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Arkansas 105 articles

Walmart settles whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicaid fraud

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Retail giant Walmart has agreed to pay $1.65 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it knowingly submitted claims for reimbursement to California’s Medicaid program that were not supported by applicable diagnosis and documentation requirements. A pharmacist who has worked at Walmart locations in the greater Sacramento area filed the original lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. According to the Eastern District of California’s U.S. Attorney, Phillip A. Talbert, the whistleblower alleged that Walmart pharmacies failed to perform critical gatekeeping functions ensuring that certain drugs were dispensed for approved diagnoses. “Walmart failed to confirm and document ... Read More

Opioid users file lawsuit against drug makers

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Opioid users are pushing back against the manufacturers of the powerful and highly addictive painkillers, suing Actavis, Endo, Johnson & Johnson, Purdue, Teva and others in Arkansas federal court, claiming the drug companies were more focused on making profits than on public health, Law360 reports. They say the opioid makers encouraged doctors to prescribe the drugs while downplaying the addiction and dependence risks associated with use, which in turn contributed to the national opioid epidemic. The same drug companies are currently under investigation by several attorneys general representing states across the country. They also face similar probes with counties and cities ... Read More

Cashews recalled; may contain glass shards

cashews - wikimedia commons

Customer complaints of finding shards of glass in 8-ounce cans of Southern Grove Cashew Halves and Pieces with Sea Salt has prompted the manufacturer to voluntarily recall two lots of the product. The Food and Drug Administration reports that New Jersey-based Star Snacks Co. produced the cashews and distributed them to ALDI stores in Washington DC and 28 states including: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. The containers include the UPC code ... Read More

Tractor-trailer Fire Sets Off Crashes Involving Commercial Trucks, Fire Engine

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Arkansas authorities are investigating a series of related crashes involving three tractor-trailers and a firetruck on Interstate 40 near the western Arkansas town of Dyer Friday night. The crashes occurred within 15 minutes of each other and started when a tractor-trailer hauling lumber caught on fire, Arkansas State Police spokeswoman Liz Chapman told Arkansas Online. KFSM Channel 5 Ft. Smith reported that the fire started in the tractor trailer’s brakes. Around 5 in the morning, another westbound tractor-trailer swerved to avoid crashing into the fiery truck but collided with the median. Moments later a Mulberry Volunteer Fire Department truck responding ... Read More

Police Say Driver Lost Control of Tractor-Trailer Before Fatal Crash on Louisiana Highway

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Louisiana authorities are investigating the crash of a tractor-trailer that killed the driver and another man early in the morning of Sunday, April 2. Louisiana State Troopers responded to the single-vehicle crash around 3:30 a.m. on the southbound lanes of I-49 near Washington, Louisiana, about 30 miles north of Lafayette. Troopers say the crash killed the driver John Boyd, 83, and passenger Charles Hogan, 36, both of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Neither of the men were wearing seat belts. According to WAFB Channel 9 Baton Rouge, State Police said the initial investigation led troopers to find that for reasons not yet ... Read More

So-called Ag-Gag Bill attempts To Make Agriculture Industry Whistleblowing a Crime

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A new anti-whistleblower “Ag-Gag” bill was introduced in the Arkansas legislature last month, marking the fourth attempt by some of the state’s elected officials to try and make reporting wrongdoing in the agricultural industry a punishable offense. According to the Food Integrity Campaign, the proposed bill HB 1665 is also the most nefarious of the Ag-Gag bills introduced to the Arkansas legislature in recent years because it seeks to gag would-be whistleblowers not just in agriculture, but in other industries as well. The Food Integrity Campaign writes: What could make a bill designed to make it illegal to document crimes ... Read More

New Railroad Crossing Safety Ad Targets Male Drivers

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The Department of Transportation is taking aim at young male drivers with a graphic new video showing what happens when a passenger vehicle fails to yield for a train. The ad, produced as a collaborative effort between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), shows a freight train plowing into the side of a SUV stopped on the tracks. The train brakes, but not soon enough to prevent the SUV from being demolished. But that it is the point the ad conveys: “Stop! Trains Can’t.” U.S. regulators made the ad because many drivers don’t ... Read More

Regional OSHA Campaign Targets Amputation Hazards In Factories

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In 2015, U.S. labor officials received reports of more than 2,600 amputations sustained by workers across the country. The alarming number of U.S. workers receiving painful and debilitating injuries every year prompted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to launch a targeted enforcement campaign in four states where accidental workplace amputations run high: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. OSHA’s targeted enforcement efforts take aim at the manufacturing industry, where 57 percent of the nation’s on-the-job amputations occurred last year. The agency’s goal is to inspect manufacturing facilities, enforce safety regulations, and hold employers responsible for protecting workers and reducing ... Read More

Imported frozen Strawberries Recalled Amid Hepatitis A Outbreak

strawberries, frozen - Flickr

An Egyptian food exporter is recalling certain lots of frozen strawberries in response to an outbreak of Hepatitis A virus. U.S. health officials traced the outbreak to frozen Egyptian strawberries used in smoothies served at some Tropical Smoothie Café establishments. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing (ICAPP), based in Ramadan, Egypt, is recalling the frozen strawberries it sent to the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2016, out of an abundance of caution. The recall came a few days after the FDA said ICAPP’s frozen strawberries would not be admitted into ... Read More