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Whistleblower Set to Receive $4.3 Million From Chicago State University

After years of fending off a whistleblower lawsuit, Chicago State University is set to pay $4.3 million to a former administrator who successfully sued the school in 2010, alleging he was wrongfully fired for exposing questionable contracts. James Crowley’s whistleblower-retaliation lawsuit was the first to be tried under Illinois’ new state ethics act. His complaint alleged that Chicago State University fired him after he refused to withhold documents about former university president Wayne Watson’s employment that a faculty member had sought under the Illinois Open Records Law and for reporting dubious contracts to the state attorney general’s office. Jurors awarded Mr. Crowley ... Read More

Whistleblower settles wrongful termination case with Caddo Parish DA’s office

SHREVEPORT, La. – An investigator for the Caddo Parish, La., District Attorney’s Office who claimed he was fired in retaliation for reporting the D.A. office’s unorthodox purchase of several automatic weapons has settled a wrongful termination lawsuit for $447,000. According to the Shreveport Times, former Caddo District Attorney chief investigator Don Ashley said he grew concerned as District Attorney Charles Scott and assistant prosecutors began engaging in unusual “police-like behavior, including outfitting their vehicles with lights and sirens, making traffic stops, and wearing SWAT-type clothing during work hours.” This militant activity, which Mr. Ashley said began in 2009, eventually led ... Read More

Former Atlantic City Police Chief wins whistleblower suit alleging retaliation

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey jury has awarded Atlantic City’s former chief of police John Mooney $3.7 million, finding that city officials retaliated against him by cutting his job in 2010 after he reported alleged fraud and illegal activity by the City, Mayor Lorenzo Langford, and then-Public Safety Director Christine Petersen. Mr. Mooney’s whistleblower lawsuit alleged that the City Hall retaliated against him, using mass layoffs as a guise because it had no other justification in firing him after he exposed the alleged wrongdoing. A New Jersey Superior Court judge previously ruled that he was not in a ... Read More

SEC awards whistleblower $14 million for exposing financial fraud

A whistleblower who provided information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that helped federal regulators recover millions of dollars in investor funds was awarded $14 million, the largest award made by the SEC’s whistleblower program to date. SEC officials said that the whistleblower, who wants to remain anonymous in media reports, provided original information and assistance that allowed the agency to investigate a case of financial fraud more quickly than otherwise would have been possible. “Less than six months after receiving the whistleblower’s tip, the SEC was able to bring an enforcement action against the perpetrators and secure ... Read More

Transvaginal mesh company settles lawsuit just before trial begins

Just minutes before a transvaginal mesh bellwether case in multidistrict litigation (MDL) was to begin, the judge announced that medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard had reached a settlement with defendants. The agreement comes less than a week after the company was ordered to pay $2 million in the first bellwether trial. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but it represents just a drop in the bucket of litigation facing the medical device company related to its Avaulta transvaginal mesh implants. The lawsuits allege the mesh, which is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, caused internal injuries ... Read More

Jury awards Virginia man $14 million in Hyundai defective-airbag case

PULASKI, Va.—A circuit court jury ruled last week that Hyundai Motor America must pay $14 million to a Radford, Va., man who sustained severe traumatic brain injuries when the airbag in 2008 Hyundai Tiburon failed to deploy in crash. The verdict may be a record for a defective-product lawsuit in Southwest Virginia. Zachary “Gage” Duncan was 16 when the Hyundai he was driving hit a tree in 2010. Injuries to his head left him in a coma for a week. Now 20, Mr. Duncan has permanent brain injuries that require him to receive special care for the rest of his ... Read More

GSK to pay highest-ever award in Israeli court for concealing risks with diabetes drug

The highest-ever compensation in an Israeli class-action lawsuit against a drug manufacturer was awarded this week to a diabetes patient who claimed the company failed to disclose that its type 2 diabetes drug increased the risk of cardiovascular events. The lawsuit claimed that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) concealed data from the public that showed its blockbuster drug Avandia increased the risk of dying of a heart attack. Under the compromise agreement, GSK was ordered to pay NIS 12.1 million – or $2.6 million. The award is expected to be used to fund a new treatment program for diabetics. In May 2007, the ... Read More

Compensatory and punitive damages awarded in HRT lawsuit

Hundreds of lawsuits alleging that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ hormone replacement therapies (HRT) caused breast cancer have been settled in recent months including one in Pennsylvania where a judge upheld a verdict against the drug company, including a $6 million punitive damages award. Wyeth had heavily promoted its HRT drugs Premarin and Prempro as safe and effective treatments for bothersome symptoms of menopause. The pharmaceutical company even promoted the pills for their added benefit of protecting women against heart disease and dementia. But evidence was beginning to surface that the drugs were actually far more dangerous than the public or doctors ever ... Read More

Nominations for 2010 Highway Heroes announced

Heavy trucks get a bad rap in the news all the time, so it’s nice when some of the heroes of the trucking industry get the attention they deserve for their courageous, lifesaving acts on the road. Thanks to the Goodyear North America Highway Hero Awards, commercial truck drivers are celebrated every year for their good deeds. The 28th annual Highway Hero Award ceremony was held last Thursday in Akron, Ohio. The four finalists announced were a Texas truck driver who administered CPR to a victim of a high-speed crash; a Washington truck driver who pulled an unconscious driver from ... Read More

FMCSA awards Washington state patrol for reducing truck-related deaths

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators have awarded the Washington State Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Division with the 2010 Commercial Vehicle Safety Award in recognition of its efforts to improve commercial vehicle safety on the state’s roads and highways. FMCSA officials praised Washington State Patrol for forming effective partnerships that led to a 50-percent drop in the number of truck-related deaths, from 58 in 2008 to 29 in 2009. The State Patrol worked in close association with trucking industry representatives and executives and federal, state, and local agencies to promote and enforce commercial ... Read More