Whistleblowers in the Military
Army to Settle with Hospital Whistleblower
October 29th, 2015
A qui tam lawyer can help if you can prove of hospital fraudIn one of the Army’s busiest hospitals, the Womack Army Medical Center, the United States Army has agreed to pay a monetary settlement to a former infection control analyst. The Womack Army Medical Center settlement was a response to a claim made by Teresa Gilbert. The Office of Special Counsel did not disclose the sum of the settlement, but a spokesman noted that it was significant and included compensatory damages.
In the case, investigators found that Gilbert was targeted in a series of reprisals, which escalated after she reported failures in Womack’s infection control. Womack serves 55,000 active-duty service members and their families at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg.
Gilbert’s decision to contact the Joint Commission, an independent agency that accredits hospitals, led to months of difficulty at the hospital. Inspectors uncovered several shortcomings, endangering the hospital’s accreditation. The hospital’s commander was dismissed, and his deputies were replaced following the death of a young mother after a routine surgery.
Despite the settlement, a spokeswoman for the office of the United States Army surgeon general stated that there was no finding or admission of wrongdoing by Womack or its personnel.
Supreme Court Rules for Air Marshal Whistleblower
January 21st, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 7-to-2 vote that an air marshal whistleblower was protected by the federal whistleblower law. The question that came before the Supreme Court in the case, which is applicable to all federal whistleblowers, was whether an employee should be afforded protection from retaliation if the employee has violated a regulation as opposed to a law in blowing the whistle.
In this case, the federal air marshal leaked a story to the press when he became concerned about public safety due to new cost cutting measures that cancelled overnight, long-distance flight missions because the agency didn't want to pay for hotels and overtime. Two days prior to the cost-savings announcement, the air marshals were called in for a secret briefing about al-Quaida plans to hijack a long-distance flight.
The air marshal was fired when the agency discovered he had leaked the information to the press. Although the whistleblower law protects an employee from retaliation for revealing information with "a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety," an employee is not protected if the disclosure is "specifically prohibited by law."
The Supreme Court ruled that the regulation the agency used to justify the firing is not the same as a law in this context, saying that a broad interpretation of the word law "could defeat the purpose of the whistleblower statute" because the agency could essentially make regulations to insulate itself from the protection provisions of the whistleblower law.
The Law Office of James T. Ratner represents Medicare whistleblower clients nationwide. Call (845) 383-1728 today for your confidential consultation.
First Supreme Court Federal Whistleblower Case
November 4th, 2014
Robert MacLean is a whistleblower and former air marshal. Soon the Supreme Court will decide if he was treated justly by the federal government in the first case the Court will hear that directly concerns a federal whistleblower.
Whistleblowers and whistleblower attorneys are paying close attention to this case. If MacLean loses, it will mean the government has greater power to bully whistleblowers and federal employees will be much less likely to come forward to disclose fraud and abuse within the system. The current administration is appealing the lower court decision that held that MacLean's actions were covered under the Whistleblower Protection Act.
MacLean's case involves the disclosure of an unsecured and unclassified text message sent to air marshals informing them that assignments requiring overnight stays would be cancelled. The Court will decide whether MacLean's disclosure of the text was "specifically prohibited by law," for leaking sensitive security information.
Do you have evidence of false claims against the government? Are you ready to blow the whistle and stop the corruption? Please contact James T. Ratner or call toll-free (845) 383-1728 today to discuss your case with an experienced qui tam whistleblower attorney. All consultations are strictly confidential.
Obama promises protections for VA whistleblowers
October 3rd, 2014
President Obama has vowed to protect whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the wake of allegations that some VA employees have knowingly covered up poor treatment of veterans seeking medical care. In a scandal that has plagued the VA for months now, whistleblowers have accused some VA employees of having knowingly mistreated veterans.
In response, President Obama said, "If you blow the whistle on higher-ups because you've identified a legitimate problem, you shouldn't be punished, you should be protected."
The 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act requires that federal agencies like the VA be more transparent with the opportunities available to would-be whistleblowers. If you believe you have a whistleblower case, you need experienced representation. The laws are complex, and a successful verdict frequently rests on arguments that concern highly specific sections of the law.
VA Whistle Blower Says Coached to Cook the Books
May 30th, 2014
As the full VA hospital scandal comes to light, we are learning more from the whistle blowers involved about the manipulation of records to conceal lengthy wait times for VA patients. One whistleblower claims that up to 40 patients may have died due to delays in their care.
Staff from VA facilities in two states have come forward to say they were encouraged to cook the books and hide long wait times for medical care. They say they were incentivized with bonuses to hide wait times and told in internal emails to “game the system.”
The VA’s Inspector General is currently investigating and at least one employee has been put on leave pending the investigation.
This case continues to underscore the importance of whistleblowers coming forward to report corruption. As a whistleblower that helps the government recoup money lost to fraudulent schemes, you can be rewarded with a percentage of the government’s recovery.
If you are ready to blow the whistle on your employer who has engaged in practices that rob the government of taxpayer dollars, please contact whistleblower attorney James T. Ratner or call toll-free (845) 383-1728 for your free consultation. All consultations are strictly confidential.