Maybe the Yacht Was the Tip-Off

If you’re a surgical device distributor and you want to reward a surgeon for using your products on Medicare and Medicaid patients, you may want to choose a reward that’s less conspicuous than a yacht. That’s one lesson in the recent decision in US ex rel. Cairns v. D.S. Med.  In denying defendants’ …

[Read more...]

Ind. Upholds Reduction of Obese Decedent’s Life Expectancy

Actuarial tables put the life expectancy of a 31-year-old male at 46.5 more years. But when Christopher McDaniel died at 31, allegedly as a result of medical negligence, the court calculated his life expectancy at no more than six years and set damages accordingly. What’s the explanation? According to the …

[Read more...]

Reverse Midas: Doctor Turns His $38K Debt into $65K Debt

Dr. Bob Halterman is something of a Midas-in-Reverse.  His refusal to pay $38,000 he owed Johnson Regional Medical Center resulted in a $65,000 judgment in favor of the hospital. When the hospital recruited Dr. Bob, the parties executed three documents: a recruitment agreement, a promissory note for $50,000 …

[Read more...]

It’s Not Always Obvious What’s Obvious

If you think it’s easy to determine what’s obvious and what’s not, take a look at the recent Federal Circuit decision in Millennium Pharmaceuticals v. Sandoz. The lower court had determined that a process was obvious. The circuit court held that it was not obvious and that the lower court’s determination …

[Read more...]

Think You Know Hospital Staffing Levels?

A lot of people think they know something about hospital staffing levels: the proper ratio of nurses to patients. From time to time a legislator, patient advocate, or union spokesman will propose a required ratio—often a one-size-fits-all number. They ought to take a look at a recent federal court decision on …

[Read more...]

Bad News for Whistleblowers: Defendant Pleads Guilty

At first glance, it looks nonsensical. How could it be bad news for False Claims Act whistleblowers that the defendant pleaded guilty to violating that statute—to committing the very Medicare fraud the whistleblowers alleged? The explanation lies in two legal principles and one fact. First, there’s a …

[Read more...]