January 1, 2020 Recent Legal News







Peer Review and Employment


Pennsylvania v Bragg

Charges have been filed against Michael Bragg, RN for secretly taping 206 patients at the UPMC Carlisle Hospital.  He is also accused of sexually assaulting a unconscious and intubated female patient.  

Sabit v US

Dr. Aria Sabit was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 20 years in prison.  He appealed the sentence and lost.  He was convicted of doing sham surgeries and billing for them.  He had a financial stake in the company whose hardware he used and made money by operating on patients that did not need the surgery.          Top


US v Thanwy

Dr. Norman Thanwy of Cambridge, Maryland, agreed to pay $176,000 to settle allegations that he billed for medically unnecessary autonomic nervous functions tests and vestibular function tests.  The internist did not have the specialized equipment nor the training to do and bill for these tests.  

US v Omnicare

The feds entered a whistleblower suit against Omnicare and CVS for billing for dugs without valid prescriptions.  These are non-controlled prescriptions that are old and stale.  They are said to have not asked for refills from the prescriber.  

US v Boston Heart Diagnostics

The lab company agreed to pay $ 26.67 million to settle allegations that they paid kickbacks to physicians for using their lab and then billed for those tests.  Allegedly they provided in office dieticians in exchange for lab testing.  It was also alleged that they waived co-pays and deductibles to get the business.  

US v Tyre-Hill

The Brunswick, Georgia, based Miracle Home Care and its owner Shashicka Tyre-Hill are to pay $10 million to resolve allegations that they falsely billed for non-emergency transportation and adult day health services along with falsifying medicl records.  

US v Whalen

Dr. Thomas Whalen of Havertown, Pennsylvania, a rheumatologist, plead guilty of fraud and drug importation.  He also plead guilty of unlawful distribution of oxycodone.  

California v Sutter Health

Sutter has agreed to pay $575 million to settle allegations that they drove up the costs of healthcare by engaging in anticompetitive practices.  The original suit by self funded employer insurance plans claimed that Sutter dominated Northern California and forced insurers into costly contracts to retain access to Sutter.  They will also have to stop all or nothing contracting and limit what they charge out of network patients.  

US v Montoya

The feds have indicted PA Felix Montoya for fraud.  They allege Montoya, the owner of TPC Family edicine in san Antonio and the COO gave and received kickbacks.  


The physician service that provides care in home for the elderly agreed to pay $800,000 to resolve allegations that they caused their physicians to do medical visits that were not medically necessary and bill for those visits.  

 Bookwalter v UPMC
3rd Circuit

The appellate court allowed the reinstatement of a whistleblower suit against the hospital for allowing their neurosurgeons to inflate the number and complexity of the surgeries they performed to increase their earnings and referrals to the hospitals.  The hospital immediately appealed for a full court review.  

US v Hillman

Andrew Hillman, the Dallas health exec, had admitted being paid $190,000 for referring patients to the Forest Park Hospital.  He was ordered to pay $3 million in restitution and sentenced to 66 months in prison.    Top


Texas v US
5th Circuit

As expected the Circuit invalidated the Ocare's individual mandate but sent back to the District court the question as to how and which, if any, of the other aspects of of the law can stand.  

In Re Namenda Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation

Allergan is awaiting approval of a settlement in the suit that alleged the company paying a rival to delay bringing a generic to market.  They are willing to pay the plaintiffs $750 million to settle the case.  the attorneys want one-third including interest but net of expenses and other sums.    

Wiesel v Apple

Dr. Joseph Wiesel, a cardiologist at NYU, is suing Apple for breach of patent for using the Apple Watch for detecting irregular heartbeats.    He says he had contacted Apple in 2017 regarding the idea.          Top


Patients v North Ottawa Community Hospital
To Be Filed

The hospital acknowledged that an employee illegally viewed over 4000 medical records without a legitimate reason.  The hospital says the employee did not have access to financial information just all the medical information.  

Patients v DCH Health

Four patients have filed suit against DCH Regional Medical Center for a class action the Alabama hospitals violated privacy laws when they had a ransomware attack.  Because of the attack they need to seek medical care elsewhere, the suit alleges.   

OCR v West Georgia Ambulance Inc.

 The company has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle allegations that they violated HIPAA when an unencrypted laptop was lost containing the information on 500 patients.        Top


Hahnemann University Bankruptcy

The judge is not happy with the proceedings since the hospital left all their medial employees out in the cold with no tail med mal insurance.  He is threatening to remove all the current attorneys and move the proceeding to a Chapter 7 liquidation from the requested Chapter 11 reorganization status.


In a blow for the patient, the court tossed the hospitals challenge of the site neutral law promulgated by the feds.      Top    


Patients v Husel
Ohio App Ct

The court allowed the civil suits against Mount Carmel and Dr. William Husel to continue as the criminal charges against then go forward.  This means depo can proceed.  At a separate proceedings the former colleagues of Dr. Husel have filed suit against the hospital for their discipline stating the hospital panicked and the dosages used by Dr. Husel were appropriate under the circumstances.  This will be a major problem for the state trying to prosecute the doctor.  Dr. Husel has also filed a suit against the hospital for defamation.  

Patients v Lakeshore Hospital

An attorney has filed a suit by seven children against the Chicago psychiatric hospital alleging severe abusive behavior including beating and molestation of the children.  The hospital has been under investigation for a long period of time and DFS stopped admitting patients there last year.

Nguyen v Colorado Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery 

An 18 year old went for a breast augmentation is now in a PVS according to a law suit.  The suit alleges the patient was not monitored and she went into cardiac arrest.  The suit also alleges that the Greenwood Village facility did not call 911 nor did they tell the family what happened.  

Forrest v J&J

A St. Louis jury has ruled that the patient's use of talcum powder did not cause her ovarian cancer.          Top

Peer Review and Employment

Woliner v Sofronsky
11th Circuit

Dr. Kenneth Woliner of Florida had his license acted on after a taped conversation with the mother of a patient who died from a lymphoma came to the Board.  In Florida both sides must agree to the taping of a conversation and here the physician did not agree.  The court agreed with the physician and is allowing the case against the mother and the state to go forward.  He had an expectation of privacy.

David v St. Joseph Hospital

Marie David, RN, sued for retaliation after she states she was forced to resign after she complained to her manager that the ED was understaffed at night.  Her attorney did not present any facts that showed the hospital retaliated against her.        Top


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.