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Mealey's Health Law - DOJ: Florida Skilled Nursing Facility To Pay $17M Over Illegal Referrals

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice announced June 16 that a Florida-based skilled nursing facility, its former president and executive director and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay $17 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute by improperly paying doctors for their referrals of Medicare patients to the defendants' facilities (United States of America, ex. rel. Stephen M. Beaujon v. Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-20951, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Insurance - DOJ: Florida Skilled Nursing Facility To Pay $17M Over Illegal Referrals

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice announced June 16 that a Florida-based skilled nursing facility, its former president and executive director and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay $17 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute by improperly paying doctors for their referrals of Medicare patients to the defendants' facilities (United States of America, ex. rel. Stephen M. Beaujon v. Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-20951, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Preserves Expert Testimony In Lease Dispute For Bench Trial

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 15 declined to exclude testimony from two experts in a breach of contract case based on alleged unreliable methodology and lack of importance, saying there is less need for her to exercise her gatekeeping function as to expert testimony for a bench trial and that the objections to the testimony can be brought up again at trial (Apple Glen Investors, L.P., v. Express Scripts, Inc., No. 8:14-cv-1527; M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77060).

Mealey's Health Law - Government Files Intervener Complaint In Suit Against Ambulance Service Company

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The federal government filed an intervener complaint in Florida federal court on June 12 in a False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute lawsuit brought against an ambulance service company accused of engaging in a 10-year scheme in which it fraudulently billed Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary (United States of America v. Liberty Ambulance Services Inc., No. 15-cv-, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Insurance - Government Files Intervener Complaint In Suit Against Ambulance Service Company

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The federal government filed an intervener complaint in Florida federal court on June 12 in a False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute lawsuit brought against an ambulance service company accused of engaging in a 10-year scheme in which it fraudulently billed Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary (United States of America v. Liberty Ambulance Services Inc., No. 15-cv-, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel: Fact Issue As To Proper Subsurface Repair Method Requires Reversal

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on June 12 reversed in part a lower court's final judgment in favor of homeowners insurer in a coverage dispute over sinkhole damage (David Sanchez, et al. v. Royal Palm Insurance Co., No. 2D13-4852, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 8991).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Finds School Not Responsible For Death Following Electrical Exposure

SARASOTA, Fla. - A state court jury returned a defense verdict June 10 in a suit alleging that a 33-year-old man's death from a pulmonary embolism stemmed from an electrical accident that occurred at a local school six years earlier (Stephanie Goberman, et al. v. The Out-of-Door Academy, No. 2011CA009250, Fla. 12th Jud. Cir., Manatee Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tainted Groundwater Case Not 'Viable,' Should Be Dismissed, Companies Say

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The chemical companies being sued by a farm trust that alleges that the companies have contaminated the trust's property with volatile organic compounds moved to dismiss the plaintiff's second amended complaint on June 9, contending that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida should dismiss the case with prejudice because the trust has failed in a third attempt to "submit a viable pleading" (Noel D. Clark Jr., et al. v. Ashland Inc., No. 13-794, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Interest-Rate Law Change Not Retroactive, Engle Progeny Plaintiff Says

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An amendment to the Florida interest-rate statute does not apply to judgments existing at the time of its passage, the plaintiff in an Engle progeny case argues in a brief filed with the state Supreme Court on June 8 (Lyantie Townsend, etc. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. SC15-722, Fla. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Jury Hears Openings In Florida Suit Alleging Electric Shock Caused Man's Death

SARASOTA, Fla. - Trial got under way June 4 in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court for Manatee County, Fla., in a suit alleging that a 33-year-old man's death from a pulmonary embolism stemmed from an electrical accident that occurred at a local school six years earlier (Stephanie Goberman, et al. v. The Out-of-Door Academy, No. 2011CA009250, Fla. 12th Jud. Cir., Manatee Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Inequitable Conduct Patent Claim

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A declaratory judgment defendant's counterclaim of inequitable conduct was dismissed June 5 by a Florida federal judge (Chico's Fas Inc. v. Andrea Clair et al., No. 13-792 M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73052).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Says Patent Litigation Should Have Been Dismissed

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge erred denying a motion to dismiss, on standing grounds, a dispute over a prosthetic liner patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 5 (Alps South LLC v. The Ohio Willow Wood Company, Nos. 13-1452, -1488, 14-1147, -1426, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Says Construction Defect Notice By Insured Is Not A 'Suit' Under Policy

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A notice under Florida Statutes Chapter 558 does not constitute a "civil proceeding" and is not a "suit" under an insurance policy, a Florida federal judge ruled June 4, finding that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify an insured regarding construction defect claims (Altman Contractors Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 13-80831, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72466).

Mealey's IP/Tech - On Remand From Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Again Rejects Claim Constructions

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Despite a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate and remand an earlier reversal by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a Florida federal judge's claim construction in light of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. (135 S. Ct. 831 [2015]), the Federal Circuit on June 2 held firm, again rejecting the constructions (Shire Development LLC, et al. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 13-1409, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Excludes Testimony By Damages Expert In Suit Over Bra Patents

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 3 limited the testimony of a damages expert in a patent dispute, directed the expert to file an amended total royalty analysis and questioned the expert's qualifications, reserving ruling on whether he is qualified until he is questioned at trial (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71716).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Hears Openings In Suit Tying COPD Death To 50 Years Of Smoking

MIAMI - Trial got under way in state court on June 4 in a suit alleging that a Florida man's death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was caused by his addiction to cigarettes (Joyce Hardin, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 07-46973-CA-22, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Did Not Breach Policy In Denying Coverage For Fungus Loss

TAMPA, Fla. - An insurer did not breach its policy by denying coverage for an insured's damages caused by fungus, rot, rain, decay and termites eating wood, a Florida federal judge ruled June 3 (N.P.V. Realty Corp. d/b/a Park Place Apartments v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-03235, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71744).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Excludes Testimony By Damages Expert In Suit Over Bra Patents

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 3 limited the testimony of a damages expert in a patent dispute, directed the expert to file an amended total royalty analysis and questioned the expert's qualifications, reserving ruling on whether he is qualified until he is questioned at trial (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71716).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge: Facts Issues Preclude Summary Judgment As To The Estoppel Theory

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 1 held that there are material issues of fact to be determined by a trier of fact regarding whether an insurer is estopped from denying coverage for underlying copyright infringement claims brought against a designer of pre-drawn home plans (State National Insurance Company Inc. v. Highland Holdings Inc., et al., No. 8:14-cv-00524, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70616).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Facts Issues Preclude Summary Judgment As To The Estoppel Theory

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 1 held that there are material issues of fact to be determined by a trier of fact regarding whether an insurer is estopped from denying coverage for underlying copyright infringement claims brought against a designer of pre-drawn home plans (State National Insurance Company Inc. v. Highland Holdings Inc., et al., No. 8:14-cv-00524, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70616).

Mealey's Insurance - Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Duplicative Of Bad Faith Claim, Judge Rules

ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on May 29 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion to dismiss claims in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds' breach of fiduciary duty claim is duplicative of their bad faith claim, but that their breach of contract claim is not (Ryan J. Padilla, et al. v. The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., No. 14-1770, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69961).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Claims Against Movie Studios Dismissed By Florida Federal Judge

MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on June 1 agreed with two declaratory judgment patent infringement plaintiffs that a defendant's counterclaims of patent infringement fail to demonstrate sufficient intent or knowledge of the patents in suit (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC v. Nissim Corp., No. 14-81349; Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Nissim Corp., No. 14-81350, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70467).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Says Smoker Not Addicted, Returns Defense Verdict

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury returned a defense verdict May 21 in a suit alleging that the death of a former smoker from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease was caused by his years of smoking (Ethel Gray, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2013 CA 002813. Fla. Dist., 1st Dist., Escambia Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Most Expert Testimony On Bra Patents, Damages Allowed By Judge

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 24 declined to exclude the testimony of a patent validity expert but limited the testimony of a damages expert so that taxes are not deducted from an accused infringer's gross profit margin, finding that if there is infringement, it is more equitable for the patent holder to receive any windfall that may occur by not deducting the taxes paid (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67394).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Fox News Can't Dodge Defamation Suit Over Viral Beach Video

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two Florida women have sufficiently alleged defamation against Fox News Networks LLC related to its airing of a video clip of the women on television and posting of it online, a Florida federal judge ruled May 21, denying the network's motion to dismiss (Kathleen M. Duffy, et al. v. Fox News Networks LLC, No. 6:14-cv-01545, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66534).