Wendi Lewis

305 posts

Wendi Lewis is the Communications Director for Beasley Allen Law Firm. She writes and manages content for Righting Injustice,, and other firm websites and publications. Her background includes journalism, with a focus on feature writing and community news reporting and editing; book publishing and project management; public relations communications; advertising copy writing and corporate profile writing. She is the author of Montgomery: At the Forefront of a New Century, a coffee-table book about Montgomery, Ala., published by Community Communications Inc. in 1996. She and her husband, Eric, live in Montgomery.

Whistleblower exposed another Volkswagen cheat, German magazine reveals

VW consumer fraud

On Tuesday, Volkswagen (VW) admitted it lied to consumers again, this time with falsified information about the fuel efficiency of some models. A German magazine is reporting that it was the action of a whistleblower that exposed the latest Volkwagen cheat, in which the automaker “exaggerated” the fuel efficiency of some of its models. Volkswagen has been on the hot seat since September, when it was revealed a program in its proprietary software allowed certain diesel vehicles to pass Clean Air Act emissions tests, but that the cars ran “dirtier” when not being tested. The latest cover-up involves both diesel- and ... Read More

Fatal I-10 crash underlines importance of sharing the road with big rigs

18 wheeler No Zones - courtesy Alabama Department of Public Safety

State police in Slidell, La., said the apparent cause of a fatal crash on Interstate 10 earlier this week was a motorist’s attempt to pass an 18-wheeler in foggy conditions. Police say the driver of a pickup truck trying to pass on the shoulder probably couldn’t tell the road narrowed to a bridge ahead of the truck. When the driver ran out of road room, police believe he swerved back onto the road and collided with the 18-wheeler. The impact forced the 18-wheeler driver to crash into another big rig traveling in the left lane, and an 18-wheeler crashed through ... Read More

Railroad industry under fire for repeated whistleblower retaliation charges

railroad tracks

In order to ensure a safe workplace, employees must be able to report potential dangers. It seems like employers would be grateful to have feedback that would prevent on-the-job injuries or worker deaths. However, plaintiffs’ lawyers, union officials and analysts say complaints of illegal whistleblower retaliation in the railroad industry are rampant. Whistleblower protections are included in 22 federal laws established by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). These laws are designed to shield American workers from retaliation by their employer if they report workplace hazards, expose fraud, waste and abuse; or refuse ... Read More

New VW recall announced for possible power-assisted brake failure

VW consumer fraud

A new VW recall will include 92,000 vehicles in the U.S. that may have faulty brakes. Volkswagen officials say a mechanical problem may impair power-assisted brakes, increasing the risk of a crash. The latest VW recall includes 2015 and 2016 year model Beetles, Golfs, Jettas and Passats with 1.8-liter and 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines. Volkswagen is still reeling from an October announcement that several of its diesel-powered vehicles were equipped with a so-called “cheat device” designed to disguise actual emissions during testing. The software disguised true nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission on more than 10 million diesel vehicles, allowing them ... Read More

DOJ indicts Chilcott exec on the heels of criticism it let Novartis leaders off the hook

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

The Department of Justice (DOJ) flew in the face of its critics last Thursday when it indicted W. Carl Reichel, former president of Warner Chilcott PLC’s pharmaceutical division, on charges of conspiring to pay kickbacks to physicians. The felony health care fraud charge was part of a False Claims Act (FCA) settlement agreement that also included $125 million in fines. The arrest may silence critics who last week accused the DOJ of breaking its vow to get tough against Big Pharma leaders when it let Novartis off the hook for an alleged illegal kickback scheme with a $390 million settlement, ... Read More

Novartis whistleblower settlement calls into question DOJ vow to get tough on cheaters

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

The recently announced Novartis whistleblower settlement, which resolved a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into allegations of illegal kickbacks, has brought into question how serious the agency is about holding company leaders accountable. The DOJ has been promising to toughen its stance, holding individuals accountable for decisions on their watch that resulted in fraud, waste and abuse, rather than letting companies get away with fines and pleas that deny responsibility. On Tuesday, just ahead of its set trial date, Novartis AG announced it would settle the whistleblower lawsuit for $390 million. The lawsuit was filed by former Novartis sales rep ... Read More

GM recalls more cars for oil leaks that could lead to fires

GM recall

General Motors (GM) has announced another recall for a problem that has been plaguing its vehicles for the past seven years. For the third time in that time span, GM is recalling vehicles that can leak oil, which may lead to a fire. The latest recall includes 1.4 million vehicles, including some that had been included in the previous recalls, because apparently the initial “fix” did not work. Since the issue first came to light in 2007, GM has reported 19 minor injuries related to the defect, and in 2008 acknowledged the oil leak problem was responsible for 267 fires, ... Read More

Cryotherapy spa worker dies in cryochamber of apparent suffocation

cryotherapy, cryosauna, LeBron James

A woman who worked at a cryotherapy spa called Rejuvenice was discovered dead after entering a cryochamber after all her co-workers had left for the day. It is uncertain exactly what happened, as there are no cameras in the cryochambers, but authorities believe the 24-year-old woman suffocated when she became trapped in the machine. Cryotherapy is touted as a method of healing tissue, improving circulation and boosting body systems such as metabolism and the immune system by exposing its users to super-cooled air. Its benefits have been touted by superstar athletes like LeBron James and celebrities including Lindsey Lohan as ... Read More

Possible Listeria contamination prompts Whole Foods recall of prepared salads

Whole Foods - image by ChadPerez49 via Wikimedia Commons

The latest Whole Foods recall affects two types of prepared salads due to Listeria contamination concerns. This is the second food product recall for the grocer in recent weeks, after it recalled listeria-contaminated organic Roquefort cheese earlier this month. This new recall includes 230 pounds of curry chicken salad products, as well as classic deli pasta salad. This is a regional recall, with affected products shipped to retail stores and warehouses in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The salads were sold by Whole Foods as prepackaged items, and also on its salad bars, ... Read More

Novartis settles whistleblower lawsuit alleging kickback scheme for $390 million

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

Just ahead of a trial date set for next week, Novartis AG announced it will settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the federal False Claims Act to the tune of $390 million. The lawsuit alleged the drugmaker paid improper and illegal kickbacks to pharmacies in exchange for their promoting certain of its prescription drugs. The whistleblower lawsuit was filed by former Novartis employee David Kester. Under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, private citizens can file lawsuits on behalf of the U.S. government. As a reward for exposing wrongdoing, whistleblowers may be entitled to 15-30 percent of ... Read More