March 27, 2014 |
Ten Southern California surgery centers once affiliated with the defunct 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign are suing UnitedHealth Group Inc. to get reimbursed for hundreds of Lap-Band weight-loss procedures. The lawsuit comes amid federal and state investigations into allegations that the surgery centers defrauded UnitedHealth Group and other insurance companies, according to a government affidavit and a demand letter filed in two federal court cases. The 1-800-GET-THIN ads once blanketed Southern California freeway billboards and broadcast airwaves, but the campaign was halted after the Food and Drug Administration said the ads failed to disclose adequately the risks of weight-loss surgery.
September 7, 2011 |
Relatives of a Lawndale woman who died in December after Lap-Band weight-loss surgery have sued the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising company and two doctors involved in her care. The lawsuit contends that the ad company falsely represented that the woman would receive "a higher level of care" by "top-rated surgical specialists. " In fact, the lawsuit said, one of her doctors was on probation with the Medical Board of California at the time of the surgery and a second was under investigation by the agency.
July 22, 2012 |
The relationship between charities and philanthropists in the business community is governed by a sort of Newtonian law of equal and opposite benefits. The charities get money, goods or services. Their donors get self-satisfaction, community goodwill (which might mean more customers coming in the door), and positive character references to display to jurors, regulators or congressional subcommittees, if necessary. How much of that might apply to a newly formed Los Angeles philanthropy called No More Poverty?
January 17, 2012 |
Workers at weight-loss surgery centers affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN ad campaign persuaded patients to have medically unnecessary surgeries and billed insurance companies for procedures that were never performed, a new lawsuit alleges . Two women who formerly worked at surgery centers affiliated with the Lap-Band ad campaign claimed that surgery center executives covered up mistakes that contributed to the Sept. 8 death of Paula Rojeski, a Lap-Band patient from Orange County.
February 11, 2011 |
A fourth Southern California patient has died following Lap-Band weight-loss surgery at a clinic connected to the pervasive 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign, according to a lawsuit filed by the patient's husband. Laura Faitro of Simi Valley died July 26, 2010, five days after surgery at Valley Surgical Center in West Hills. Three other patients have died shortly after surgery at an associated center in Beverly Hills, relatives have alleged in lawsuits and interviews. FOR THE RECORD: Los Angeles Times Friday, March 25, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 6 inches; 218 words Type of Material: Correction Lap-Band lawsuits: A Business article that appeared online Feb. 10 and in print Feb. 11 about lawsuits filed against marketing company 1-800-GET-THIN reported that the Medical Board of California, in revoking Julian Omidi's license to practice medicine, accused him of failing to disclose that he had attended UC Irvine, which expelled him in 1990, and that he pleaded guilty to commercial burglary in Orange County in 1991.
October 30, 2012 |
Allergan Inc. is considering selling its Lap-Band weight-loss unit amid rapidly declining sales and a swarm of negative publicity about patient deaths and a criminal investigation of one of its former customers. Word of the potential sale came the same day the company disclosed that sales of the Lap-Band fell for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company reported $37.4 million in Lap-Band sales for the third quarter of 2012, a 25% decline from one year ago and 53% less than it sold in the third quarter of 2008.