Whistleblower’s Claim Survives Dismissal and Death

The Energizer Bunny has nothing on the whistleblower claim of Robert Cunningham.  Here’s what’s happened since Robert files his qui tam action against Millennium Labs back in 2009: the government declined to intervene; seven more whistleblowers filed related actions against Millennium; the government …

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The Law Doesn’t Forbid Submitting False Claims

An Eighth Circuit decision provides a reminder that the False Claims Act doesn’t forbid submitting false claims: it forbids knowingly submitting false claims.   That made all the difference in an appeal of summary judgment in favor of a physician group that, according to the relator, failed to comply with …

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Court Rejects Qui Tam Attack on Standard On-Call Contract

On June 10 the Third Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a physician’s qui tam action against Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC) for violating the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and False Claims Act (FCA).  And it’s a good thing because the basis of his claim was an on-call coverage arrangement …

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False Claims Charges vs. Eye Clinic Sufficiently Specific

Michael Sorenson is an optometrist formerly employed by Outreach Diagnostic Clinic.  After he quit, he filed a False Claims action against the eye clinic and the two doctors who owned it.  He alleged that the clinic routinely billed Medicare for tonography (i.e., eye pressure) tests that were never performed and …

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8th Cir. Rejects Dr.’s Grab-Bag Retaliation Suit

Dr. Alaa Elkharwily lost his job at Albert Lea Clinic, but he didn’t go quietly.  He sued the clinic and eight related organizations and individuals alleging just about everything a terminated doctor can allege in Minnesota: defamation and violation of the Minn. Vulnerable Adults Act, EMTALA, the Minn. …

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Attorneys Pay Heavy Price for Block-Billing

Lawyers are aware of the increasing sensitivity—and hostility—of clients to block-billing: lumping more than one activity into a single time entry.  A new Fifth Circuit decision shows that courts can be equally sensitive—and hostile—to the practice.  The court upheld an award of $739,000 in attorneys’ …

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