Hospital settles whistleblower case for $7 million

It may pay to do the right thing, except when the company that is negatively affected by an individual’s actions tries to retaliate against that whistleblower in Wisconsin. Making the moral, ethical decision to become a whistleblower when a company is doing wrong may help a person to have a good conscience and a high level of self-esteem. However, this positive feeling can easily be deflated if the company tries to get even. One woman recently faced this type of situation in an out-of-state case.

A woman filed a whistleblower suit against a hospital, saying that the facility disobeyed laws against kickbacks. She alleged that the hospital paid doctors higher-than-reasonable bonuses and salaries in an effort to get them to draw more patients and boost profits. This would violate anti-kickback laws that are in place. The woman’s lawsuit was filed in 2011.

The woman who filed the claim was the operations director for the physicians’ practice at the time. She said the hospital paid $5 million more than necessary to the doctors. The hospital claimed that it did no wrong but recently decided to settle the issue by paying $7 million to a state and federal government. The female whistleblower will receive nearly $2 million of this payout.

It is in no way legal for a business in Wisconsin to try to punish an employee for being a whistleblower. Whistleblowers are willing to assume the personal and professional risk associated with uncovering wrongs that can have wide-ranging negative effects on other parties. If they suffer due to an employer’s decision to retaliate against them, they can file a suit against the employer. However, they must be prepared to prove the facts surrounding the case in order to prevail. A successfully fought claim may result in monetary relief for damages linked to the situation.

Source: cbslocal.com, “Hospital Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit“, , April 20, 2014

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