15 latest healthcare industry lawsuits, settlements

From a California hospital facing a lawsuit for secretly recording patients to a Tennessee hospital settling a lawsuit over a mandatory flu shot policy, here are the latest healthcare industry lawsuits and settlements making headlines.

1. Tenet responds to lawsuit, accuses cardiologists of bullying staff, missing procedures
Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare responded to a civil lawsuit filed by two cardiologists who claim they were fired from their leadership positions at Detroit Medical Center for raising concerns about quality of care and patient safety.

2. Colorado physician found guilty of destroying patient files to conceal billing fraud
John Van Wu, MD, was convicted in a case alleging he billed insurers and employee benefit programs for services that weren't rendered to patients.

3. Judge tosses UPMC lawsuit against Pennsylvania attorney general
A U.S. district judge dismissed Pittsburgh-based UPMC's lawsuit against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro April 24. Mr. Shapiro filed a petition against UPMC in February seeking changes that require UPMC to accept binding arbitration if an impasse is reached in contract negotiations with an insurer. UPMC filed a retaliatory suit in late February, accusing Mr. Shapiro of overstepping authority.

4. Ohio nurse charged in connection with patient's death
An Ohio nurse faces criminal charges over the death of a 71-year-old patient whom prosecutors say received delayed care.

5. Ex-Pennsylvania health system COO charged in $1.3M fraud scheme
The former COO of Butler (Pa.) Health System was indicted on several charges, including embezzlement, mail fraud and money laundering.

6. California hospital hit with lawsuit after secretly recording 1,800 surgeries
A former patient filed a proposed class-action lawsuit April 17 against San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare and one of its hospitals after motion-activated cameras placed in operating rooms filmed more than 1,800 patients during surgeries without their consent.

7. FTC sues Surescripts, claims it illegally monopolizes e-prescribing market
The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint April 17 in federal court against Surescripts, a health information network focused on e-prescriptions, alleging the company used illegal tactics to maintain monopolies over two e-prescribing markets.

8. Saint Thomas Health to pay $75K to settle lawsuit over mandatory flu shot
Nashville, Tenn.-based Saint Thomas Health agreed to pay $75,000 to settle allegations Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital violated federal law by ordering a vendor's employee to get a flu shot despite his religious beliefs.

9. Ex-Missouri hospital owners accused of carrying out elaborate billing scheme
Earlier this month, a judge dismissed part of a lawsuit filed by the former owners of Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Mo., against the hospital's board of trustees and Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway. However, the legal fight is far from over.

10. Tulare hospital district accuses ex-board members, legal council of breaching fiduciary duties
The Tulare (Calif.) Local Healthcare District sued three of its former board members and its prior legal counsel April 24 for allegedly breaking their fiduciary duty to the district.

11. NYC lab director fired after raising concerns about DNA test methods wins $1M settlement
Marina Stajic, PhD, former laboratory director in New York City's chief medical examiner's office, was awarded a settlement of $1 million by the city over her claims of retaliation from the office after she questioned its usage of a novel DNA testing technique.

12. J&J to pay $9.9M to settle Washington state surgical mesh case
Just before a trial was set to begin April 22 in Seattle, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $9.9 million to resolve a lawsuit claiming the company failed to warn patients about the risks of its pelvic mesh devices.

13. BCBS of Louisiana sues J&J subsidiary, alleges it filed sham lawsuits to thwart competition
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana is suing a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, accusing it of filing "sham" patent litigation to keep generic forms of Zytiga off the shelves to maintain a monopoly on its best-selling prostate cancer drug. 

14. Former nurses accuse Alaska hospital of age discrimination
Five former nurses are suing South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska, alleging that they were forced out of their positions based on age.

15. Judge supports NYC's mandatory measles vaccination
A judge in New York City denied parents' request to lift the city's mandatory vaccination order amid a measles outbreak.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:

HHS hit with class-action complaint over suspended Medicare payments
Sutter Health enters $30M settlement over upcoding allegations
UHS can't dodge claims it held patients illegally, investors say

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