Health Care Fraud

Health Care Fraud

Medicaid and Medicare health care fraud runs rampant and often preys on the elderly and disabled. Hurting those who often cannot fend or care for themselves the most.

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) Reports – That four North Texans have been convicted for their part in a multi-million dollar home health care fraud scheme.

A federal jury convicted two owners of Elder Care, along with two of its employees. The company operated as a Medicare and Medicaid provider based in Garland, Texas.

Furthermore, court reports say Dallas County residents Celestine “Tony” Okwilagwe, Adetutu Etti, and Loveth Isidaehomen, along with Paul Emordi of Collin County, were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Their arrests came as a result of the biggest Medicare fraud bust in history.

Also, Okwilagwe and Etti were each convicted of two counts of false statement in connection with a health care benefit program.

Fraudulently Billed $3.7 million

The DOJ says the company billed the government for more than $3.7 million in payments to which it was not entitled.

The owners of Elder Care were doing business despite having previously been excluded from participating in any federal healthcare program.

So far, no sentencing date has been set.

Nine others in the Dallas area linked to three separate home health care scams also were charged.

Do your homework when considering home health care services.

Home health care scams are on the rise. So that means it’s up to you to look carefully at the people caring for your elderly loved ones.

If you feel your elderly loved one has been abused by a Medicare fraud scheme, contact our office. Our legal staff will consult with you at no charge to you. If we decide you have a case, we will aggressively fight it for you. When and only when we win your case will there be a fee.

Dan Street has been in business as a Personal Injury Lawyer for over 35 years. In those years Dan Street has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients. Call him today at 972-404-8585.

 

Personal Injury Lawsuits Step By Step

Personal Injury Lawsuits Step By Step

When you suffer a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s possible you may be entitled to compensation. To legally get this compensation, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Steps of a typical Personal Injury Case

Firstly, you will meet with Dan Street a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer, who will evaluate your case and determine your odds of winning that case. This first meeting, called an initial consultation, is always free at STREET LAW FIRM.

You will share the details of your injury and how it happened with Dan (probably first through one of his legal assistants). Dan will then assess your case to determine whether you are legally entitled to damages (the legal word for compensation) under Texas personal injury law.

If Dan agrees to take your case, he will do so on a contingency basis. That means you pay no money up front, but Dan keeps a percentage of the compensation he gets for you from the negligent party that caused your injury.

Dan will then draft a complaint, which is the legal term for the papers that are filed with the court to begin a personal injury lawsuit.

Complaint Filed, Now Discovery.

Once the complaint is filed, Dan and the lawyer for the opposing party will begin a lengthy process known as discovery. This is where each side tries to uncover as much information as they can about the accident that prompted your lawsuit. This can include asking for your medical records, information from your employer and other relevant information about you. At the same time, Dan will ask for information about the party that caused your injury.

As part of discovery, you may be asked by the opposing lawyer to give a deposition, (sworn evidence). You will be asked a series of questions by the opposing lawyer. Some questions will be about the incident that caused your injury, and some will be about your personal history. Expect to answer questions about any previous injuries or illnesses you have had. Also as well as your work history and other issues.

Filing Motions

After the evidence has been gathered, each side will usually file motions with the court. These can be anything from a request for the court to dismiss the case to simply asking that some evidence be excluded from the trial for various reasons.

Mediation

Once the court has ruled on the motions. The parties may be required by the court to have at least one session with a court-approved mediator.  This is done to try to settle the case before a trial becomes necessary. Regardless of whether you actually meet with a mediator, Dan and the defendant’s lawyer will undoubtedly be talking periodically throughout the case to see if they can come to a settlement agreement.

Going to Trial in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you and the other party fail to settle out of court, the court will schedule your case for trial. Because the courts are very busy, your trial date could be months away. Once the trial begins, it will usually be a jury that decides whether you are entitled to any compensation. Then, if so, how much.

Collecting Compensation

If you win the case and are awarded compensation, you then have to collect it. Most often, an insurance company will be required to make the payment on behalf of the losing party.  You may have to sign many documents before the check is cut.

Getting compensation from an individual can sometimes be a lot harder. Dan may have to pursue seizing that person’s bank accounts or garnishing their wages. Especially if they are unable or unwilling to pay the awarded damages right away.

It is often better to settle a case before trial than to go through this sort of lengthy process.  However, that’s a decision you and Dan will make together if the time comes.

Dan Street has been a Personal Injury Lawyer for almost 4 decades in the Dallas area. In that time, Dan has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients. Dan’s contact details are here. Also if you would prefer to submit your case for review, click here.

Sidewalk Injuries

Sidewalk Injuries in Dallas. Who pays for the injuries sustained when you trip and fall on a sidewalk in the City of Dallas? The city you may have thought. That’s not entirely true, the law says that the responsibility is a 50/50 split between the City of Dallas and the owner of the property where the sidewalk exists. However, if the city is not formally informed of the damaged pavement prior to the accident occurring, then they claim they have no liability or fault whatsoever in the matter.

Read the following interesting article by an investigative reporter at KRLD Dallas. This is a three-part investigation into the City of Dallas’ questionable liability practices in Dallas regarding city sidewalks.

KRLD Reports on Sidewalk Injuries:

“I was just checking to see if the garbage had been picked up,” said Nanette Burr. “And when I stepped down on this crack, my ankle twisted…dislocated and broke. And I heard all those things happening.”

The broken sidewalk

Crack may be an understatement. The broken sidewalk rose more than four inches. Burr’s pain was excruciating. She was all alone. Her screams may or not have been heard. “We have so many cats around here all my neighbors thought it was just the cats.”

15-minutes later a friend down the block happened to walk to his car, saw Burr on the ground and called for help.

Slow recovery, lost job.

Recovery was slow…Burr is in her 60’s and admits things don’t heal as they did when she was in her 20’s. As an employee in an optometrists office, Burr was on her feet for eight hours a day. As a broken ankle patient, she couldn’t stand at all.

Burr lost her $26.00 an hour job, which did not include an insurance plan, to begin with. Her medical bills were between $55,000 and $60,000.

City Sidewalk?

The house which had the broken sidewalk is a rental. Burr doesn’t know who the owner is. She assumed the City of Dallas would at least help her with her expenses. “I still think it’s the city’s issue…is to maintain this,” Burr said. “Even though there are roots and stuff growing through it. It’s a city sidewalk.”

Actually, it’s not, at least according to the law. The city owns the right of way but the property owner is responsible for the sidewalk. If the city is notified of a crack, break or another defect, the cost of repair is split half-and-half between the City of Dallas and the property owner.

Failure to notify is the City’s defense.

The notification, it ends up, is crucial to the city’s liability. If the city is notified of a problem with a sidewalk and is slow in making repairs, a subsequent injury could result in damages being awarded to the injured. But failure to notify protects the city.
That is a protection that is hard to overcome.

KRLD Investigation

The investigation by KRLD News finds over the last five years, 51 claims have been filed against the city because of broken or damaged sidewalks, including Burr. But in each case, the city rejected responsibility and refused to pay anything. The blame, the City claims, falls to the property owner.

“It’s legal but it’s not fair. I do not think it’s fair at all,” said Geoff Schorr, an attorney who has gone head to head with Dallas over sidewalk falls. “These people who fall, if someone doesn’t have insurance, if someone lives paycheck to paycheck, they are hurt very badly in a fall like this. They lose their job. There’s very little recourse for them.”

Not all of the expenses are detailed in the claim forms filed against the city, but some individual claims are near $100,000.

The City of Dallas declined to provide a representative to answer questions, instead issuing a “…statement about claims in a general sense.”…

“It’s totally ruined my life,” Burr said. ” And I had big plans.”

Very informative article, read it here.

If you or someone important to you has suffered an injury in a trip and fall caused by another party’s negligence, then call Dan Street. Dan is a Personal Injury and wrongful death attorney that is based in Dallas’ STREET LAW FIRM. Dan has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients. His initial consultations are always free at his STREET LAW FIRM.

Surgeon Mistakes Kidney for Cancerous Tumor

 

Surgeon Mistakes Kidney for Cancerous Tumor

Fox news is reporting on a Florida surgeon who mistook a woman’s healthy kidney for a cancerous tumor and inexplicably removed it during a routine back surgery, according to a report.

Maureen Pacheco, then 51, checked into Wellington Regional Medical Center back in April 2016 to get the bones in her lower back fused after a car accident, The Palm Beach Post reported.

Lawsuit

During the operation, Dr. Ramon Vazquez spotted the organ which he believed to be a tumor. He declared an emergency and removed it, according to a lawsuit obtained by the paper that was settled in September.

Pacheco never had a say in the matter, according to the lawsuit.

And Vazquez wasn’t even the one doing the back surgery. His job was just to cut her open so surgeons could perform the operation.

Florida’s Department of Health has since filed a complaint against Vasquez.

He Was Once Chairman of Surgery

Vazquez, who has served as chairman of surgery at Palm Beach Medical Center since January also has privileges at St. Mary’s and Good Samaritan medical centers, as well as Bethesda Memorial Hospital.  Vasquez could be required to a pay a fine, at best. Or lose his medical license, at worst, according to the report.

Prior to this complaint and a malpractice claim filed by Pacheco, he had a clean record, according to the report.

“The case was settled on his behalf for a nominal amount due to the uncertainty of litigation. And in no way did Dr. Vazquez admit liability by agreeing to this settlement,” Vazquez’s attorney Mark Mittelmark told the paper in an email.

Medical Malpractice

Vazquez does not carry malpractice insurance. The malpractice insurers for Pacheco’s primary surgeons Dr. John Britt and Dr. Jeffrey Kugler, settled for $250,000 apiece, the outlet reported.

If you or someone you love has been injured by another party or person, then contact Dan Street a medical malpractice attorney with STREET LAW FIRM. There is never any fee upfront since Dan works on a contingency basis, meaning he gets paid only if he wins your case. Call him today

Driving Stoned

Driving Stoned

Marijuana is the name for a Cannabis plant. Commonly called Pot.

Driving Stoned: As more and more states legalize or decriminalize pot possession, a surge in driving stoned has become troublesome. So much so, that the NTSB has issued a report on the snowballing problem. It has also asked another agency to standardize detection devices and set blood toxin levels that police can use to determine just how stoned drivers actually are. There should be little doubt, drug-impaired driving is going to become a monumental new task for law enforcement agencies.

Head-on Collision kills 13

Federal regulators are trying to come to grips with the growing opioid abuses and now the legalization of pot and it’s effect on driving safety of our roads and highways. The new regulations stem in part from a rural Texas head-on collision involving a pickup truck and a church bus that occurred in March 2017. The driver of the pickup was driving stoned and had also been taking anti-anxiety medications. The accident caused 13 fatalities, all inside the bus. Only one passenger survived. The driver of the pickup is facing 13 counts of intoxication manslaughter which could mean 270 years in prison. The driver of the pickup, Jack Dillon Young is due to be sentenced in November 2018.

Roadside Drug Testing

In 2006 drivers that were killed in traffic accidents were tested for drugs, those tests revealed 30% were drug-impaired. That figure rose to 46% in 2015. Furthermore, in random roadside drug testing, 22% of all drivers were found to have evidence of drug use. Those numbers, frightening as they are, will skyrocket with the legalization of pot.

Collision Claims Rise in States Where Pot is Legal

After retail sales of recreational pot began, the number of collision insurance claims in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State rose about 6 percent compared to states where pot is still illegal. With almost half of all states making some form of pot legal, for either recreational use or medicinal use, the risks to all motorists have gotten much higher.

According to a recent poll, only 16% believe pot should remain illegal in the state of Texas.

Dan Street

If you have been injured or lost a loved one to someone driving stoned, drug-impaired driving or DUI of any kind, then contact us. Dan Street of STREET LAW FIRM has 35 years experience in dealing with all types of personal injury claims. In fact, he has won tens of millions of dollars in awards for his clients. Contact Dan today by clicking here.

Also if you prefer, you can submit your case electronically by clicking here.

Medical Malpractice Deaths

Medical Malpractice Deaths

Medical malpractice deaths in the U.S. are over 500 times higher than accidental gun deaths.

A Johns Hopkins University study covering eight years of data found there are at least 250,000 medical malpractice deaths in the U.S. annually. Medical errors now third leading cause of death in the U.S. Beating out Smoking and Respiratory Diseases which kill 150,000 per year.

Death Certificates

Other studies report much higher figures, claiming the number of deaths from medical error to be as high as 440,000. According to a CNBC article, the reason for the discrepancy is that physicians, funeral directors, coroners, and medical examiners rarely note on death certificates the human errors and system failures involved. Yet death certificates are what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rely on to post statistics for deaths nationwide.

Appeal to CDC

The authors of the Johns Hopkins study have appealed to the CDC to change the way in which it collects data from death certificates. To date, however, no changes have been made.

Human Beings Make Mistakes

Medical-care workers are dedicated, caring people, but they’re human. And human beings make mistakes.

Finally, if you think you have been the victim of a medical malpractice error. Or worse, if you believe a loved one of yours lost their life due to such an error, Then contact us. Dan Street of STREET LAW FIRM has been in business over 35 years fighting just such cases. Contact him for a no-fee,  no-obligation consultation.

Monsanto Roundup Verdict

Roundup manufacturer Monsanto ordered to pay nearly $290 Million verdict.

In a noteworthy case, according to San Francisco’s CBS affiliate (KPIX 5), a jury has awarded a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District nearly $290 Million. The award is to be paid by Monsanto for the reason that it is the manufacturer of the popular herbicide which was used… “Roundup”.

Groundskeeper for the school district

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, groundskeeper for the school district claimed the chemical ‘Glyphosate’ found in “Roundup” gave him the terminal non-Hodgkins lymphoma which has left 80% of his body covered in lesions.

Furthermore, Mr. Johnson said the lesions were due to the fact he sprayed 150 gallons of “Roundup” 20-30 times per year for the 4 years he worked as a groundskeeper for Benicia Unified School District.

“I figured if it could kill weeds it could kill me,” said Johnson. “I took it seriously. That’s why I wore anything I could to protect myself.”  Said a quote from Mr. Johnson in the news article from (KPIX 5).

Compensated Figures

Typically lawsuits of this nature will have compensated Dollar amounts assigned to different types of losses.

Economic Loss and Non-Economic Loss. As you would imagine, economic losses are for specific things like lost wages or actual incurred ‘costs’ such as medical expenses. They will almost certainly include future or anticipated losses of the same kind.

A non-economic loss is far harder to assess losses to. Typically such losses as pain-and-suffering, disfigurement and or disability, loss of reputation, loss of the ability to enjoy life consequently as the plaintiff once did.

Applied awards

Here’s how the Monsanto “Roundup” jury verdict applied awards to the losses:

  • $819,882 for loss of past earnings.
  • $1,403,327 in future earnings.
  • $4 million in past non-economic losses.
  • $33 million in future non-economic losses.

Finally, when it came to punitive damages:

Mr. Johnson’s attorneys had sought after $387 Million. Despite their request, the jury finally awarded only $250 Million in punitive damages to Mr. Johnson.

Monsanto Statement

Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president, said in a statement that the company will appeal the decision. A USA TODAY article reported: “We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family,” Partridge said. But he added, that the court decision, “does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews . . . support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer.”

From a legal point of view, it’s very difficult for an appellate court judge to overrule a jury decision. What seems far more likely is the award amounts could be reduced.

Finally, if you or someone you love has been injured or catastrophically killed by the negligence of a careless individual or company. Or possibly, one of its products…First of all, call our Dallas Law Firm today. Set up a no-charge consultation with personal injury & wrongful death lawyer Dan StreetSubmit a case by clicking here.

Update: 

SAN FRANCISCO — A Northern California judge on Monday upheld a jury’s verdict that found Monsanto’s weed killer caused a groundskeeper’s cancer, but she slashed the amount of money to be paid from $289 million to $78 million.

 

 

Back to School

Back to School

Another summer is over and it’s back to school for many children. An exciting time, full of awe and for some –  anxiety. New friends, new teachers, new curriculum and tests, tests, tests.

But walking to school can be a hazardous and even a tragically fatal experience, take a few minutes to talk to your child or children about road safety even if they ride the school bus or your teen drives themselves.

Transportation-Related Fatalities

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2006 and 2015 over 300 children were killed in fatal “transportation-related crashes“. NHTSA has suggested the following safety tip to help them stay S.A.F.E. traveling to and from school.

When riding the bus:

  • Stay 5 giant steps away from the curb
  • Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
  • Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
  • Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

When walking to school:

  • Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult. Teach your children to always:
  • Use the sidewalk whenever possible, and if there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the edge of the street facing traffic.
  • Focus when walking near traffic – this is no time for horseplay.
  • Use crosswalks whenever they are available to cross the street.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing any street.

When biking to school: 

What a fun and awesome time it is when you get to ride your bike to school. In addition to making certain the bike is safe to ride make sure the following guidelines are followed (and see our post on bike safety):

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet and securely fasten the chin strap.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.
  • Stay in the bike lane whenever possible.
  • Use the sidewalk appropriately and keep an eye out for other pedestrians.
  • Never use electronics while riding – they are distracting.

When driving to school:  

Among all drivers, teenagers are the most distracted age group that are involved in fatal automobile accidents says the NHTSA. As you can already predict, texting is by far the most common cause of distracted driving among teens. Taking one’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds at 55 mph is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. In just 2015 alone almost 3,500 people were killed by distracted driving and 391,000 were injured.

  • Have a safe driver behind the wheel.
  • Do not let the car move until everyone’s seat-belt is buckled up.
  • Use appropriate car seats and booster seats for younger passengers, and remember: every child under 13 must ride in the back seat—no exceptions.
  • Finally, remember that the phone stays down when you’re driving!

Importance of road safety.

Parents, talk to your children about the importance of road safety, don’t just quiz them on if they have all their supplies in order, who their new teachers are, who their new friends are… Be certain to talk to them about a safe journey to and from school.

Our thanks go out to the NHTSA for the publishing of their article on back to school safety. Read the entire article here.

STREET LAW FIRM Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys have been honored to help our community and clients for over 35 years. Dan Street has personally earned our clients tens of millions of dollars in awarded resolutions. A no-fee consultation appointment is available by contacting us here or by submitting your case here.

Ten Best Attorneys

American Institute of Legal Counsel

Ten Best Personal Injury Attorneys.

There are over 100,000 practicing attorneys in the State of Texas.  Recently, The AILC named Dan Street as one of the ten best Personal Injury Attorneys in the State of Texas for 2018.

Each year, their Personal Injury Division compiles an exclusive and noteworthy list of the ten best attorneys for each State.  Their list is particularly beneficial to potential new clients like you, who use the Institute’s website when looking for a top attorney.  The award is an honor for Dan and any attorney whom it is awarded to because of the following.

  • Dan was chosen or formally nominated by either the Institute, a client, and or a fellow attorney.
  • It acknowledges that Dan has attained the highest degree of professional achievement in his field of law.
  • Finally and above all, Dan was required to have an impeccable Client Satisfaction rating.

Press release to the local media

The Institute, in a press release to the media, which included both local TV. stations and internet search engine giants (Google and Bing). It said that Dan was selected for this honor and was scored according to the following criteria as part of the selection process.

  • Dan was required to have a 10 out of 10 in client satisfaction score.
  • He had to be seen in his field as a top-rated lawyer.
  • That Dan must be an industry leader.
  • It required Dan to have no unresolved complaints.
  • Any awards that Dan had previously received.
  • Associations that Dan is a part of.
  • Publications Dan has written (here’s one).
  •  Any speaking engagements Dan has ever hosted.
  • And finally, continuing legal education.

STREET LAW FIRM with Dan Street at its helm has been in the business of providing exceptional client service for over 35 years.  The Institute was proud to recognize Dan Street as one of Texas’ ten best personal injury attorneys. (We’re pretty proud he was too.)

Finally, have you or maybe a loved one been Injured in a car wreck? Or similarly, have you been hurt in a fall?  Or worse, has someone you love been killed or catastrophically injured by the negligence of an individual or company. If so, then please Contact Dan at 972-404-8585 for a free consultation.

Furthermore, Dan Street takes all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis.  As a result, that means you don’t have to come up with any money up front, and if Dan does not win your case for you, you don’t pay!

Also, if you would prefer you can submit your case for free by clicking here.

 

 

Untimely and Inaccurate Medical Diagnoses

An accurate and timely diagnosis

An accurate and timely diagnosis can honestly be the difference between your life and your death. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the brakes on your car or your general healthcare.

Doctors are trained to diagnose conditions as soon as possible. While that’s quite a task, ultimately their experience and training will produce the best results. However, a lack of experience and training, will slow the process and could lead to a misdiagnosis. Moreover, even some of the best trained and most experienced doctors can make mistakes, it’s human nature, but now, it’s also a possible medical malpractice case when they do

Accurately and timely diagnosing

Accurately diagnosing your cancer in its early stages can often lead to treatment that may cure you, if caught early enough. Diagnosing strokes and heart attacks early, will too. Opening those accurate and timely doors to you receiving the exact treatment needed to save your life is, well, vital.

What about HIV

What about HIV? A Boston man, Sean Stentiford, recently received an $18.4 million award from a medical malpractice lawsuit. Why? Mr. Stentiford’s HIV had accelerated because it wasn’t diagnosed early enough to be able to timely treat his condition.  Mr. Stentiford claimed his neurologist canceled a test that could have diagnosed his HIV more timely. The neurologist did so because he didn’t think there was a risk for HIV.

That’s horrific.  However, the saddest part is, it would have turned out wholly differently if he had received an accurate and more timely diagnosis of his HIV.

If you need help with HIV, contact HIV services in Dallas.

Sounds like you need anti-freeze

Clearly, an accurate and timely diagnosis are vital ingredients to your health recovery in life-threatening cases. While sometimes they’re not always discovered, at other times it’s obvious that symptoms were overlooked. Squeaking brakes on your car are not indicative of your anti-freeze being low. Refreshing your anti-freeze levels while ignoring your noisy brakes would be negligent if you were a mechanic. Or could be considered a malpractice if it were a doctor making a similar mistake in your healthcare.

Medical Malpractice Caps in Texas

The maximum payouts (caps) for Medical Malpractice lawsuits in Texas are designed to prevent lawsuit damages from getting too high. Lawsuit damages fall into two categories, economic damages, and non-medical damages. The medical malpractice caps are only enforced on non-economic damages.

  • Economic Damages: Are related to your medical bills and expenses, past lost wages future lost wages things that are easy to put a dollar amount to.

 

  • Non-Economic Damages: Are related to items such as your pain-and-suffering, or mental anguish, or disfigurements, or impairments. Such damages are much harder to assess and put dollar amounts on.

How the caps work in Texas

So, non-economic damages in Texas are capped to a single hospital’s negligence at $250,000 and two or more hospital’s negligence have a $500,000 cap.

Negligence of Doctors, Nurses, Physicians, Pharmacists, aids or basically any human healthcare providers as opposed to non-human providers ie. hospitals have a $250,000 cap total, regardless of the number of individual doctors etc that were party to the negligence. It also includes the number of plaintiffs in the same case, for example, the pain-and-suffering of the spouse and children. It all has a global cap of $250,000 for the entire non-economic damages and everyone who has suffered them.

Confused? Don’t worry, it IS confusing. Help, however, is just a phone call away…

Dan Street is a qualified and an experienced medical malpractice attorney in the Dallas area. Dan has received awards for his clients in excess of tens of millions of dollars in the 36 years he has been practicing law. There is never a fee from STREET LAW FIRM until Dan successfully resolves your case. Contact our office if you or a loved one feel your medical case has been acted upon negligently or irresponsibly.