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Business 22 articles

The Business Litigation Section of Beasley Allen is devoted to representing individuals and small businesses in almost any dispute or claim they may have related to business transaction. Areas of our practice include breach of contract, fraud, antitrust price fixing, patents, and theft of trade secrets. Many small businesses have found that representation by our firm on a contingency fee basis is the best way to resolve claims against larger companies.

ISPs may soon be allowed to collect user data without permission

data-breach

The United States House and Senate have voted to reverse rules that require internet service providers (ISPs) to receive consumers’ permission before using certain sensitive data they obtain. The resolution, S.J. 34, reverses broadband privacy rules created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year that protect user data like browsing history from being unknowingly obtained by ISPs. It passed Congress Tuesday and now awaits a signature from President Donald Trump. Proposed by Republican Senators led by Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), the bill caused heated debate on in the Senate floor. “How can this happen? What are the rules? Is there going to be any ... Read More

Louisiana sues State Farm for endangering motorists with cheap auto repairs

State Farm Logo

State Farm Auto Insurance endangers the lives of its policyholders by effectively forcing auto body and repair shops to perform repairs as cheaply and quickly as possible, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office alleges in a lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, filed August 19 in a Baton Rouge federal court, State Farm repeatedly broke state laws against unfair trade practices and monopolies by directing consumers to preferred repair shops or “direct repair facilities.” The repair shops are then effectively forced to conform to insurance estimates by using cheap, imitation, and used parts “rather than in accordance with consumer safety and vehicle ... Read More

Senate Committee passes bill to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT workers

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A bipartisan bill that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has passed a Senate Committee by a vote of 15 to 7. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, received the support of all 12 Democrats and 3 Republicans on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). According to the Huffington Post, the committee spent just 10 minutes discussing the bill before voting it forward. The Committee Chairman, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said that the speed at which the bill passed ... Read More

New website monitors how corporations, lobbyists are eroding our Constitutional rights

Gavel

Alarmed by the corporate lobby’s aggressive efforts to undermine the U.S. civil justice system, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) has launched a new website and blog called Take Justice Back. The aim of the website is to keep U.S. citizens informed about how their rights and protections, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, are being eroded by powerful corporations and lobbying groups trying to escape accountability. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars, these corporate interests have infiltrated Congress and are using their financial might “scheming up ways to avoid accountability when they hurt someone,” the AAJ says. The “Tort ... Read More

OSHA orders reinstatement of pilot fired for reporting safety concerns to FAA

osha whistle

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered the reinstatement of a pilot who alleged he was fired over his unwillingness to participate in fraudulent activity on the job and for reporting his concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The pilot’s employer, Northern Illinois Flight Center, was also ordered to compensate the pilot more than $500,000 in back pay, benefits, and damages. According to OSHA, “the whistleblower, a pilot from Illinois, was dismissed after contacting the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss violations of the pilot certification process.” The pilot alleges his employer asked him to falsify an ... Read More

New SEC whistleblower office receiving better financial fraud tip-offs, Commissioner says

osha whistle

So far, so good was the message behind Securities and Exchange Commissioner Luis Aguilar’s assessment of the agency’s new whistleblower program, designed in response to the 2008 financial crisis to curb widespread financial fraud. Speaking to a panel of enforcement officials Thursday, Mr. Aguilar said that the SEC’s whistleblower office, established by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, has received nearly 3,000 tips from the U.S. and 45 foreign countries. But it’s not just the quantity of information pouring into the whistleblower office, it’s the quality as well. Mr. Aguilar said the incentives to report fraud and other wrongdoing have made ... Read More

Resources and help for disabled voters

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On Election Day, voters with disabilities have two options when it comes to casting their ballot. Past elections have demonstrated that every vote is critical, so polling officials are required to make sure every disabled voter has access to the ballot box. The first step for any voter, of course, is to register to vote if you haven’t voted in the past or you have moved to a new location since the last voting cycle. All voters may use this state-by-state guideline and form to register. Disabled voters who cannot vote at their actual designated poll may choose to vote ... Read More

Jailed whistleblower received record $140-million award in tax evasion case

osha whistle

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) awarded a record $104 million to a whistleblower for his role in helping to expose an enormous tax fraud scheme orchestrated by Swiss banking giant UBS AG. The award, the largest ever paid by the federal government to an individual whistleblower, was given to Bradley Birkenfield, a UBS AG banker who was also thrown in prison to serve a 40-month sentence as part of the same case. The IRS confirmed last week that Mr. Birkenfield will receive the record award for his part in a federal investigation that resulted in UBS being fined $780 million ... Read More

Kentucky miner blows whistle on Big Coal over lax safety

osha whistle

A Kentucky miner who has blown the whistle repeatedly on major coal mining operations over safety issues has been reinstated to work by a federal judge. Kentucky miner Charles Scott Howard, 52, lost his job with Cumberland River Coal Co. shortly after he filed a civil lawsuit last year against his employer for allegedly endangering his and other miners’ with its noncompliance of key federal safety regulations. In 2010, Mr. Howard complained about a number of safety issues with company managers. Shortly after, he received a head injury on the job that required hospitalization. Several doctors who examined Mr. Howard ... Read More

FBI launches Child ID app for iPhones

A new iPhone app launched by the FBI is making it easier for parents to provide vital information about their child to authorities in the event the child goes missing. The Child ID app is the first mobile application created by the FBI, and provides a convenient place for parents to electronically store their child’s photos and physical identifiers, such as height and weight. This information can easily be shared with security or police in a moment’s notice, and can also be easily emailed to authorities by using a special tab on the app. The Child ID app also includes ... Read More