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Fatal Amputation Injury Leads to Heavy Fines For Alabama Co

A fatal amputation injury at an Alabama plastics manufacturing company has led to nearly $200,000 in proposed fines for violations the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says could have been prevented with the proper safety measures in place. OSHA says it cited ABC Polymer Industries LLC of Helena for multiple safety violations including one willful violation – the agency’s most serious – for failing to prevent workers from suffering amputation and other injuries in its industrial machinery. According to, Catalina Estillado, aka Eva Saenz, died Aug. 16 at the ABC Polymer Industries plant after she was pulled into ... Read More

Children becoming secondary victims of opioid epidemic

Children are becoming secondary victims of the nation’s opioid epidemic, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. Children between the ages of 1 and 17 who were admitted to hospitals and pediatric intensive care units for treatment of opioid overdoses nearly doubled from 797 patients between 2004 and 2007 to 1,504 patients between 2012 and 2015, according to the research. The study shows another dire aspect of the opioid crisis, which killed more than 42,000 adults and children in 2016 – more than any other year. Many of the children who overdosed from these potent painkillers likely came ... Read More

Union Pacific Workers Sue Over Toxic Exposure illnesses

A dozen railroad workers are suing Union Pacific Railroad in an Omaha, Nebraska, federal court, alleging their work on trains, railyards, company shops, and tracks exposed them to cancer-causing substances in violation of federal law. The plaintiffs, all former Union Pacific employees or their estates, allege that the railroad was negligent in its failure to use “ordinary care or caution” with toxic substances in the workplace as required by federal regulations. They also claim Union Pacific failed to monitor and test its work sites for toxic substances that could sicken workers, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Union Pacific, the second-largest ... Read More

FDA, DEA clash on drug sales data for opioid MDL

Attorneys from local governments gathering information in a multidistrict litigation blaming drug manufacturers and distributors for fueling the deadly and costly national opioid epidemic have reached an apparent impasse with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regarding access to the mountain of data the DEA has on opioid sales, according to Law360. Attorneys want to get their hands on information from the DEA’s ARCOS database that contains bountiful information about the sales of prescription painkillers, including details such as what drugs were sold, and when and where they were sold. The DEA has agreed to provide data on specific drugs, like ... Read More

Court Reinstates LHC Home Health Nurse’s Whistleblower Case

A nurse who filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against her employer even though she wasn’t demoted, harassed or terminated, can move forward with her case, a federal appeals court ruled. Sue Smith, a former nursing director for Louisiana-based home health care agency LHC Group Inc., filed the whistleblower retaliation lawsuit after she allegedly became aware of a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. Ms. Smith worked at LHC’s home health office in Lexington, Kentucky. According to Business Insurance, Ms. Smith claims employees of the home health office routinely sidestepped federal rules and admitted patients into care without the clinical evaluation ... Read More

Risperdal case sent back to determine if punitive damages are warranted

The Pennsylvania Superior Court sent a case involving Risperdal side effects back to trial court to decide whether a new trial on punitive damages is warranted. The case was the third bellwether to go to trial from a mass tort program in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas alleging Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to warn that its antipsychotic Risperdal could cause adolescent boys to grow female-like breast tissue. The case is that of Nicholas Murray, a Maryland resident, who claimed he took Risperdal for five years as an adolescent, during which time he developed ... Read More

Diesel Fumes May Trigger ALS in Truck Drivers, Study Finds

Commercial truck drivers and workers in other occupations who are routinely exposed to diesel fumes may be at a significantly higher risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable neurodegenerative disease, a new Harvard study indicates. According to HealthDay, study author Aisha Dickerson, a postdoctoral research fellow with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that truck drivers and others with regular exposure to diesel fumes were 40 percent more likely to develop ALS than those with no regular exposure. Diesel exhaust contains a multitude of toxic compounds that individually or in combination could trigger the development ... Read More

Toxic Fumes Sicken Houston School Students

Dozens of Houston schoolgirls were sickened and hospitalized last Thursday when toxic fumes from a roofing project entered the Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, Houston authorities said. The Houston Fire Department responded to reports of toxic fumes causing a “mass casualty” incident at the school Thursday morning about 11:30. First responders and others were initially concerned that the incident was a natural gas leak after the school’s principal called 911 to report that students suddenly were falling ill with various symptoms. According to KTRK Houston, students and staff evacuated the building after some students began displaying signs of exposure to toxic ... Read More

KitchenAid Electric Kettles Recalled Over Burn Risks

The risk of burn injuries from a KitchenAid electric kettle defect has prompted the manufacturer and U.S. regulators to announce a safety recall of the product The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that Whirlpool is recalling more than 40,000 of the electric KitchenAid kettles after receiving 79 reports claiming the device is unsafe to use. The complaints say that the handle on the kettles loosened and detached, causing the hot contents to spill. According to the CPSC, Whirlpool has received three reports of burn injuries associated with the KitchenAid electric kettle defect. “This recall involves KitchenAid 1.7 Liter ... Read More

Woman fights to keep $28M Xarelto jury award

A woman’s near-$28 million jury verdict for injuries suffered while taking the blood thinner Xarelto was reversed last month, but she is fighting to get the compensation she believes she’s entitled to. Lynn Hartman has outlined issues she intends to raise with the Pennsylvania Superior Court in a brief challenging the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas ruling to eliminate her $27.8 million award, the first win for plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation accusing Xarelto makers Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer of not adequately warning about Xarelto side effects. Hartman’s appeal includes a challenge of Judge Michael Erdos’ statement ... Read More