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Whistleblower Suit Against Abbott, AbbVie Recovers $25 Million For U.S. Taxpayers

Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie Inc. have agreed to pay more than $25 million to settle a long-standing whistleblower lawsuit claiming the drug companies illegally promoted the triglyceride drug TriCor for off-label purposes and provided doctors and other prescribers with unlawful kickbacks to boost sales. Amy Bergman, a former Abbott sales representative, filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act in 2009. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to intervene in the case, but it moved ahead without the government’s direct involvement, surviving attempts by Abbott and AbbVie to have the case thrown out. According to the ... Read More

Judge discourages individual screenings of potential Roundup jurors

Monsanto shouldn’t individually screen jurors “as if it were a death penalty case,” for two upcoming bellwether trials involving consumer claims that its herbicide Roundup caused their cancer, a California judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL) said. Instead, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria suggested that the parties screen a pool of about 500 potential jurors to see if they were able to commit about a month of their time to sit for the trials, and that the parties come up with questions that the court could send the potential jurors before questioning them as a group. Attorneys for Monsanto raised ... Read More

Was the Lion Air Plane Crash Caused by a Faulty Instrument?

Investigators revealed more information about the “technical problem” a Lion Air jet experienced on other flights before it crashed in Indonesia Oct. 29, killing all 189 people aboard. Indonesian government officials said in an emotional news conference Nov. 5 that the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet had been experiencing problems with is airspeed indicator on the doomed flight and that the instrument had malfunctioned on the three flights preceding the Oct. 29 crash. Those previous Lion Air flights landed safely but passengers on a flight from Bali to Jakarta, which landed just hours before the flight that crashed, ... Read More

Whistleblowers Say United Airlines Retaliated For Calling Out Listeria Problems

United Airlines systematically failed to fix food safety problems at its Newark Liberty International Airport facilities, exposing passengers to dangerous Listeria contamination, three former high-level United food-service managers claim in separate lawsuits. The whistleblowers also claim that efforts to warn United about food-safety violations and their refusal to participate in unlawful practices resulted in retaliation. United Airlines’ Newark catering operation – the largest of its five in-house food service operations – supplies 45,000 meals a day for domestic and foreign flights. The lawsuits were filed by Eliot Mosby, General Manager of United Airlines’ Newark Catering facility; Marcia Lee, former Senior ... Read More

Another heart drug recalled due to presence of cancer-causing agent

Another medication used to treat hypertension is being recalled after it was found to be contaminated with a suspected cancer-causing agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a Safety Communication. Manufacturer ScieGen is recalling certain lots of the heart drug irbesartan. Affected products have printed on their labels the words “Westminster Pharmaceuticals” and “GSMS Inc.” The announcement comes on the heels of a recall of several lots of the high blood pressure and heart failure medication valsartan. Both irbesartan and valsartan are in a class of heart drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs. And both were ... Read More

Duck Boat Operators Trying to Ward off Lawsuits with 1800s Law

The two companies defending themselves in litigation over the tragic duck boat accident in Branson, Missouri, that killed 17 people in July invoked a maritime law from the 1800s in their argument that they owe no money to victims’ families. The duck boat operators, Ripley Entertainment and Branson Duck Vehicles, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday seeking to use the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 as a shield against more than two dozen lawsuits. The lawsuits were filed by family members of the 17 people aboard the duck boat that sank July 19. There were 31 people ... Read More

Seattle Pays Widow $7.7 Million For Fatal Transit Bus Collision

Washington state’s King County Metro Transit will pay $7.7 million to the wife of a Seattle man who was struck and killed by a transit bus while crossing a downtown Seattle street last year. John Ahn, a 43-year-old Amazon employee and father of a young son, was crossing Westlake Ave. after having dinner with coworkers when a King County Metro Transit making a right turn struck and killed him. According to The Seattle Times, the transit bus struck Mr. Ahn in the crosswalk, knocking him down. He struggled to get out of the bus’s path but the rear wheels of the ... Read More

School groundskeeper accepts reduced $78 million Roundup award

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson wanted to send a message to Monsanto that it was wrong. This summer, he took the company to court alleging Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers contained a toxic ingredient that contributed to his terminal cancer diagnosis. He claimed Monsanto knew of the risks but failed to warn the public. As a school groundskeeper, Johnson was accidentally drenched in the chemicals twice. When he called the company to ask if he should be concerned for his health, they promised to get back to him but never did. When he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he took ... Read More

Helicopter Crash Kills Texas Newlyweds Departing Wedding

U.S. and Texas authorities are investigating a helicopter crash that killed a newlywed couple early Sunday morning after their Saturday wedding. William Troy Byler (“Will”) of Bellville, Texas, and Bailee Ackerman Byler of Orangefield, Texas, were just married when the helicopter in which they left their Oct. 3 wedding reception crashed in northwest Uvalde County, about 100 miles west of San Antonio. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Texas Department of Public Safety are investigating the helicopter crash. Both Will and Bailee were students at Sam Houston State University. Will was an Agricultural Engineering ... Read More

Family sues university over pancake-eating contest death

The parents of a 20-year-old Sacred Heart University student are suing the Connecticut university after their daughter choked to death while participating in a school-sponsored pancake-eating contest, Fox News reports. The fatality happened during the school’s Greek Week celebration March 30, 2017. Caitlin Nelson was taking part in the amateur eating competition when, after eating several pancakes quickly, she began to shake uncontrollably and collapsed onto the ground. Two nursing students who were attending the event attempted lifesaving efforts before police and paramedics arrived. According to the complaint, the responding officers found her not breathing with her mouth completely filled ... Read More