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attorney 2130 articles

Mesothelioma victim deserves $29 million for using J&J talc

Attorneys for a woman who claims that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products are contaminated with asbestos and contributed to her mesothelioma diagnosis said in closing arguments that the consumer health care giant and its talc supplier should pay the woman $29.2 million plus punitive damages because they sold talc products to consumers knowing they were tainted with cancer-causing asbestos. The Pasadena, California trial involving the case of Carolyn Weirick and her wife Elvira Escudero also names Imerys Talc America, Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier. Defense attorneys argue that the companies are not to blame because the women’s case is ... Read More

Parents Allege Defective Grand Prix Airbag Caused Son’s Death

The parents of a Pennsylvania man who died when the driver side airbag inside his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix failed to deploy in a fiery crash are suing General Motors and the dealership where the car was purchased. Plaintiffs Samuel and Catherine Gabriele filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas July 31, alleging GM and Faulkner Buick GMC of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, sold their son Stephen Gabriele a car with a defective airbag system. According to the Penn Record, the lawsuit states that Stephen Gabriele was driving his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix south on West Philadelphia Ave. in ... Read More

Duke Energy Dump Spills Tons of Coal Ash in Florence Floods

Toxic coal ash from a shuttered Duke Energy plant in Wilmington, North Carolina, was released from a primitive dump as heavy rains from Hurricane Florence lashed the coast. As of Monday, the city of Wilmington was inaccessible by land due to widespread catastrophic flooding in the city and surrounding areas, so Duke Energy and state environmental officials haven’t determined how far the spilled coal ash – enough to fill about 180 dump trucks – has migrated. According to the Associated Press, the toxic coal ash from Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton Power Station “likely flowed into the Cape Fear River.” With waterways ... Read More

Price Gouging Laws In Effect As Hurricane Florence Barrels Into the Carolinas

Hurricanes bring widespread destruction with them but they also bring out the best of human nature when residents and communities pull together to help each another recover. Unfortunately, hurricanes can also reveal the shady side of some individuals and businesses when they take advantage of a hurricane or other crisis to inflate prices excessively. Price-gouging takes many forms, from a $10 gallon of gas to thousands of dollars for a tree removal. As Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, government officials urged residents to report any instances of price gouging they encounter. “My office is here to protect North ... Read More

J&J released from mesothelioma lawsuit

Days before a trial was to begin in a case of a man accusing several companies, including Johnson & Johnson, of exposing him to dangerous asbestos, which he claims contributed to his mesothelioma diagnosis, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss his claims against the consumer health care giant. The man’s lawsuit alleged that J&J’s talcum powder products were contaminated with asbestos. Attorneys for Dwaine Waters and his wife Janice refused to say whether the Waters had reached a settlement with Johnson & Johnson. As of Monday, no such stipulations were made against the other defendants in the case, which include J&J ... Read More

Florida Opioid Pill Mill Doctor, Staff Go to Prison

A South Florida doctor busted for illegally dispensing prescription opioid painkillers to cash-paying “patients” has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. Dr. Andres Mecia, 64, of Fort Lauderdale, ran an opioid pill mill in his Oakland Park, Florida clinic, Adult & Geriatric Institute of Florida Inc., which operated under the name AGI Medical & Dental. According to the government’s allegations, Dr. Mencia and office personnel — Oscar Luis Ventura-Rodriguez, 41, of Ft. Lauderdale; Nadira Sampath-Grant, 51, of Margate, and John Mensah, 50, of Miami, performed sham consultations with patients seeking opioid drugs. In these consultations, Dr. Mencia and his co-conspirators ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps Medicare Recover $4 Million From Florida Dermatology Practice

A dermatologist who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against a Florida dermatology practice alleging it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid has helped the U.S. government recover $4 million. Dermatology Healthcare, a Tampa-based provider of dermatology care to residents of assisted living facilities, agreed to settle the government’s claims of fraud, which originated with a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by Dr. Theodore A. Schiff, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. Dr. Schiff filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging Dermatology Healthcare failed to adequately supervise the administration of superficial radiation therapy to ... Read More

Two ‘eerily similar’ fatalities at ExxonMobil site

A trial is currently underway in Jefferson County District Court in Texas accusing ExxonMobile, B&G Crane Service, and AltairStrickland of the wrongful death of refinery worker Miguel Barron. The lawsuit, which seeks more than $1 million, was filed by Barron’s brother, Hector Barron. Both were employed at AltairStrickland. Barron was killed May 11, 2016, while working on an elevated platform at the Beaumont Texas Exxon refinery during turnaround operations, when he was struck by a heavy pipe that fell from overhead. The original petition claims that because an effective rescue plan was not in place, medics were unable to reach ... Read More

Court Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Suit Against New Mexico DA to Stand

A whistleblower lawsuit against a southern New Mexico district attorney has survived a second attempt by the defendant’s attorneys to get the case dismissed. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that New Mexico state judge Jarod Hofacket denied a motion by lawyers representing Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio to reject a whistleblower lawsuit brought by Marylou Bonacci, a former office manager at Mr. D’Antonio’s office. According to the Sun-News, Ms. Bonacci claims she was terminated in retaliation for speaking out against corruption and other wrongful conduct she allegedly witnessed in the D.A.’s office. The whistleblower lawsuit, which Ms. Bonacci filed ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Ends in $21 Million Recovery from Ambulance Kickback Schemers

A sprawling whistleblower lawsuit implicating an ambulance company, its affiliated companies, and several municipal clients in an illegal kickback scheme has been settled, federal prosecutors announced. East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Services (“the ETMC defendants”) their affiliated ambulance company, Paramedics Plus, and other defendants agreed to pay the U.S. more than $21 million to resolve the allegations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The government’s case against the ambulance industry defendants stems from a complaint filed by Dr. Stephen Dean under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The ... Read More