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Costco Pays $3.85 Million Penalty For Failing to Report Hazardous Trash Cans

Costco Wholesale Corp. has agreed to pay a $3.85 million civil penalty for its failure to report dangerously defective trash cans that pose a laceration hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in an Oct. 9 announcement that Costco knew its EKO Sensible Eco Living Trash Cans posed an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers but chose not to disclose the problem to the CPSC as federal regulations require, The Issaquah, Washington-based retail giant, famous for its bulk products and wholesale prices, received 92 consumer complaints about the EKO trash cans, including 60 complaints from consumers who were ... Read More

One worker dead, another injured after steel beam falls

One worker was killed and another critically injured when a steel beam fell at the construction site of a nine-story apartment building in Evanston, Indiana, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Workers at the site were using a crane to unload steel beams from a truck when the crane’s rigging failed and dropped a beam from about 30 feet in the air on to the two workers, ages 55 and 27. The older man was taken to the hospital where he later died. The younger man had to be extricated from under the beam and was also taken to the ... Read More

Medtronic updates heart device software to address cybersecurity risks

Medtronic is notifying health care professionals and patients that some of its cardiac implantable electrophysiology devices (CIEDs) used to treat patients with heart failure or heart rhythm problems may pose a safety risk caused by cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The company will implement a network update to address the issue. The issue involves Medtronic CareLink and CareLink Encore Programmers, models 2029 and 29901, which are used during implantation and regular follow-up visits for Medtronic CIEDs, including pacemakers that provide pacing for slow heart rhythms, implantable defibrillators that provide an electrical shock or pacing to stop dangerously fast heart rhythms, cardiac resynchronization devices ... Read More

Funeral directors stocking up on opioid antidote

The National Funeral Directors Association is recommending its funeral directors recognize the symptoms of drug overdose and stock the opioid antidote naloxone in order to protect embalmers from exposure to highly potent pain killers like fentanyl and carfentanyl. The medications can be deadly in even the smallest quantities when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Protecting funeral home employees is yet another aspect of the opioid epidemic. Funeral directors are calling themselves “last responders” in the opioid crisis, and have been seeing overdose victims in record numbers in recent years. Opioids have become more potent, killing users and putting those ... Read More

Drilling company worker killed in ‘freak accident’

A drilling company employee was killed at a construction site in Jackson Township, Pennsylvania when a drilling auger suspended in the air near the man spun and hit him in the upper torso, killing him instantly. The deceased has been identified as 23-year-old Ty R. McCloskey, an employee with North American Directional, a drilling company based in Mount Morris in Greene County Pennsylvania. Other workers at the site called 911 and emergency workers arrived moments later. But the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. “This does appear to be an unfortunate freak accident,” said Deputy Coroner Chuck Mahon. Coroner ... Read More

Montana’s Kalispell Hospital Network Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit for $24 million

Kalispell Regional Healthcare System of Kalispell, Montana and six affiliates have agreed to pay $24 million to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit that they engaged in an extensive kickback scheme. The government alleged that Kalispell Regional maintained arrangements with referring physicians that violated the Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the federal False Claims Act. U.S. law prohibits hospitals and other health care providers from engaging in kickback arrangements and other schemes that provide money or other gifts for patient referrals. Services billed to Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs that were influenced by illegal kickbacks ... Read More

Some Arkansas Farmers Using Monsanto Dicamba Despite Ban

Monsanto’s Dicamba herbicide is turning the fields of Eastern Arkansas into a battleground, pitting farmer against farmer and creating a giant toxic problem for anyone downwind of the weed-killer spray. These Arkansas agri-battles are the newest farming fiasco stirred up by Monsanto, the Bayer-owner manufacturer of other notorious herbicides such as Roundup, Ranger Pro, and Agent Orange. Last year, Monsanto introduced new varieties of soybean and cotton that it had genetically modified to resist dicamba and pedaled these latest GMO crops to Arkansas farmers as a cheap and easy way to grow soybeans. Monsanto created this new line of herbicide-resistant ... Read More

Worker killed after townhome collapses in Dallas

A worker was killed and five injured last week after the three-story townhome under construction they took shelter in during a storm collapsed on them, fire officials said. Raul Ortega Cabrera, 35, died at the scene. Those injured were taken to local hospitals for treatment, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening and involved bumps, bruises and fractures. Dozens of other workers were outside the townhome but were not injured. For safe measure, cadaver dogs were called in to search the scene, but no other bodies were found. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans called the incident “devastating,” adding, “We are ... Read More

Defense Contractor Pays $7.8 Million To Resolve Fraud Allegations

A defense contractor has agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle allegations with the U.S. government that it illegally exploited military contracts set aside for small businesses. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia said that Arena Event Services Inc., which does business as Arena Americas, coordinated with Military Training Solutions LLC (MTS) to obtain the small business contracts. Congress mandates that a certain amount of government contracts go to small businesses as a way to encourage small business growth. These contracts prohibit the small business from being affiliated with a non-small business, while also limiting the ... Read More

Expedited trial sought for elderly couple alleging Roundup caused cancer

Attorneys for an elderly couple alleging Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup gave them both cancer asked a California judge to expedite their trial date, arguing that the longer the couple waits, the more unlikely they will be to participate in their own trial due to the “chemo brain” effects of their treatment, according to Law360. The lawsuit involves the case of Alva Pilliod, 76, and Alberta Pilliod, 74, who are fighting to have their case tried before Feb. 8 due to their advanced age and failing health. If a speedier trial is granted, the Pilliod’s trial could be the second of ... Read More