S., is designed to facilitate legal immigration. But whistleblowers have come forward in recent years with evidence the program is allowing fraudsters, criminals, spies, and possibly even terrorists to become U.S. residents.

Administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 visa program’s objective is to stimulate the U.S. economy through job growth. The program allows foreigners to apply for a U.S. Green Card if they invest at least $500,000 in an approved project that will create or preserve at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

The program has worked as intended in many cases over the years, but a number of whistleblowers have come forward in recent years exposing the program’s flaws, which they say allow wealthy foreigners to buy U.S. residency for $500,000 with little or no investments being made.

That’s because, as multiple recent cases demonstrate, the program is rife with fraudulent brokers who collect funds from foreign investors and then use those funds for self-enrichment rather than legitimate economy-building investment activities.

U.S. officials have said they have tightened weaknesses in the program, but whistleblowers continue to raise concerns about EB-5 applicants coming to the U.S. while their funds are used by the operators of middleman law firms and investment agencies to underwrite lavish lifestyles. Meanwhile, some of the foreign investors have been caught engaging in illegal activities of their own, such as running money laundering operations and scams.

Earlier this month, federal authorities cracked down on a California law firm suspected of operating a scheme that allowed more than 100 Chinese immigrants into the U.S. But rather than investing funds, the California Investment Immigration Fund, LLC, hired high school students to pose as full-time employees for fake projects and used the money to buy multi-million-dollar homes and luxury items.

The California Investment Immigration Fund is just one example of many such fraudulent schemes. There have been numerous other occurrences of such fraud recently occurring all over the country.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides both an incentive and a path for whistleblowers to report fraudulent EB-5 activity. In just the last two years, the agency and other federal authorities have uncovered multiple EB-5 fraud schemes totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, often with the help of whistleblowers.

In October 2013, the SEC issued an investor alert saying it took numerous emergency enforcement actions to halt fraudulent securities activities fueled by the EB-5 program, including one Texas-based scheme involving $156 million in fraudulently spent investor funds.

In March, a Chicago hotel developer was sentenced in the largest EB-5 visa fraud scheme to date. The developer was charged with misleading 290 Chinese investors who provided $912 million. Such schemes are often successful because they target investors who may care more about gaining U.S. residency than about a return on investment.

* * *

Are you aware of fraud being committed against the federal government, or a state government? If so, the FCA can protect and reward you for doing the right thing by reporting the fraud. If you have any questions about whether you qualify as a whistleblower, please contact an attorney at Beasley Allen for a free and confidential evaluation of your claim. There is a contact form on this website, or you may email one of the lawyers on our whistleblower litigation team: Archie Grubb, Larry Golston, Lance Gould or Andrew Brashier.

Sources:
ABC News
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
SEC
PRNewswire
CNBC

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

GM’s Bid To Block Ignition-Switch Suits Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court

posted on:
April 25, 2017

author:
Staff

Ruling opens opportunity for justice for additional GM ignition switch victims

GM lost its bid Monday to bar hundreds of ignition-switch lawsuits when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the automaker’s appeal claiming it isn’t liable for pre-bankruptcy filings.

Without comment, the Supreme Court left intact last year’s ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that General Motors remains responsible for injury, death, and diminished-value claims that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.

The lower court found that GM was still responsible for the older claims because it knew about the ignition switch defect for more than a decade but concealed it from the bankruptcy court and its customers.

GM appealed the 2nd Circuit Court’s ruling by arguing that “well-established bankruptcy law allowed the newly reorganized GM to obtain the old company’s assets ‘free and clear’ of liabilities,” according to the Associated Press.

GM began recalling about 2.6 million vehicles in 2014 over the deadly defect, which allowed the ignition to be jostled into the off or accessory position with the vehicle in motion, causing it to lose power steering, speed, anti-lock brakes, and airbag protection. These faulty ignition switches caused scores of GM cars to crash.

The GM ignition switch defect has been liked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries. The automaker has already paid about $2 billion to settle civil complaints and criminal charges in connection to the ignition switch debacle.

The 2nd Circuit’s ruling reversed a ruling by a U.S. bankruptcy judge in 2015, who drew a line between the liabilities of the pre-bankruptcy “Old GM” and the post-bankruptcy “New GM.” This effectively shielded the “New GM” from any claims involving vehicles and accidents before its June 2009 bankruptcy.

According to the AP, a lawyer for several of the pre-bankruptcy plaintiffs said the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear GM’s appeal “exposes GM to around 1,000 additional lawsuits and $5 billion to $10 billion in liabilities.”

* * *

Beasley Allen and The Cooper Firm have the privilege of representing individuals and families throughout the country who were harmed by ignition switch defects in GM vehicles. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on any GM ignition switch cases you now have or may have in the future. For more information about how this ruling may affect your claims, contact Beasley Allen at 334-269-2343 or toll free at 800-898-2034, or email web@beasleyallen.com. For media inquires, contact Helen Taylor at Helen.Taylor@beasleyallen.com.

Related News

Law360 – Justices Won’t Hear GM’s Appeal Of Bankruptcy-Shield Ruling

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Legal Food Frenzy kicks off, aims to reduce hunger across Alabama

posted on:
April 24, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

Approximately 140,000 pounds of food – the weight of six school buses – was donated to the Alabama Food Bank Association through last year’s Alabama Legal Food Frenzy. This year, Beasley Allen and more than 50 other law firms from around the state are competing against each other to continue to provide food for families served by the association’s eight regional food banks.

“The food and funds raised during this competition provided the equivalent of almost 120,000 meals over the summer months,” Laura Lester, executive director of the Alabama Food Bank Association, said. “It was incredibly meaningful to see the impact the legal community had on fighting hunger in Alabama.”

This is the second year the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Alabama State Bar and the Alabama Food Bank Association will join together to help end child hunger through the Alabama Legal Food Frenzy, which runs through May 5. During this time, firms across Alabama, competing in size-based categories, will collect food from employees and their communities to be distributed by their local food banks.

Food collected from firms in the River Region will support the Montgomery Area Food Bank, which supports 35 of Alabama’s 67 counties and an estimated 375,000 Alabamians in need.

“Our Heart of Alabama network has an extended reach to more than 800 local community agencies, but we continue to grow because there are still more neighbors we need to be able to help,” said Richard A. Deem, chief executive officer of the Montgomery Area Food Bank. Summer is traditionally a slow time for food donations, Deem explained, though the need actually increases when school ends and thousands of children lose access to meals. Only an estimated 10 percent of children who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year have access to summer meal programs.

“During these months, we have an interactive map of the locations of this year’s Summer Youth Feeding programs on our Web site,” Deem said. “We have several outreach programs designed to target families, seniors and, of course, children. In fact, we have a new pilot program called Feeding Our Remarkable Kids (FORK). FORK supports the adoption of a local school by one of our agencies, which in turn provides help to students and families needing a little more than the school’s breakfast and lunch program can provide.”

The Legal Food Frenzy provides firms not only with the opportunity for bragging rights but, more importantly, with the chance to provide meals for children who would otherwise struggle to keep their tummies full.

The Legal Food Frenzy will be held April 24-May 5, 2017. To donate to Alabama Food Bank Association through Beasley Allen, contact Helen Taylor at 800-898-2024 or helen.taylor@beasleyallen.com. For more information on helping end childhood hunger in the River Region, visit montgomeryareafoodbank.org.

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Beasley Allen secures three of the nation’s Top 100 Verdicts in 2016

posted on:
April 24, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

2016 top verdicts nlj fb2 250x140 Beasley Allen secures three of the nation’s Top 100 Verdicts in 2016The National Law Journal has recognized Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., on its annual list of the nation’s Top 100 Verdicts for three separate trial victories on behalf of cancer victims.

In 2016, the firm secured jury verdicts of $72 million, $70 million and $55 million, the third, fourth and fifth largest personal injury verdicts of the year, all against Johnson & Johnson for ovarian cancer claims related to the use of talcum powder. The rankings are based on research by ALM’s VerdictSearch, the recognized leader in U.S. verdict information.

“We take great pride in achieving justice for those injured by corporate actions, and we try mightily to change negligent corporate behavior to prevent future tragedies,” said Jere Beasley, principal and founder of the firm.

Beasley Allen has numerous ongoing lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of ovarian cancer victims and their families. The lawsuits contend that the companies have known about the dangers of talcum powder use for genital hygiene for decades, but have tried to suppress and dismiss the numerous scientific studies showing the link between ovarian cancer and the long-term use of talc.

In addition to Mr. Beasley, firm attorneys honored in the national report on top verdicts include Ted Meadows, Danielle Mason, David Dearing, Ryan Beattie, Brittany Scott and Lauren Razick.

Beasley Allen shares the recognition with its co-counsel, The Smith Law Firm, PLLC, of Ridgeland, Miss., and local counsel Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson of St. Louis.

Headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., Beasley Allen is comprised of more than 70 attorneys and 200 support staff. One of the largest Plaintiffs law firms in the country, Beasley Allen is a national leader in civil litigation, with verdicts and settlements in excess of $26 billion. Beasley Allen was one of only 12 firms in the nation named by Law360 to its Most Feared Plaintiffs Firms list in 2015, and the firm was included on the National Law Journal Midsize Law Firm Hot List and the NLJ Elite Trial Lawyers List in 2014.

Media Contact:

Helen Taylor
(334) 201-2311 voice or text
helen.taylor@beasleyallen.com

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Automakers knowingly continue to install defective Takata airbags

posted on:
April 21, 2017

author:
Chris Glover

chris glover Automakers knowingly continue to install defective Takata airbagsLast year automakers recalled 53.2 million vehicles in the United States. It is a record that has been broken annually since 2014, though it’s not exactly one we should hope to break. Each recall notice means hundreds, thousands or millions of people have been put at risk of serious injury or death. No example better highlights the potential risk than the Takata airbag recall, which has identified 46 million airbag inflators for repair and affected approximately 29 million vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates only about 13.6 million of the 46 million defective airbags have been repaired, leaving millions driving cars with a defective airbag — a product meant to protect drivers’ lives — that could literally explode in their faces during an accident if it is exposed to high temperatures or humidity.

The recall has been a messy one: Not enough replacement parts exist to fix all the previously affected cars. But what about new cars? You would think a recall on Takata airbags would mean they were no longer installed in vehicles coming off the assembly line — but you would be wrong.

Defective airbags linked to the largest consumer recall in history were still being placed in new cars long after their dangers became apparent. Why? Some had yet to be recalled and so they could still technically be installed.

A June 2016 NBC News piece reported automakers Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Daimler Vans, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen were at some point knowingly using defective Takata airbags that had not been equipped with desiccant, a chemical designed to reduce moisture, in new cars. People bought cars not realizing they would soon be recalled — and the manufacturers knew the parts they were installing had been linked to people’s deaths. It seems like a far cry from trying to protect consumers.

To make matters worse, a shortage of replacement parts not only means Americans continue to travel with defective airbags, but last year federal regulators approved installing defective Takata inflators as replacements for older airbags in about 2.1 million recalled vehicles.

“Federal regulators have approved (the) move as a temporary measure due to a shortage of replacement parts using newer, safer designs,” NBC News explained in its 2016 article.

A better way has to be found. America should be striving to create safer vehicles that require fewer recalls — not switching out one potential disaster for another or continuing to allow manufacturers to install products they know are defective. Some records should never be broken.

* * *

Beasley Allen attorney Chris Glover, who is heading up the firm’s new Atlanta office, handles cases of personal injury involving defective automotive products in single- and multi-vehicle crashes. For more information about these types of claims, contact him by email at Chris.Glover@BeasleyAllen.com. Chris also recently wrote a book about trucking litigation, An Introduction to Truck Accident Claims: A Guide to Getting Started. This book is free to lawyers. To get your copy, visit www.chrisglover-law.com/book.

Sources:
NBC News
U.S. Senate
Beasley Allen
NHTSA

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Dexilant use linked to serious, repeated episodes of vertigo

posted on:
April 20, 2017

author:
James Lampkin

james lampkin1 Dexilant use linked to serious, repeated episodes of vertigoDexilant and Dexilant Solutab are prescription drugs in a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). According to the Jere Beasley Report, there were 5,635 reports of side effects linked to the drugs’ use between 2009, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it, and 2016.

Nearly six percent of those reporting side effects reported suffering from vertigo. Some consumers who reported experiencing vertigo used Dexilant for less than a month while others used it for as long as six months.

Dexilant and Dexilant Solutab are manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. Dexilant was initially approved for adult patients to treat all grades of erosive esophagitis (EE); maintenance of healed EE and relief of heartburn; and treatment of symptomatic non-erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Dexilant Solutab was approved for adult patients for the maintenance of healed EE and relief of heartburn and treatment of symptomatic non-erosive GERD. In 2016, the FDA expanded approval for use of Dexilant and Dexilant Solutab by patients 12 to 17 years of age in the approved indications.

Prescribing information identifies dizziness as one of the “less common adverse reactions.” The less common adverse reactions occur in less than 2 percent of the reported side effects. However, it fails to warn patients that serious or repeated vertigo is a potential adverse side effect. Additional adverse side effects include hypertension (high blood pressure) and an increased risk of stroke for patients taking 60 mg of Dexilant two times daily.

Beasley Allen has previously described additional adverse effects linked to the use of PPIs including Acute Interstitial Nephritis, an increased risk of Acute Kidney Injury (or Acute Renal Failure) and Chronic Kidney Disease.

* * *

Beasley Allen attorney James Lampkin works in the firm’s Mass Torts section handling claims on behalf of patients negatively affected by medical devices and medications. He is currently investigating cases involving serious or repeated vertigo and Dexilant use. For more information about these types of claims, contact him by email at James.Lampkin@BeasleyAllen.com.

Sources:
Jere Beasley Report (April 2017)
Beasley Allen

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

With a heart for serving those in need, Ali Hawthorne carries out Beasley Allen’s mission

posted on:
April 19, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

ali hawthorne1 With a heart for serving those in need, Ali Hawthorne carries out Beasley Allen’s missionLong before she started practicing law at Beasley Allen, Alison “Ali” Hawthorne, a Kennesaw, Georgia, native, had the desire to help populations vulnerable to the schemes and deception of others. She has been a natural fit for carrying out Beasley Allen’s mission – “helping those who need it most.”

Ali has worked in law firms since she was 16 years old. Even as a teenager, she appreciated the unique opportunities lawyers have to help a wide range of clients fight for justice.

“I realized there are people in our country with circumstances far beyond their control, and lawyers are some of the only professionals that can fight for them when they cannot fight for themselves,” Ali said.

As a lawyer in the firm’s Consumer Fraud Section, Ali has helped people fight the unfair and deceptive business practices of greedy companies attempting to pad their bottom line.

She is particularly proud of her work on the national litigation challenging exorbitantly inflated prescription drug prices charged by some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the nation. These pharmaceutical giants used fraudulent billing practices to rob states and their Medicaid agencies. Lawyers like Ali have recovered billions of taxpayer dollars, returning it to the states and the agencies providing services to vulnerable residents. As a result, pharmaceutical manufacturers have completely changed the way they conduct business with states and their Medicaid agencies.

Additionally, Ali has been instrumental in efforts to curb the fraudulent and misleading product marketing that runs rampant in the health care and cosmetics industries. Such marketing gimmicks can cost hard working consumers time and money when products do not live up to the marketing hype.

“I am humbled by the opportunity I have at Beasley Allen to take on giant companies that have taken advantage of our clients and to restore some of what they lost,” Ali said.

Ali’s passion for serving those in need is evident in the causes she supports. She is especially inspired by the work of Brantwood Children’s Home, a local organization providing a safe, stable and structured environment for abused, neglected and other at-risk children. Through her role on various volunteer boards that support the organization, Ali has seen first-hand the impact it has on children’s lives and is impressed by how the organization’s administration and staff maintain the services with limited public funding.

At one time, Ali enjoyed spontaneous weekend trips and watching long movies with her husband, Ray. Now the two enjoy quality time with their 15-month-old son, Jack, and are excited to welcome their second child later this year – when family outings to nearby Lake Martin will be more important than ever.

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Oklahoma hospital pays $1.6M to settle False Claims Act allegations

posted on:
April 18, 2017

author:
Lance Gould

category:
Fraud

The Norman Regional Hospital Authority in Norman, Oklahoma, a former hospital administrator, and six radiologists have agreed to pay the U.S. government more than $1.6 million to settle a whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit alleging the defendants improperly billed Medicare for radiological services that did not qualify for reimbursement.

The $1,618,750 settlement resolves allegations filed in federal court in Oklahoma City by Dr. Lance Garber, a radiologist formerly employed by Norman Regional. Dr. Garber filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which authorizes private individuals to sue on behalf of the federal government. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigated Dr. Garber’s claims and chose to back the lawsuit.

Dr. Garber and the U.S. alleged that Norman Regional and the other defendants were billing Medicare for diagnostic services performed by radiological practitioner assistants (RPAs) without the required supervision of physicians.

“There are certain radiological diagnostic services that require ‘personal’ supervision,” the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma said in a statement. “This means that a physician must be in the room supervising the RPA when the RPA performs the service. If a physician is not in the room, the service cannot be billed to Medicare.”

Dr. Garber will receive $291,375, about 18 percent of the settlement, as a whistleblower award for helping the U.S. recover the Medicare funds. The defendants also agreed to pay more than $31,000 for Dr. Garber’s legal expenses.

* * *

Are you aware of fraud being committed against the federal government, or a state government? If so, the FCA can protect and reward you for doing the right thing by reporting the fraud. If you have any questions about whether you qualify as a whistleblower, please contact an attorney at Beasley Allen for a free and confidential evaluation of your claim. There is a contact form on this website, or you may email one of the lawyers on our whistleblower litigation team: Archie Grubb, Larry Golston, Lance Gould or Andrew Brashier

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.
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