- The Department of Justice recently filed new criminal charges against the former CEO and two executives of Tenet Healthcare Corp. accused of running a $400 million kickback scheme. Specifically, the executives are charged with having paid millions in bribes to Clinica so that it would send patients to Tenet hospitals after they had given birth, thereby boosting Tenet’s share of low-income patients and, by extension, its reimbursements from government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. For more information on the suit, see, U.S. v. Holland et al., case number 1:17-cr-00234, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
- A New Mexico hospital and its Texas-based partner recently agreed to pay the Department of Justice $12.24 million to settle FCA claims that had been brought against them. Specifically, a whistleblower had accused Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and Christus Health of illegally donating money to Medicaid for which they were then reimbursed. For more information on the suit and alleged scheme, see, U.S. ex rel. Stepan v. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center Corp. et al., case number 11-cv-00572, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.
- An en banc Mississippi State Appellate Court recently ruled that a nursing home could not force a wrongful death suit brought against it into arbitration. Specifically, the Court found that the patient’s wife did not have the authority to sign an arbitration agreement because the patient’s physician had not directly stated that the patient was incompetent at the time. For more information on the suit, see, Estate of Jack Howard Bankston et al. v. CLC of Biloxi, case number 2016-CA-01190-COA, in the Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi.
- The Florida Supreme Court, in a recent unanimous decision, ruled that Florida statute 542.335, which governs non-compete agreements and lists only five kinds of protected business interests, is not meant to be an exhaustive list of protected business interests. As such, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that referral sources, which are not among the five protected business interests listed in the statute, could be entitled to protection. For more information on the suits, see, White v. Mederi Caretenders Visiting Services of Southeast Florida LLC et al., case number SC16-28, and Americare Home Therapy Inc. v. Hiles, case number 16-400, in the Supreme Court of Florida.
- A Texas Appellate Court recently declined to revive a suit against a nursing facility accused of transferring an elderly patient without her consent and allowing her to be injured thereby. Specifically, the Appellate Court ruled that the Decedent’s daughter had failed to provide an expert report substantiating her claim and had failed to show that she herself had suffered damages as a result of her mother’s death. For more information on the suit, see, Patricia Shaw v. Daybreak Inc. et al., case number 05-16-01251-CV in the Court of Appeals, Fifth District of Texas.
- A California judge recently ruled to deny actress Sofia Vergara’s ex-fiancé’s anti-SLAPP motion seeking to toss a suit brought by her against him over his desire to bring frozen pre-embryos they had created during their relationship to term. Specifically, her ex-fiancé sought to establish a trust for the pre-embryos in Louisiana where the embryos would allegedly have had more rights than in California. This effort triggered Vergara to file breach of contract claims against her ex-fiancé in California, where they now will battle over ultimate custody of the pre-embryos. For information on the suit, see, Vergara v. Loeb et al., case number BC650580 in the Superior Court of the State of California, for the County of Los Angeles.