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Do acid-reducing PPIs cause kidney damage?

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Kaiser Health News reports on the growing body of research that has linked acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to kidney damage. Some popular brand names include Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec. Particularly concerning were two very large studies published last year including data from hundreds of thousands of patients taking prescription PPIs. Kaiser Health News noted that these types of observational studies, as opposed to clinical trials, suggest associations, but were not designed to prove cause and effect. Both of these studies compared PPI users to those taking another type of heartburn medication, H2 blockers, which include Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac. ... Read More

False Claims Act Complaint Against DynCorp Over Iraq Billing Fraud Stands

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Government contractor DynCorp International will have to face the bulk of allegations made in a False Claims Act lawsuit that accuses the company and a subcontractor of grossly and fraudulently overcharging the U.S. Department of State for security work performed in Iraq. While most False Act Claim lawsuits are filed by private parties under the Act’s whistleblower provisions, the complaint against DynCorp was initiated by the U.S government. Federal Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in Washington D.C. trimmed some claims from the government’s $135 million complaint but allowed the bulk of them to move forward, Law360 reported. Judge Huvelle said May ... Read More

ExxonMobil Not Cooperating in Discovery, Family of Man Killed in Texas Plant Claims

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The family of a worker who died in an industrial accident at an ExxonMobil petrochemical plant in Beaumont, Texas, has filed a motion to compel discovery in the case, alleging the corporate energy giant refuses to cooperate. According to the SE Texas Record, Hector Barron filed suit against ExxonMobil in Jefferson County, Texas, Court, May 17, 2016, seeking damages of more than $1 million for the death of his brother and coworker Miguel Barron. The lawsuit also names AltairStrickland, an industrial engineering company that specializes in petrochemical plant turnarounds, and B&G Crane Service. The lawsuit alleges that on May 11, ... Read More

Connecticut Woman claims IVC Filter injury

IVC filter

A Connecticut woman has filed a lawsuit against Rex Medical for injuries she claims are linked to her failed inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. IVC filters are devices resembling a spider inserted into the vena cava for the purpose of catching blood clots before they cause pulmonary embolism by travelling to the heart or lungs. The Daily Hornet reports that Peggy F. from Connecticut was inserted with an IVC filter on Feb. 2, 2014, at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. The filter was called an Option retrievable filter made by Rex Medical. Retrievable models are fashioned with a hook at the tip ... Read More

CFTC Adopts Stronger Whistleblower Rules and Protections

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Anti-retaliation whistleblower protections are getting a new boost under the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), after the agency’s board unanimously approved amendments to current rules in an effort to make it less risky for would-be whistleblowers to call out fraud and other wrongdoing. Changes to the Commodity Exchange Act will now allow the CFTC and whistleblowers to bring an action against an employer in cases of alleged retaliation. The amendments also bar employers from using confidentiality, pre-dispute arbitration, or similar agreements to obstruct potential whistleblowers from communicating with CFTC staff about possible commodities laws violations, the agency said. In ... Read More

Dietary supplement makers face off in court

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Phoenix, Arizona-based dietary supplement maker Nutritional Distribution LLC is suing Arizona-based rival Total Fitness Warehouse alleging the company sold body building products that contained dangerous and illegal anabolic steroids. By doing this, Nutritional Distribution claims that Total Fitness Warehouse not only put consumers’ health at risk, but the company has also damaged Nutritional Distribution’s online marketing and sales. Nutritional Distribution’s lawsuit claims that Total Fitness targeted body builders and competitive athletes with ads that its products were safe and effective, when in reality they contained hidden drug that could cause serious risks to the liver, heart, and other organs. The ... Read More

CVS/Omnicare Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit for $8 million

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A lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act by a whistleblower who accused CVS subsidiary Omnicare of cheating Medicare and Medicaid through its prescription verification system has been resolved with an $8 million settlement, New Jersey U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced. The deal resolved civil claims that Omnicare, in an effort to increase business efficiency and profit, designed and implemented an automated label verification system that used improper drug codes, resulting in the submission of claims for generic drugs differently from those actually dispensed to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The whistleblower complaint also alleged that the false, patient-specific information on ... Read More

Next St. Louis talc-ovarian cancer trial to start in June

talc ovarian cancer

It’s been just over two weeks since the conclusion of the last trial in St. Louis against Johnson and Johnson over the ovarian cancer risk connected to its talc-containing products. In that trial the Missouri jury found the company and its talc provider, Imerys, to be responsible for the development of plaintiff Lois Slemp’s ovarian tumors. She had used Johnson and Johnson products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for four decades prior to being diagnosed with cancer in 2012. Slemp’s was the fifth bellwether trial to be held in the state, where thousands ... Read More

‘Natural’ sex drugs were tainted, suit says

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Dietary supplement seller JST Distribution LLC is suing a competitor, Adult World Inc., claiming the adult toy store marketed “all natural” sexual enhancement treatments that contained hidden doses of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, Law360 reports. JST claims that Adult World’s mislabeling and false advertising of products such as Black Mamba Premium and Full Throttle On Demand hurt sales of JST’s “legitimate sexual performance enhancement products,” such as Power Desire. “Defendant has created an illegitimate marketplace of consumers seeking to enhance their sexual performance but who were not informed or are misinformed of the serious dangers using defendant’s enhancement products,” ... Read More

Widow Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Husband’s Benzene Exposure

Benzene

A West Virginia widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against four different companies claiming they are responsible for the benzene exposure that led to her husband’s death, the West Virgina Record reports. According to the lawsuit filed on April 24, E. Jane Price is blaming Sistersville Tank Works Inc., Shell Chemical LP, Tauber Oil Company, and Valero Refining-Texas LP for the death of Robert G. Price, her husband. Mrs. Price alleges the companies did not create safety guidelines regarding adequate containing and handling of poisonous chemicals. Robert Price was exposed to toxic chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde, the suit claims, which led to his ... Read More