Whistleblower’s lawyers seek $7.3 million in Halifax case

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

In a case that led to an $85 million settlement over alleged violations of federal law, a whistleblower’s lawyers are requesting that the Daytona Beach-based Halifax Hospital Medical Center and a related firm pay $7.3 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

140410_dt_front03Four law firms that represented whistleblower Elin Baklid-Kunz filed the motion Saturday in federal court in Orlando. Baklid-Kunz filed the original complaint alleging violations by Halifax, a public hospital system, and the case was later joined by the U.S. Department of Justice.

‘Stark Law’
The allegations, at least in part, focused on what is known as the “Stark Law,” which bars hospitals from billing Medicare for services referred by doctors who have financial relationships with the hospitals.

In a settlement with the federal government announced last month, Halifax and Halifax Staffing, Inc., agreed to pay $85 million, with Baklid-Kunz expected to receive $20.8 million of that amount, according to a Department of Justice news release.

The motion filed Saturday indicates that Baklid-Kunz’s attorneys and Halifax have not been able to reach agreement on legal fees. The law firms are seeking about $7.1 million to cover attorney’s time and $186,000 in expenses, according to the motion.

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