Attorney Says Life Care Lawsuit Could Take Over A Year To Try

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An attorney for Cleveland, Tn.,-based Life Care Centers of America said a government fraud lawsuit against the firm is so broad that it could take over a year to try it.

Chattanooga attorney Roger Dickson told Federal Judge Sandy Mattice that the way the case was brought "will bring a big, big burden on this court."

Government prosecutor Elizabeth Tonkin acknowledged that the case involves 60-80 of Life Care's 225 facilities and hundreds of patients.

She said the government will seek to prove fraud was so widespread at Life Care that a certain sample number of charges should be considered invalid.

She told the judge that Life Care routinely "filed false claims for therapy that was not medically necessary and much more than what the patient really needed. The charges were assessed at the highest levels possible from the time patients came into the facility."

Prosecutor Tonkin said the probe dates to 2006. She said the government started issuing subpoenas for records from Life Care in 2008.

Attorney Dickson said the issues involve "subjective decisions by physicians and therapists."

He said the situation involving each patient "can be a mini trial lasting a day or two."

Initial disclosures are due by May 17 and another meeting with the judge will be June 12 at 2 p.m. 

The suit seeks to recover millions of dollars that Life Care "caused the Medicare and TRICARE programs to pay for services that were not covered by the skilled nursing facility benefit, that were not medically reasonable and necessary, and that were not skilled in nature."

One "whistle blower" complaint was brought by Glenda Martin, a registered nurse and a former staff development coordinator of Life Care Center of Morristown, Tn.

Another was by Tammie Taylor, a former occupational therapist of Life Care Center at Inverrary, in Lauderhill, Fla.


Travis Close Family Asks $2 Million In Damages For Trauma During Wreck That Killed 6 People

The family of Signal Mountain realtor Travis Close is asking $2 million for trauma enduring during a wreck on I-75 near the Ooltewah exit that killed six people. The suit was filed in Circuit Court against Cool Runnings Express, a Kentucky trucking firm, and driver Benjamin Brewer. Other similar lawsuits were filed in Federal Court. Brewer is facing trial in Hamilton ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport Customers To Have Choice Of Thousands Of Books

Travelers at the Chattanooga Airport will have their choice of thousands of books come July. William Sundquist of Friends of the Library said the venture will be a first for the nation. He said the group plans to stock shelves between the ticket counter and the escalator leading up to the flights. Potential purchasers will be on the honor system to drop cash in a box, run ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Christian Schools Bully, Too

Earlier this week, after I shared a story about bullying written by a very brave mother, it opened a floodgate of emails from parents and students who have been forced to endure such madness in our elementary, junior and senior high schools. Discipline is the No. 1 problem in our schools. Because of it, or because of a lack of it, no wonder our children cannot achieve all that ... (click for more)

Baylor Rolls Past St. Benedict In D-II Softball Opener

MURFREESBORO – The Baylor softball team had somewhat of a slow start here at McKnight Field No. 3 Wednesday morning as they began defense of their D-II state softball crown, but they finished on a strong note and that’s probably all that matters at this point. The Lady Red Raiders, improving to 35-4, needed just five innings to slide past St. Benedict as they scored at least ... (click for more)

Spring Fling XXIII Tennis: Baylor Girls Win D-II AA Title

"Everything we do, conditioning, competing in tournaments such as DecoTurf and the Chattanooga Rotary points to winning the state and we did that again this year.” -- Baylor Girls Tennis Coach Dustin Kane   MURFREESBORO - Another state tourney for the Baylor School girls and another state championship trophy. The Red Raiders posted its second, 4-0, win in ... (click for more)