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California 1273 articles

USC agrees to pay $215 million to settle gynecologist sex abuse claims

The University of Southern California (USC) has agreed to pay $215 million and implement numerous reforms to settle a class action lawsuit brought by dozens of women who allege they were sexually abused by a gynecologist at the USC Student Health Center over the course of nearly three decades. A court will need to approve the settlement, which also requires USC to obtain background checks for anyone who interacts with patients at the school’s student health center, and give female patients the option to see a female doctor. An independent women’s health advocate will also be appointed to ensure any ... Read More

Lawsuit claims Roundup herbicide disrupts healthy gut bacteria

Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer AG last year, is facing thousands of lawsuits alleging an ingredient in its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. But a new class action lawsuit filed in Kansas City, Missouri, claims that the glyphosate in the herbicide attacks a gut enzyme found in the beneficial intestinal flora of humans and some animals. The suit says the companies deceived consumers about the product’s safety. In recent years, gut bacteria have played a more prominent role in medical research, with unhealthy intestinal microbiome being blamed on everything from depression to obesity. The lawsuit claims that Monsanto misled ... Read More

California town bans Roundup around city’s playgrounds

Effective immediately, the town of Lodi, California, will ban the use the weed killer Roundup within 25 feet of the city’s 17 playgrounds in an effort to protect children from possible health hazards of the herbicide’s active ingredient, glyphosate. “State law currently does not allow smoking with 25 feet of a playground, and so we felt that was a good standard, a good number to use for this first step,” said Jeff Hood, Director of the Lodi Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department. The announcement comes six months after a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay a school groundskeeper $289 ... Read More

NGOs file lawsuit to overturn EPA’s refusal to require reporting on asbestos

Six NGOs (non-governmental organizations) asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this week to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) denial of its petition for the agency to close a reporting loophole so that imports of and domestic uses of the carcinogen asbestos are reported, including reporting on consumer products containing asbestos-containing talc. “This will maximize EPA’s ability to use the information reported to conduct the ongoing asbestos risk evaluation and the subsequent risk management,” the organizations said in their Right to Know Petition, which was originally flied Sept. 25, 2018 under section 21 of the ... Read More

Researcher ‘convinced’ Roundup weed killer causes cancer

A University of Washington researcher said she is “convinced” that the active ingredient glyphosate in the commonly used weed killer Roundup can cause cancer after conducting an analysis with colleagues on the chemical. Lianne Sheppard, senior author and professor of biostatistics and environmental and occupational health sciences, said she and colleagues found a “compelling link” between people with the “highest exposure” to glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. “All of the meta-analysis conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding; exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) ... Read More

Wyoming man blames Roundup for his lymphoma diagnosis

A Wyoming man is suing Monsanto alleging the agrochemical company’s Roundup weed killer contributed to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) diagnosis. The federal lawsuit comes just six months after Monsanto was ordered by a California jury to pay a school groundskeeper $289 million after finding his exposure to glyphosate in Roundup was the cause of his terminal NHL. (Monsanto appealed and the award was reduced to $78 million.) The recent lawsuit involves the case of Jace Florquist, and is one of more than 8,000 filed against Monsanto alleging a link between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, and NHL. According to ... Read More

Prime Health Care Settles Another Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleging Medicare Fraud

Two employees of a Philadelphia hospital who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital’s parent company and its founder have helped the U.S. government recover $1.25 million in Medicare funds. Prime Health Care Services and Dr. Prem Reddy, the company’s founder and CEO, agreed to settle the whistleblower lawsuit Feb. 14, resolving allegations that two of its hospitals, Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, and Roxborough Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia, engaged in schemes to increase their Medicare billings. According to federal prosecutors, the whistleblowers alleged that the hospitals admitted Medicare beneficiaries who visited the ER when they should have ... Read More

Google Ending Forced Arbitration for Sexual Harassment, Assault

Responding to internal pressures, Google will end forced arbitration for its current and future employees starting March 21. Spurred by employee protests and walkouts last year, the Menlo Park, California-based tech giant says it will no longer include a forced arbitration clause in its regular employee contracts. The arbitration agreements Google is ditching required workers to waive their right to sue the company for sexual harassment and sexual assault. Google will also strike mandatory arbitration requirements for employees of Google subsidiary companies, including X research and development lab, the DeepMind AI program, and the Access broadband unit. But the changes ... Read More

New study finds ‘compelling’ link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

People exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weed killer Roundup, have a 41 percent increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), according to a new analysis published in the journal Mutation Research. “All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL,” the authors wrote in the study. The study, conducted by researchers with the University of Washington, is the most up-to-date analysis of glyphosate and its link to NHL. It incorporates a “2018 study of more ... Read More

California Pipeline Co. Fined $242K for Deadly Trench Collapse

A California pipeline company faces penalties of $242,500 for a deadly trench collapse it could have prevented had it followed basic safety rules. According to Cal/OSHA, on July 27 of last year, Platinum Pipeline Inc. of Livermore ordered its employees to grade the bottom of an unsecured 14-foot-deep trench even when it identified the soil as unstable. The workers, who were given no protection from a possible trench cave-in, were digging trenches to install two storm drain pipes at a residential construction site in Daly City. Three of the five workers were trained and competent in excavation processes and hazards, but ... Read More