Jeffrey Mills was the Director of Food and Nutritional Services for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) from 2010 to 2013. DCPS used Chartwells, a contractor, to provide its food and food services for students in DCPS. Mills saw enormous problems with Chartwells, including overbilling and, even worse, providing spoiled food to students. His complaints to DCPS officials were ignored. And when DCPS terminated his employment, he alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle on Chartwells. Mills sued not only for retaliation but also for fraud against the D.C. government, under the qui tam provisions of the District of Columbia False Claims Act. D.C. Code Ann § 2-381.03. Chartwells settled with Mills for $450,000.00 for his retaliation claim, and settled with D.C. for $19,000,000.00, 30% of which could go to Mills, and the rest to D.C. to compensate it for the overbilling and spoiled food. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-schools-food-vendor-pays-19-million-to-settle-whistleblower-lawsuit/2015/06/05/bae8dd3c-0b96-11e5-9e39-0db921c47b93_story.html.
Blog Archive: May 2016
Snapchat, the popular social networking application, is unique in that the messages sent over the app “self-destruct” seconds after being opened. Snapchat also provides its users with a series of “filters,” one of which superimposes the speed at which a user was travelling over a photograph or video. In other words, if you take a selfie as a passenger in a car travelling 35 miles per hour, and the “miles per hour” filter is engaged, the app will use the camera to recognize how fast your vehicle is travelling and “35 miles per hour” will be superimposed over your picture. This filter was pushed to users in a 2013 product update. Snapchat users can win virtual “trophies” by sending photographs using filters. As one lawyer described it, “Snapchat has embedded [incentives] into its interface. It’s become more of a game.”
On March 21, 2016, the American Bar Association formally announced its opposition to a proposed bill in Congress that would limit the amount of noneconomic damages that can be awarded by judges and juries in medical liability cases in state courts across the nation. In a letter to the chairman and ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, the ABA said that the bill, which would cap those damages at $250,000, violates principles of federalism and would deprive many deserving people of the chance to receive compensation for their injuries.
A study published in the British Journal of Medicine published on May 3, 2016 found that the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical error resulting in 251,000 deaths annually. Medical error is just behind Heart disease (611,000 deaths annually) and cancer (585,000 deaths annually). After medical error, the next largest cause of death in the United States is chronic respiratory disease (149,000 deaths annually).
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