Contractor settles suit claiming bogus charges for dead MetroAccess riders

WASHINGTON – The contractor sued for charging fees for dead MetroAccess passengers has agreed to pay more than $150,000 to settle the suit, the attorneys general of Maryland, Virginia and D.C. announced Wednesday.

The whistleblower lawsuit alleged MV Transportation, Inc. falsely billed the MetroAccess program for charges that included cancellation fees for dead passengers. MetroAccess provides transportation to the elderly and people with disabilities.

The company admitted no wrongdoing. But under the terms of the settlement, the company agreed to pay $22,531 to Virginia, $35,831 to the District and $92,040 to Maryland.

“Through the help of whistleblowers, and thanks to the Maryland False Claims Act, which was updated to include protections for whistleblowers in 2015, we’ve been able to recoup over $150,000 for our regional partners and the federal government,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh in a news release. “We will continue to be aggressive in pursuing companies that attempt to increase their bottom lines by defrauding the government.”

MV Transportation is based in Dallas. It is the largest private provider of paratransit services based in the U.S., according to the company’s website.

Former drivers for the company alleged MV Transportation charged MetroAcess cancellation fees after they were dispatched to give rides to people the company knew were dead.

The lawsuit also claimed the company charged more to provide special vehicles to pick up riders — even when the company knew riders didn’t need a wheelchair. The charges were nearly double what they should have been.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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