Deborah Rocco Certified in Workers’ Comp By PA Bar Association

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Deborah RoccoOur Of Counsel, Deborah Rocco, has been certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Law Section. Less than 200 attorneys across the state of PA have earned the designation.

In 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved the PBA Workers’ Compensation Law Section as the first bar association entity in Pennsylvania to certify lawyers in the area of workers’ compensation law. Certification was granted to 149 lawyers who took the exam in 2013, 32 lawyers who took the exam in 2014, 20 lawyers who took the exam in 2015, and 18 who took the exam earlier this year.  We are very pleased to announce that Deb was one of the 18.

Deb passed the certification examination that focuses on workers’ compensation law and rules and leading case law.  She also successfully completed the 2016 certification process by submitting a variety of documents showing that at least 50 percent of her legal practice is in the specialty field of workers’ compensation, that she has practiced in the field for more than five years, and that she actively participates in Mandatory Continuing Legal Education in workers’ compensation law and related fields.

If you are in need of a Philadelphia worker’s compensation lawyer, you can learn more about Deb Rocco by visiting her online profile: click here.

U.S. Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit

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The United States has intervened in a whistleblower suit accusing Renal Care Group (“RCG”) and Renal Care Group Supply Company (“RCGSC”), wholly owned subsidiaries of Fresenius, of fraudulently billing Medicare for supplies and equipment provided to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients who received dialysis treatments at home. Notice of the United States’ intervention was announced in court documents that were unsealed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on Tuesday.

“RCG’s fraudulent billing practices are yet another example of abuse in the healthcare industry that contributes to skyrocketing medical costs”, said Eric L. Young, a Pennsylvania attorney who is representing the whistleblowers, Julie Williams and John Martinez, M.D. “

Under federal law, the Medicare program pays companies that provide dialysis supplies to ESRD patients only if the companies that provide the supplies are truly independent from dialysis facilities and the ESRD patient chooses to receive supplies from the independent supply company. As detailed in the unsealed complaint, the companies set up a sham supply company, RCGSC, that was not independent from RCG, and that did little more than submit bills to Medicare. It’s further alleged that RCG interfered with ESRD patients’ choice of supply options, requiring patients to “move” to RCGSC. Even after RCG employees raised concerns and industry competitors closed their supply companies, RCG kept RCGSC open because of the illicit revenue it created.

After retaining Eric L. Young, the whistleblowers filed the qui tam lawsuit in federal district court in St. Louis, Missouri, in June 2005. The qui tam case was kept under seal, meaning that it was not known to the public, while the government investigated their allegations.

Eric L. Young, Esq. represents whistleblowers (“relators”) in qui tam lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act allows private individuals to sue companies that are defrauding the federal government and to recover funds on the government’s behalf. Whistleblowers are entitled to 15 percent to 25 percent of the recoveries that result from the qui tam lawsuit.

Case citation: U.S. ex rel. Julie Williams and John Martinez, M.D. v. Renal Care Group, et al., E.D.Miss. 05-CV-00985-DJS.

 

Jim McEldrew Discussing Amtrak Derailment on Fox News

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Jim Mceldrew Fox news

Gretchen Carlson of Fox News interviewed Jim McEldrew this afternoon on her television show. Jim has been representing injured individuals in railroad litigation for more than thirty years and formerly served as the President of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys. They discussed the implications of the foreign object and the potential for the railroad engineer to be confused as to his geographical position on the tracks.

The Forefront of Whistleblower Representation

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SPURRED BY DODD-FRANK, PLAINTIFFS’ BAR DIGS FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS
November 09, 2010 | Westlaw News & Insight
A newly expanded whistleblower program in the Dodd-Frank law has opened a fertile business opportunity for plaintiffs’ lawyers –and sparked a feverish multimedia marketing effort aimed at people in a position to report financial skullduggery to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new government program, which provides for lucrative payouts to financial whistleblowers and their lawyers, has attracted a wide variety of practitioners — from employment and personal-injury lawyers to class-action specialists — to what traditionally has been a niche practice, known as qui tam, or false claims, law. But clients in this area are hard to find: The new law is still little known, and potential whistleblowers are typically skittish about ratting out bosses and colleagues. So some lawyers are taking client-development to a new level, combining traditional approaches such as emailing newsletters with aggressive use of social media. Dozens of law firms in recent months have established web sites and Facebook pages aimed at publicizing the whistleblower provisions. Others have taken to Twittering or blogging about the new law. Phillips & Cohen, a Washington, DC, law firm that specializes in bringing whistleblower complaints, is one of several firms that have placed ads on Google so the firm’s name shows up among the top results for anyone who does a search for “SEC whistle-blower” and related terms. “The marketing is becoming more competitive and aggressive,” said Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton. In the last couple of months, she said, her firm has received tips about accounting irregularities and companies overcharging for securities, and has filed several claims with the SEC.
“The Qui Tam Team, a new joint venture formed by Pennsylvania law firms Egan Young and L.E. Feldman & Associates, has created a Facebook page that includes links to news articles about whistleblowers and to its own website. The page notes that the Qui Tam Team’s favorite movies are “Michael Clayton” and “The Informant!” both of which, of course, involve whistleblowers.”

FEBRUARY 22
Online marketing can be especially fruitful in this field, lawyers say, because prospective whistle-blowers often begin their research about filing claims online. Also, financial whistle-blowing is a relatively arcane subject; lawyers say their first challenge is to educate the public about it, and social media is a good way to share information and interact with potential clients. The new program extends an SEC enforcement scheme that previously covered only alleged insider trading to all manner of financial improprieties, from accounting fraud to misleading investors. Whistleblowers can be awarded up to 30 percent of damages collected over $1m, and their lawyers can collect up to 40 percent of their clients’ take.

‘Opening the door’

The Qui Tam Team, which formed in anticipation of the beefed-up whistleblower program, hasn’t just turned to cyberspace to make connections with potential whistleblower clients. The firm recently assembled a round-table discussion about the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions, bringing together an employee benefits administrator, an investment manager, and a consultant to institutional investors. For more than an hour, the lawyers offered tips on how to spot fraud, file claims with the SEC, and perhaps earn big rewards for their effort. “You may be looking at a spreadsheet of a public company and scratching your heads,” said managing partner Eric Young. “You can pick up the phone and call us, and maybe we can make something happen.” The participants, whom Reuters Legal agreed not to identify, seemed intrigued. The investment manager remarked that with Enron’s massive accounting fraud and the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, company insiders may not have had the right incentives to come forward, or a clear means for doing so. “This sounds like a carrot,” he said of the new whistleblower program. “This is opening the door.”

As plaintiffs’ lawyers seek to help would-be whistle-blowers grab those carrots, though, some ethics experts believe the aggressive outreach could be problematic. Rule 7.3(a) of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct bars, with some exceptions, “in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic “communication with a prospective client when the goal is “the lawyer’s pecuniary gain.” Nora Freeman Engstrom, who teaches ethics at Stanford Law School, said some of the marketing that’s emerged in the wake of the new whistle-blower program “is conduct that falls close to the line.” (The SEC last week released 181 pages of proposed rules to implement the whistleblower provisions; the rules do not directly address marketing by plaintiffs’ lawyers, though they note that the agency can discipline or ban lawyers who engage in “unethical or improper professional conduct.”)The Qui Tam Team’s Young said the three participants in the whistleblower roundtable had some prior relationship with the firm, which is one of the exceptions to the no-solicitation rule. Besides, he said, “I don’t think it’s solicitation because we are doing nothing more than educating people that we think might want to come forward with a claim. “Some corporate defense lawyers, meanwhile, have raised concerns that the aggressive marketing by the plaintiffs’ bar could lead to dubious claims by disaffected employees. “Law firms realize that if there is a big pie and somebody gets a 10 to 30 percent share, they share in the bounty,” said Allen Roberts, who co-chairs the corporate compliance practice at Epstein, Becker and Green.

‘High quality’ cases

But the SEC itself does not seem to share that worry. Dozens of new whistleblower claims have reportedly been filed in the last few months, and in an interview with Reuters Legal, Stephen Cohen, senior advisor to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, said most of them are “high quality.” While declining to discuss specific law-firm marketing efforts, Cohen said “the communication of the program’s existence is helpful because there may be potential whistleblowers who are not aware of these Dodd-Frank provisions.” Plaintiffs’ lawyers say they are determined to raise public awareness. Manhattan plaintiffs’ lawyer Stuart D. Meissner recently began a Twitter feed about his whistleblower practice, and he’s readying a local billboard campaign. In late September, he launched an in theater advertising campaign during the premier of the film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” to promote his website www.secsnitch.com. He figured the return of Gordon Gekko would attract a lot of Wall Street-types, any number of whom could be potential whistle-blowers. So far, he said, he has received more than a dozen promising leads. “In this case, the saying ‘greed is good’ has a certain positive twist,” Meissner said. “You can help yourself as well as help society by stopping the next Madoff.”

The Westlaw article was written by and reported on entirely by Brian Grow of Reuters Legal. (Reporting by Brian Grow of Reuters Legal)

 

© Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Thomson Reuters-GRC, http://accelus.thomsonreuters.com

Eric Young Speaks on Dodd-Frank – CFTC Webinar Panel Tomorrow

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Personal Injury Lawyers Philadelphia PA

Eric Young will be featured on a panel discussion tomorrow afternoon in a live program entitled, “CFTC’s Financial Market Reform in 2015: Boon or Bane?”, presented by The Knowledge Group.

Jim McEldrew on Positive Train Control in the Philadelphia Inquirer

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car accident lawyer philadelphia

McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt Partner and Railroad Attorney James J. McEldrew, III had his commentary on Positive Train Control published on the Philadelphia Inquirer website today.  The article discusses the need for the automated system mandated by Congress in 2008 to be implemented by Amtrak and other railroads to prevent accidents like the one last night. It’s titled “U.S. railroad’s must adopt ‘train control’ now.”

First IRS Whistleblower Office Reward

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The “Whistleblower”, who wishes to remain anonymous (hereinafter referred to as “Mr. Doe”), worked as a CPA in the accounting department of a Fortune 500 financial services firm. While carrying out his basic job responsibilities, Mr. Doe discovered that his employer failed to properly disclose the extent of its tax liability and also claimed tax credits in excess of permissible amounts. Mr. Doe initially reported these accounting errors to company management. However, to his dismay, the Company decided not to correct the accounting errors discovered and, to make matters worse, the company made a conscious decision not to inform the IRS who was in the midst of performing a large case examination. By withholding this information from the IRS, Mr. Doe determined that the Company had committed tax fraud in the form of an underpayment totaling in excess of $20 million.

Mr. Doe originally filed his tax fraud whistleblower case pro se in April 2007, after the newly formed IRS Whistleblower Office opened. After having been contacted and interviewed early on, years went by during which time Mr. Doe received no information of feedback from the IRS. Mr. Doe became concerned that if the IRS conducted an investigation and recovered back taxes as a result, that his claim to a reward under the new whistleblower program may not be assured. It was then that Mr. Doe retained Eric L. Young, Esquire, an Egan Young founding partner, to represent him.

Mr. Young, an experienced whistleblower attorney, assessed the case and determined not only that Mr. Doe’s allegations should be of significant interest to the IRS, but that the case appeared to not have been properly docketed by the IRS Whistleblower Office. Mr. Young proceeded to work with the IRS’ Whistleblower Office by resubmitting Mr. Doe’s claim and assuring that a “Claims Number” was assigned by the Whistleblower Office — something that did not occur before Mr. Young assumed representation in this case.

After securing a Claims Number for Mr. Doe’s claim, Mr. Young proceeded to provide all of the original case documents and information to the IRS Whistleblower Office, further exposing the Company’s substantial fraud. At the same time, Mr. Young determined that an investigation had ensued and over the course of his representation, both he and his associate, Brandon J. Lauria, Esquire, maintained close contact with the IRS Whistleblower Office in order to assure that Mr. Doe’s allegations were investigated and that his right to a reward would be protected in the event of a recovery by the IRS.

Mr. Doe’s decision to retain Mr. Young and his law firm paid off. On April 7th, 2011, Mr. Doe received the first-ever mandatory whistleblower reward (as confirmed by the IRS Whistleblower Office) in the amount of $4.5 Million. Although the IRS code provides that rewards may range from 15 to 30 percent of the IRS recovery, Mr. Young’s representation and the Whistleblower’s cooperation directly led to an enhanced reward of 22 percent!

Press Releases

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Press Releases

We Represents Fresenius Whistleblower: Judge Orders Defendant to Pay $82 million

Thursday, 26 May 2011 23:47

Philadelphia, PA, May 26, 2011 – Egan Young, Attorneys-at-Law, has announced that United States District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., awarded over $82 million to the United States government as the result of a qui tam case filed by Egan Young clients Julie Williams and Dr. John Martinez.(United States ex rel. Williams, et al. v. Renal Care Group, et al. Middle District of Tennessee CA No.: 3:09-00738). Egan Young Managing Partner, Eric L. Young, Esquire, stated that today’s decision resulted from the Court’s imposition of treble damages and statutory penalties pursuant to the False Claim Act in the wake of an earlier judgment against the defendants which totaled more than $19 million.

The case involved fraudulent Method II billing for dialysis patients by Renal Care Group (“RCG”), RCG Supply Company (“RCGSC”) and Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. as the successor-in-interest to RCG and RCGSC. As previously reported, the qui tam Complaint originally filed by Egan Young’s clients in 2005 alleged that RCG engaged in a multi-state scheme whereby it created a sham supply company, RCGSC, solely to take advantage of higher reimbursement rates paid for home dialysis supplies under the now defunct Medicare Method II billing program.

In upholding his earlier decision, Judge Haynes held that the defendants violated the False Claims Act by creating and operating a sham supplier of home dialysis supplies which resulted in substantial overpayments by Medicare to Renal Care Group, Inc.In doing so, Judge Haynes not only trebled the damages, but imposed statutory penalties at the maximum amount of $11,000 for each false claim submitted.The federal investigation into RCG’s fraudulent billing practices resulted from a qui tam complaint filed by Eric L. Young, Esquire, on behalf of former RCG administrator, Julie Williams, and nephrologist, Dr. John Martinez.

The prosecution of the case was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri under the direction of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lay with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, under the direction of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Rivera, and Laurie Oberembt and John Henebery from the Department of Justice.

EY files Class Action Complaint

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PHILADELPHIA – Feb. 26, 2010 – EGAN YOUNG filed a class action lawsuit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of current and former Sunoco employees alleging violations of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act of 1968.The case alleges that Sunoco, Inc., a Philadelphia-based company, has failed to pay all wages and overtime owed for approximately 600 of its hourly operations and maintenance employees at the company’s Philadelphia refinery.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Sunoco fails to compensate hourly refinery employees for work-related activities performed prior to clocking in, and after clocking out.In order to perform the essential duties of their jobs, Plaintiffs are required to; don and doff personal protection equipment; obtain and/or store tools; travel to and from assigned work sites; prepare and clean work equipment; and, engage in required shift change briefings between co-workers.

Plaintiffs’ attorney, Eric L. Young, stated that, “After a thorough investigation, it was evident that Sunoco’s workers were not and presently are not paid for all required pre-operations and post-operations activities that are necessary and integral to their overall employment responsibilities.Through this suit, we intend to make right Sunoco’s wrong.”

For more information about the lawsuit contact Eric L. Young or Brandon J. Lauria at (215) 367-5151.

We Settle Wage & Hour Case For Zinc Production Workers

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Young Law Group, P.C., Attorneys-at-Law, is pleased to announce final approval of a $1.2 million dollar settlement with Horsehead Corporation to resolve a collective action lawsuit brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) on behalf of over 500 present and former unionized zinc production workers in Monaca, Pennsylvania. (Figas, et. al. v. Horsehead Corporation, 2:06-cv-01344, W.D.Pa.).

Plaintiffs, members of the United Steelworkers of America, Local 8183, asserted that Horsehead violated the FLSA by failing to pay production workers for time spent donning and doffing protective clothing and equipment before and after paid time.  Plaintiffs also sought compensation for the time spent by production workers traveling to and from their respective work locations.

Eric L. Young, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, commented, “Horsehead’s Zinc Production Workers labor tirelessly in a difficult and dangerous work environment — they deserve to be paid for all of the time spent at work.  We are honored to have been successful in obtaining additional wages for these dedicated workers.”

For more information about this settlement, please contact Eric L. Young, Esquire at 215-367-5151 or eyoung@young-lawgroup.com  Young Law Group, a Philadelphia-based law group, is dedicated to representing employees throughout the United States in wage and hour collective and class action litigation.

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