Smith vs. Confidential Class Action Settled for 1.9M
SD&A is pleased to announce settlement of a major class action against a national transportation company. The allegations of the complaint, on file in Los Angeles Superior Court, reveal that the company requires over 5,000 employees in California to carry cell phones with GPS apps on them at all times and use them during work. The company provided (inadequate in number and technology) cell phones for its employees, but these phones were not reasonably usable during the day. Cost of cell phones to each employee was averaging nearly $100 per month. Under the terms of the settlement, all employees will receive reimbursement depending on levels of service. Preliminary approval of the class settlement is expected by December. 2015.
Doe Engineer vs. Nuclear Energy Provider.
Wrongful termination, retaliation and federal false claim (Eastern District of California) based on allegations that the provider marketed an inferior power plant design that provided only one fourth of promised energy capacity and an undisclosed but significant increase in “down time”. Further allegations included claim that a foreign government was given false information which led this country to “rubber stamp” the purchase. Confidential settlement
Sidicane vs. Sisters of the Third Order of Sacred Heart Hospital
Plaintiffs claimed federal false claims violations for numerous forms of Medicare fraud. Plaintiff also alleged she was denied promotion from interim to permanent Chief Financial Officer of the Hospital because of her sex. The government intervened in the case. the complaint alleged falsification of DRG (Diagnostic Related Group) assignment of a diagnosis and/or procedure to a patient even though the patient had not experienced that particular illness or procedure, embellishment and enhancement of a particular diagnosis to increase reimbursement. the complaint further alleged that the hospital administrator would illegally enhance these false diagnosis by use of prohibited software. Nurse practitioners would then assist the chief executive officer in choosing plausible alternative (but highly paid) diagnosis and the CEO would discard those not used.
Editor’s note: This lawsuit was chosen for inclusion in the National Qui Tam Action Handbook. The case resulted in a settlement of 3.5 million dollars. In the twenty five years since we started litigating federal false claims, there has been a complete reversal in the categories of false claims cases. While there is the occasional outlier case (like our federal crop insurance fraud case in the Fresno, Tulare and Kings County areas of California), most of our aerospace fraud cases have now been replaced by health care fraud against medical offices and large institutions. As our case results page indicates, many large pharmaceutical manufacturers have paid hundreds of millions for Big Pharma fraud, including off-label prescribing.
Jane Doe vs. Manufacturing Company
Our female client worked for a large industrial manufacturing company on the assembly line. She was the only female worker on the night shift and suffered numerous racial and sexual comments such as “Ho in the House” repeatedly spoken over the loudspeaker by a male supervisor on the same shift. When our client complained, she was subjected to ostracism, not invited to team events and made to watch over nearly a city-block long factory by herself while co workers held Barbecues in the parking lot. Our client received nearly half a million dollars in settlement. We also were successful in getting this out of state company to reform their wage and hour practices to give breaks and lunches in accordance with the California Labor Code. Employees had been told to “choose” between lunch or rest breaks. The law requires both.