Tagged Articles

Arkansas 66 articles

Janssen agrees to pay $7.8 million to settle Risperdal lawsuit

risperdal

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the drug company’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals committed Medicaid fraud and violated state law in its promotion and labeling of the antipsychotic Risperdal to Arkansas doctors. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008. Three years ago, a Pulaski County jury found the drug company guilty of the charges and imposed a $1.2 million fine on Johnson & Johnson. The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the decision. Janssen Pharmaceuticals said the settlement agreement is not an admission of guilt. Risperdal, known generically as risperidone, was originally approved by the ... Read More

Whistleblower complaint leads to $15.69 million recovery for Medicare

whistleblower-5

Sixteen U.S. hospitals and their parent companies have agreed to pay the U.S. $15.69 million collectively to resolve allegations brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that they fraudulently billed Medicare for services that were not medically reasonable or necessary. The case concerns claims for reimbursement the hospitals made to Medicare for Intensive Outpatient Psychotherapy services. Medicare pays for an appropriate course of the psychotherapy services when a number of specific requirements are met, the most notable being that the services provided are needed for the diagnosis and treatment of the patient’s condition. The whistleblower lawsuit alleged that from ... Read More

Judge nixes Bayer’s plan to reinstate whistleblower

whistleblower

An Arkansas federal judge who ordered the reinstatement of a whistleblower terminated after implicating Bayer Corp. in a Medicare fraud scheme rebuked the pharmaceutical giant for attempting to reinstate the former employee to a job 500 miles away. Bayer fired sales representative Mike Townsend in 2010 after he blew the whistle on a scheme by a major Bayer customer to defraud Medicaid by illicitly billing the program for intrauterine contraceptives. Mr. Townsend had worked as a Bayer sales rep for six years when he caught on to a Medicaid scam he alleges was orchestrated by Arkansas physician Kelly Dean Shrum, ... Read More

Blue Bell won’t resume making ice cream for several months

Recall - blue bell ice cream cups

Blue Bell Creameries said on its website that its ice cream won’t be back in stores for several months as the company cleans it three manufacturing facilities in the wake of a deadly listeria outbreak and develops a plan for its ice cream products to return to production. “Unfortunately, we do not yet have a firm timeline for when Blue Bell Ice Cream will be back in stores, but we believe at this time that it will be several months at a minimum,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “We are evaluating all of our operations in light ... Read More

ExxonMobil to pay $5 million for Arkansas oil spill fines, costs

exxon mobil logos

ExxonMobil will pay $5 million to settle claims brought against it by the U.S. and Arkansas governments stemming from its March 2013 Pegasus Pipeline oil spill that swamped an Arkansas community with thousands of gallons of heavy Canadian oil. Under the settlement agreement, ExxonMobil will pay $3.19 million to the U.S. in Clean Water Act penalties and $1 million in state civil penalties to Arkansas. The oil company will also devote $600,000 to a project geared toward improving water quality at Lake Conway, a reservoir affected by the spill, and pay the Arkansas Attorney General’s office $280,000 in legal fees. The ... Read More

Jump&Go power supply recall prompted by reports of overheating, fires

Recall - Jump and Go power supply

Whistler, an electronics company based out of Arkansas, has announced a Jump&Go power supply recall of about 10,400 units. Reports indicate that the power supplies have the potential to overheat, melt and even catch fire. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Jump&Go Portable Jumpstart & Power Supply 12V power supplies are pocket-sized, measuring about 5.1 inches tall by 4 inches wide by 0.9 inches deep. Sold in either red, black yellow or pink, the recalled power supplies featured detachable jumper cables, built-in high output LED flashlight with emergency flashing patterns, as well as a USB port to ... Read More

Blue Bell recall expanded to all products

Blue Bell Recalled Products

After initiating two large recalls and suspending operations at an Oklahoma plant, Blue Bell will now be recalling all of its products in order to implement a “test and hold” procedure. The process will allow Blue Bell time to test all of its many ice cream products and determine which are safe and which are not. According to Blue Bell’s press release, all of its ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks are included in this recall due to the potential presence of Listeria monocytogenes, which causes the infection Listeriosis. The ingestion and infection of Listeria monocytogenes in a ... Read More

Janssen ordered to pay $136 million for Risperdal illegal marketing

risperdal

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmacetuicals to pay $136 million to the state for deceptively marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The decision upholds penalties against the company but reduces the damages, which were originally set at $327 million by a trial court in 2011. Justices said the penalty had to be reduced because of South Carolina’s three-year statute of limitations. Risperdal, known generically as risperidone, is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability with autism. The drug has also been prescribed off label to treat attention deficit hyperactivity ... Read More

Listeria illnesses, deaths linked to Happy Apples Company prepackaged caramel apples

Happy Apples caramel apples

Happy Apples Company of Washington, Mo., is recalling its prepackaged caramel apples after the products were found to be the source of a listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened 29 and killed five in 10 states. All 29 people who were sickened were hospitalized, and nine of the illnesses occurred in pregnant women. The recall comes about a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning to consumers not to eat prepackaged caramel apples as it investigated which commercially made brands were responsible for the outbreak. Though the apples are most popular around Halloween, the CDC ... Read More

“Fatigued driving” tops survey of reasons why someone shouldn’t have been driving

sleepy truck driver sign

A recent survey performed by CarInsurance.com asked 2,000 drivers which times he or she drove when they shouldn’t have. Answers ranged from being too sick to even being less drunk than their companion, but the most common answer, holding an enormous 68 percent of the vote, was driving while sleepy, also known as “fatigued driving.” Fatigued driving occurs when drivers have gone for an extended period of time without a substantial amount of rest and are thereby impaired from operating a vehicle in the safest manner. Some symptoms of a driver experiencing fatigue include slower information-processing and decision-making; longer reaction ... Read More