Former JC Penney Employee Files Arbitration Lawsuit Against the Retailer

Former JC Penney Employee Files Arbitration Lawsuit

Former JC Penney Employee Files Arbitration Lawsuit

A former part-time employee of JC Penney has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that his former manager and the company itself retaliated against him after he publicly stated that the company fleeced its customers.

Between 2007 and 2009, the whistleblower was employed part-time in the custom decorating department in the Penney’s St. Petersburg, Florida, store. He was then again employed part-time by the company between August 2012 and July 2013. The whistleblower claims that his former manager and top company officials retaliated against him after he complained that the store was overcharging customers, according to Fortune.

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Two Courts Reject Previous Ruling about ‘Public Disclosure Bar’ in Whistleblower Lawsuits

‘Public Disclosure Bar’ in Whistleblower Lawsuits ruling rejected

‘Public Disclosure Bar’ in Whistleblower Lawsuits ruling rejected


An potential obstacle for whistleblowers looking to file a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act (FCA) is “public disclosure bar”. This bars a whistleblower from suing if information is “based upon the public disclosure of allegations or transactions” in specific ways, including a government “report, hearing, audit, or investigation,” If the whistleblower is the original source of that information, then this does not apply. In 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that “public disclosure” includes information given to a “competent government official” and “publicly disclosed”. This can be an issue for whistleblowers if information was disclosed to the government but never available to the general public.

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Medtronic Makes Final Payment in $11.1 Million Settlement over Kickbacks Lawsuit

Medtronic Makes Final Payment in $11.1 Million Settlement

Medtronic Makes Final Payment in $11.1 Million Settlement


Medtronic made a final payment of $362,000 in the $11.1 million settlement of a lawsuit alleging that the company used illegal kickbacks to influence doctors to use its cardiac rhythm products. According to Mass Device, the whistleblower lawsuit was filed in 2009 by a former business development manager. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the whistleblower will receive approximately $1.7 million.

The lawsuit accused Medtronic of compensating physicians to speak at conferences and developing marking and business plans at no cost. The company even gave them free tickets to sporting events, restaurants and strip clubs, the suit alleges. The whistleblower is a former business development manager, according to Mass Device.

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Whistleblower Alleges Travel Promotion Entity Engaged in Kickback Schemes Fraud

Travel Promotion Entity Engaged in Kickback Schemes Fraud

Travel Promotion Entity Engaged in Kickback Schemes Fraud


The former vice president (VP) of operations for Brand USA has filed a lawsuit against the firm alleging that the travel promotion company engaged in “kickback schemes” through its Visit California and Visit Florida promotions, and others, as well as fraud.

The former VP alleges that Brand USA inked marketing agreements with partners that depended on the company to reimburse their donations to the firm at a minimum of 130 percent through advertising and services that supported partners’ existing ad campaigns and even the partners’ own advertising agencies in order to meet budgetary goals and qualify for more federal matching funds, according to Skift.com.

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Former Countrywide Financial Executive will Collect $57 in Mortgage Whistleblower Case

Former Countrywide Financial Executive Collects $57 million.

Former Countrywide Financial Executive Collects $57 million.


A former Countrywide Financial Corp. executive is set to receive $57 million for a whistleblower case against the firm.

The former executive’s testimony led a jury to find parent company Bank of America Corp. liable in July for fraud over slapdash mortgages the company sold. The current case involves allegations that Countrywide defrauded government-backed mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by selling them loans that were not as substantial as the firm represented them to be. The process Countrywide used to sell the loans was technically referred to as “HSSL” (High Speed Swim Lane), earning the case the nickname the “Hustle.” In July, a New York federal judge ordered Bank of America to pay a penalty of $1.27 billion in connection with that case. The bank is currently appealing that decision, according to Reuters.

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Whistleblower Lawsuit filed by Rapides Parish Coliseum Employee can Proceed, Court Rules


A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee of Rapides Parish Coliseum in Louisiana can proceed, a state appeals court ruled. According to The Town Talk, the suit was filed in the 9th Judicial District Court against the Coliseum Authority in July 2013. The whistleblower alleged that she was fired for speaking up about financial wrongdoings.

The Louisiana 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a 9th District ruling, allowing the suit to proceed. Previously, Ninth District Judge George C. Metoyer Jr. granted the Coliseum Authority summary judgment on technical grounds. However, Meyoyer’s reason for granting the summary judgment was based on a reason not presented by the Coliseum Authority in its motion for the judgment, the 3rd Circuit ruled. “We find the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on an issue not asserted by the Authority in its motion after considering evidence that was not admitted ‘for purposes of the motion for summary judgment …,’” the 3rd circuit said in its ruling.

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Senate Panel Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Program

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Senate Panel Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Program

Senate Panel Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Program


On Thursday, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously backed legislation that would offer whistleblower incentives to employees in the automobile industry. Reuters reports that all 12 Republican and Democrat members voted in favor of the legislation, sending it to the floor of the Senate. The measure follows recent safety concerns with automakers, including defective General Motors Co ignition switches and Takata Corp air bag inflators.

There is no definitive vote date thus far, said an aide to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. If the full chamber votes in favor of the bill, it would then be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Maine Agrees to Pay $142,000 to Whistleblower who Allegedly Faced Retaliation for Refusing to Shred Public Documents

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Maine Agrees to Pay $142,000 to Whistleblower

Maine Agrees to Pay $142,000 to Whistleblower


A former division director for the Maine Center for Disease Control is to receive $142,000 to settle her whistleblower lawsuit. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services released the settlement agreement on Friday. According to Sun Journal, the whistleblower alleges that she suffered harassment and retaliation for refusing to shred public documents.

The documents were related to funding the Health Maine Partnerships programs, Sun Journal reports. In April 2013, the whistleblower filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission alleging that her bosses ordered her to shred these documents, along with other things.

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Whistleblower Lawsuit Accuses NantHealth of Fraud

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Whistleblower Lawsuit Accuses NantHealth of Fraud

Whistleblower Lawsuit Accuses NantHealth of Fraud


Health technology firm NantHealth is facing a lawsuit filed by two former executives alleging the company committed fraud. According to the New York Times, the wrongful-termination lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Panama City, Fla.

NantHealth’s system is meant to link patient information using different medical devices and pieces of hospital equipment. The company is owned by a billionaire surgeon and business entrepreneur whose business relationships have been scrutinized in the past. Over a decade ago, NYT reported that the surgeon headed a drug company with financial ties to Premier; the major purchaser of supplies for hospitals nationwide is not supposed to have such conflicts of interest.

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Arguments in Katrina Whistleblower Case Appeal Scheduled for February

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Whistleblower_Advisor_Arguments_Katrina_Whistleblower_Case_Appeal_for_FebruaryOral arguments have been scheduled for February in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.’s appeal of an order that it pay legal fees and damages of $3 million in a whistleblower lawsuit. The jury found the insurer defrauded the government in a claim after Hurricane Katrina.

The case was brought in 2006 by Cori and Kerri Rigsby, sisters from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who worked for an Alabama contractor that provided damages assessments to State Farm after the August 2005 hurricane, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
In 2013, a jury found that State Farm avoided covering a policyholder’s wind losses by categorizing it as water damage from the storm surge, which is covered by federal flood insurance.

The sisters pursued cases for a number of policyholders, but only one came to trial, the case of Thomas and Pamela McIntosh. The McIntoshes lost their Biloxi, Mississippi, home to the storm. The sisters allege State Farm defrauded the McIntoshes by manipulating engineers’ reports so claims could be denied, according to the AP. The Rigsbys also alleged that State Farm’s fraud against the National Flood Insurance Program was widespread along the Mississippi coast.

State Farm says it correctly assessed the McIntoshes’ damage and never instructed its adjusters to wrongly process claims as flood damage, nor did it withhold a report that showed the home had been destroyed by wind as the Rigbys alleged.

At State Farm’s direction, the flood insurance program paid the Macintoshes the policy limits of $250,000, the AP reports. State Farm initially paid the couple $36,000 for wind damage on a policy that provided more than $500,000 in coverage, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Halil S. Ozerden ordered State Farm to pay $750,000 in damages to the government. Under the federal False Claims Act, a whistleblower law dating back to the Civil War, individuals may sue on behalf of the government and receive a portion of funds recovered if the case is successful. If damages are upheld on appeal, the Rigsbys will each receive 15 percent of the $750,000 judgment, according to the AP.

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National Law Firm, Parker Waichman LLP, Seeks Increased Transparency and Ethics from the Pharmaceutical Industry in the New Year

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In the new year, Parker Waichman LLP hopes for increased testing, safety, and efficacy in the processes and promotions used by Big Pharma so that consumers may be confident that they are receiving safe and effective medications that were ethically developed, tested, and marketed.

Parker Waichman, a national law firm that has long been an advocate for victims of defective medications is urging the pharmaceutical industry, as we approach a new year, to step up the ways in which it develops, tests, inspects, and markets medications.

In the new year, Parker Waichman is seeking increased transparency and accountability from all drug makers, with the hope that patient welfare is made the key priority and placed before drug approval activities and profits.

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Whistleblowers Faced with Growing Retaliation

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Reports suggest that corporate whistleblowers are faced with increased retaliation, Corporate Counsel reports. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has began an aggressive lobbying campaign against the False Claims Act, the law that allows whistleblowers to file lawsuits on behalf of the government when they have knowledge of wrongdoing.

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