May 1, 2018 Recent Legal News

Fraud

Healthcare

Malpractice

Peer Review and Employment

Fraud

West Virginia v Larry's Drive-in Pharmacy
Settlement

The pharmacy has agreed to pay the state $550,000 to settle allegations that it over dispensed opiates.  The pharmacy is now closed.

US v Chalhoub
Guilty

A jury found Dr. Anis Chaloub of London, Kentucky, guilty of health care fraud.  He implanted unnecessary pacemakers and billed for the work.  

US v Biotheranostics
Settlement

The lab agreed to pay $2 million to settle allegations that it billed for tests not needed to diagnose nor treat breast cancer.  The women had been cancer free for over five years and no longer on Tamoxifen.

US v Redman
7th Circuit

The 7th agreed the 13 year sentence for Scott Redman was valid.  He had misappropriated the name and identify of Dr. Julian Garcia and treated patients with controlled substances and therapy.  

Wahidullah Medical Corp v St. Joseph Hospital
Filed

The company owning Redwood Urgent Care has filed an antitrust suit against the hospital stating it illegally conspired in the outpatient lab business in Eureka, California.   

US v Chopra
Indicted

The feds indicted Dr. Sawtantra Chopra of Modesto, California, for illegally prescribing opiates.  They investigated him for one year prior to arresting him.  This was triggered by area pharmacies telling the state about him.  One month ago he had his DEA suspended.  His wife Anna has been indicted for fraud in real estates transactions in separate matters.

US v Freed, Kleinberg, Nussbaum Festa & Kronberg, LLP
Settlement

The Long Island pediatric group agreed to pay $750,000 to resolve allegations that they billed Medicaid for services by physicians not enrolled in the program.  They really did nothing wrong.  They took care of the patients and billed for their services.

North Carolina v Rotech Healthcare
Settlement

The state will receive all of $43,000 of the almost $10 million settlement.  The allegation was that the company billed for the services even if the patient did not need the service.

Healthcare

Evans v National Health Service
Britain Ct. Appeal

In a repeat of the Charlie Gard fiasco the court has again ruled that the parents of an infant can not take the child to another country for care.  They agreed with a lower court and the hospital that this would be wrong and pointless.  The child has an unknown neurological disease and the parents want to fly him to Rome for treatment.

Association for Accessible Medicines v Maryland
4th Circuit

In a 2-1 decision the 4th Circuit invalidated a Maryland law that let the AG sue generic drug makers who raise prices.  The problem was that this affected other states as well as Maryland which is impermissible under the Constitutions Commerce Clause.  

Oil States Energy Services v Greene's Energy Group
US Supreme Court

In a 7-2 vote the court ruled that the US Patent Office review system is legal.  This means they can adjudicate matters between drug companies which will shorten the legal process to the detriment of big pharma.  

Giliad v Merck
USCA

Merck sued Gilead over a patent dispute and won $200 million.  The verdict was overturned by the judge after it was determined that Merck obtained the patent rights dishonestly.  That decision was appealed and the court of appeals upheld the dismissal of the suit.

Red States v US 
Filed

To counter the suit filed by the Blue states to uphold OCare, the Red states filed for an injunction to invalidate OCare.  

Nurses v Correctional Medical Care
Filed

Three nurses have filed suit against the company that Broome County, New York, has hired to care for the prisoners.  They say they were forced to falsify medical records of inmates to pas accreditation but refused and were either terminated or resigned under duress.        Top

Malpractice

Patients v Roper Hospital
To Be Filed

To date 27 women who underwent breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer have developed non-tuberculous mycobacteria infections requiring more surgery and antibiotic therapy.  The bug was found in the water supply but it makes no sense that only those patients were infected.  The women did have sterile water used doing their surgery but that waster is not from the hospital supply.  

McGinnis v Bard
Punitive Damages

A jury has given Bard what they want, ammunition for a new trial.  After saying Bard was guilty of problems with their mesh implants for urinary incontinence they awarded her $33 million in compensatory and an additional $35 million in punis for her pain. This is the first of over 1000 suits against the company who was purchased by Becton, Dickinson last year.  

Jones, Jr. v Beth Israel Hospital
SDNY

The court said that the plaintiff may sue the hospital for EMTALA violations as well as malpractice since he went to th ED for physician problems but told the physician that he had suicidal and homicidal tendencies.  The physician discharged him with no mental health treatment.  He later assaulted three police officers.  The court said the claim can go forward for EMTALA since he was not stabilized for that condition.

US v Cantrell Drug Company
ED Ark

The court has ordered the pharmacy to stop compounding drugs.  The DOJ complaint said the drugs were done under unsterile conditions.  

Reginelli v Boggs
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The state high court ruled that peer review privilege protection is only for those of a professional health care provider.  In the med mal case involving a hospital and the employer of the ED physician under vicarious liability th performance file on the physician was claimed to be protected as it was part of the chief's regular practice to review random cases.  The lower courts said the file could be accessed in discovery.  The supreme court agreed as the file was kept by the the physician practice group did not meet the definition of a professional health care provider since it was not licensed, or regulated to practice or operate in the health care field.  The hospital could not claim privilege since the file was not part of a review committee.  

Five Plaintiffs v Johnson & Johnson
5th Circuit

The 5th overturned the jury trial verdict that awarded $500 million to five patients for alleged injuries from defective warnings for hip prosthesis.  The reasons for the overturning was the plaintiff attorney lied about whether physicians testifying were compensated and that the judge allowed inflammatory language.  There will now be a retrial.

Estate of Prince v Walgreens
Filed

The estate is suing the drug chain and Trinity Medical Center Hospital for failing to properly investigate an treat the initial overdose one week prior to another overdose killing him.  They allege Walgreens gave him medicine for an invalid medical condition.          Top

Peer Review and Employment

VCU Health v Hines
Filed

VCU filed in federal court against Nkanta Hines for misappropriation of trade secrets and computer crimes.  He was originally accused of sexual misconduct and during the investigation found that he allegedly downloaded hundreds of files presumably for his newly consultant gig.  The sexual misconduct charges were settled out of court.  Hines had been hired as chief of staff.  

Powell v Bear Valley Community Hospital
Ca App Ct

In an easy case Dr. Robert Powell membership at the hospital was denied since he lied on the application by giving misleading information.  He sued and of course lost in the courts as well as prior at the hospital hearings.

Texas v Palmer
Indicted

Dr. John Palmer, a pediatric pulmonologist at Baylor Scott & White Hospital was fired from the hospital and arrested for having child pornography in his desk at the hospital.        Top

Archive

DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.