DETROIT - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 13 reversed a jury's finding that the owners of a non-emergency ambulance company committed identity theft when submitting false claims to Medicare, holding that the government did not present sufficient evidence to support the verdict (United States of America v. Kathy Medlock, et al., No. 14-5084/5100, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7867).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced April 21 that Citizens Medical Center, a county-owned hospital in Texas, agreed to pay $21.7 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by overcompensating cardiologists for their services and paid bonuses to emergency room employees who improperly took into account the value of their cardiology referrals.
SAN FRANCISCO - A settlement agreement that includes a provision in which the former employee waives his rights to employment with the employer at any facility it currently owns or with which it may contract in the future is ripe for review, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 8 (Donald Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, et al., No. 12-16514, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5642).
MINNEAPOLIS - A transgendered individual may proceed with a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557 discrimination case because the law creates a singular standard regardless of protected class status, a federal judge in Minnesota held March 16 (Jakob Tiarnan Rumble v. Fairview Health Services d/b/a/ Fairview Southdale Hospital and Emergency Physicians P.A., No. 14-2037, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31591).
SAN FRANCISCO - A dispute over the trademarked slogans "I've fallen and I can't get up" and "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up" will proceed in California federal court with an injunction in place, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 4 (Life Alert Emergency Response Inc. v. Lifewatch Inc., No. 14-55930, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1760).
CINCINNATI - Meal periods during which casino security guards remain on site and monitor their radios in case of an emergency are not compensable, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 7 (Angelia Ruffin, et al. v. MotorCity Casino, d/b/a Detroit Entertainment, L.L.C., No. 14-1444, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 236).
GALVESTON, Texas - A waiver by the Federal Emergency Management Agency was limited to $7,000 of the $112,000 sought by an insured in his third proof of loss (POL) over Hurricane Ike flood damage, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 7, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Jason Fennelly v. Texas Farmers Insurance Co., No. 12-024, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1290).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 12 denied a motion by the driver of a tractor-trailer owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that struck a limousine in which actor-comedian Tracy Morgan was riding for an emergency order delaying proceedings in Morgan's civil action against Wal-Mart until after the court rules on his request for leave to intervene to seek a stay of the action pending the outcome of criminal charges against him (Tracy Morgan, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-04388, D. N.J.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 9 passed on a 230-182 vote the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, which would allow the release of water to customers of California's Central Valley Project (H.D. 5781).
NEW YORK - After finding that Luxembourg and Canadian corporations showed the necessary elements for a preliminary injunction, a New York federal judge on Dec. 1 granted their request to enjoin a partnership and a corporation from arbitrating a breach of contract dispute before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (Pictet Funds [Europe] S.A., et al. v. Emerging Managers Group L.P., et al., No. 14-cv-6854, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166477).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate panel on Nov. 13 vacated an emergency order entered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) allowing it to seize operations of a landfill due to its emissions of hydrogen sulfide, after finding that the agency first needed to obtain judicial approval under the Legacy Landfill Law (Strategic Environmental Partners LLC v. new Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, No. A-5283-12T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2014 N.J. Super. LEXIS 152).
NEW ORLEANS - An agreement between a contractor and a subcontractor did not obligate the subcontractor to test the liquid propane (LP) detector in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers delivered and installed after hurricanes Katrina and Rita; therefore, neither the agreement nor any act or omission on the part of the subcontractor was a but-for cause of flash fire injuries, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 11 in an indemnification dispute between two insurers (Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 13-30541, 5th Cir.).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - A Massachusetts federal judge on Oct. 24 denied an emergency motion for a protective order in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by grocery store team leaders who allege that they are owed overtime wages (Shelly J. Davine, et al. v. The Golub Corporation, et al., No. 14-30136, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151344).
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. - States with expanded Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) saw a threefold increase in emergency-department visits over nonexpansion states in the second quarter of 2014, according to a Sept. 8 study.
NEW ORLEANS - The Federal Emergency Management Agency expressly limited a waiver to the $13,888.51 that it paid to Louisiana insureds for their Hurricane Isaac loss, and the insureds failed to file a timely proof of loss for any additional amounts claimed, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Aug. 15, granting FEMA's motion for summary judgment (Shannon Villemarette, et al. v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, et al., No. 13-5400, SECTION: R(5), E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113667).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 8 granted insurance agents' motion to dismiss insureds' negligent procurement and negligent misrepresentation claims in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac, further dismissing the insureds' claim against Federal Emergency Management Agency for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Michelle Lopez and Stephen Lopez III v. State Farm General Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-6029, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109803).
NEW YORK - Just over a month after the U.S. Supreme Court deemed its Internet streaming and recording of network television programs to be infringing, a New York federal judge on Aug. 1 struck an emergency motion by Aereo Inc. regarding the handling of preliminary injunction issues on remand, stating that the defendant had "jumped the gun" in not awaiting court instructions (American Broadcasting Companies Inc., et al. v. Aereo Inc., No. 1:12-cv-01540 and 1:12-cv-01543, S.D. N.Y.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals court on July 29 held that a health care provider must actually contract for the right to preserve its right to recover its customary billing rates through a Hospital Lien Act (HLA) lien or it forfeits the right to recover the customary billing rate for emergency room services from third-party tortfeasors (Dameron Hospital Association v. AAA Northern California, et al., No. C070475, Calif. App., 3rd. Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 684).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Finding that there are disputed issues of material fact as to what loan documentation a federal flood insurer and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had to review, an Arkansas federal judge on July 8 denied motions for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over flood damage to a family-owned motel (M&K Restaurant LLC, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Co. Inc., et al., No. 4:12-cv-00783 KGB, E.D. Ark., Western Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92396).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court should deny a nonprofit Christian liberal arts college's request for an emergency injunction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate while it appeals an adverse ruling, the government said July 2 in its first post-Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (573 U.S. ___ ) filing (Wheaton College v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 13A1284, U.S. Sup.).