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Senator says Trinity guardrails failed crash test

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) earlier this month said the controversial Trinity guardrails that were at the center of a whistleblower lawsuit have passed all new safety tests, but a U.S. Senator is challenging the agency’s stance. Last year, the FHWA ordered Trinity’s ET-Plus guardrail system to undergo a series of eight tests conducted by a laboratory in San Antonio, Texas. The agency ordered the tests after whistleblower Joshua Harman won the whistleblower lawsuit he filed against Trinity under the False Claims Act. Mr. Harman alleged that Trinity secretly altered the design of the guardrails’ end terminals to save money, ... Read More

Gender discrimination lawsuit seeks $110 million from Novartis


Swiss drugmaker Novartis Corp. is facing another gender discrimination lawsuit alleging the company routinely denies women equal pay and bars them from promotions and leadership positions. The proposed class-action complaint, filed in a New York City federal court, seeks $110 million and comes less than five years after a U.S. jury ordered the company to pay $250 million in another class-action lawsuit that made similar claims. In 2010, that verdict was the largest award in a work discrimination case to be handed down in the U.S. The new complaint alleges that Novartis sustains a “boy’s club atmosphere” hostile to female ... Read More

Blue Bell recall expanded to cover ice cream cups

Recall - blue bell ice cream cups

Following the announcement of ice cream maker Blue Bell’s first recall, the company has decided to expand the recall to include its 3 oz. institutional/food service cups of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream after testing discovered listeria in one of the cups recovered from a Kansas hospital. Blue Bell claims that the listeria-ridden ice cream cup was produced in April 2014 by a plant located in Broken Arrow, Okla. However, the first recall of Blue Bell products, prompted by the deaths of three people at a single Kansas hospital, was made at a plant in Texas. The following products ... Read More

Lawsuit claims arsenic in wines is dangerously high

wine - arsenic

A class action lawsuit filed in behalf of California consumers claims that California wineries are producing wine contaminated with dangerously high levels of arsenic and failing to warn consumers about the potential risks of arsenic exposure. The lawsuit targets 28 wineries including Franzia, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendage, and involve mostly inexpensive white or blush varieties such as moscato, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc. Plaintiffs attorneys say 1,306 different types of wine were tested by BeverageGrades of Denver, and 83 showed dangerously elevated levels of inorganic arsenic in wines. The results were confirmed by two other labs. ... Read More

UnitedHealth to require permission before covering power morcellation


UnitedHealth insurance announced it soon will require doctors to get permission before performing hysterectomies with a controversial surgical procedure known as power morcellation. The news comes after a wave of reports that power morcellation for hysterectomies and myomectomies – the removal of uterine fibroids – can increase the risk of spreading undetected cancer and worsen a woman’s odds of survival. Power morcellators are surgical tools fitted with a blade that minces uterine fibroids or entire uteruses within the uterine cavity and removes the tissue through a small incision in the abdomen. The procedures have been favored by doctors over more traditional ... Read More

FCA recalls 703,000 vehicles due to faulty ignition switches


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently issued a recall for more than 702,578 minivans and SUVs for faulty ignition switches, specifically their Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey and Chrysler Town & Country vehicles. According to FCA, rough road conditions can cause the ignition switch to move into the “off” or “accessory” position while driving. This problem can unexpectedly turn off the engine or disable the airbags, power steering and power braking. FCA has recalled many vehicles for the same issue in the past. Specifically, this recall affects 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country vehicles, as well as 2009 and 2010 Dodge ... Read More

Senator calls for probe into Lumber Liquidators flooring

laminate flooring

Following a 60 Minutes special reporting that Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese-made laminates contained high levels of the dangerous carcinogen formaldehyde, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is now advocating for federal officials to step in and investigate the recent allegations. “The federal government must step in to investigate whether this product is dangerous and if a recall or other disciplinary action must be taken,” Schumer proclaimed, standing in front of a Lumber Liquidators showroom in New York City. According to NBC News, Schumer is asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as well as other federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuit against Adventist hospital network recovers $5.4 million for U.S.


A Florida oncologist will receive more than $1 million for his role in exposing False Claims Act violations in several Florida hospitals operated by the Adventist Health System Sunbelt Healthcare Corporation. The U.S. Justice Department said that Adventist has agreed to pay $5,412,502 to settle allegations filed in a whistleblower complaint by Dr. Michael Montejo, a radiation oncologist and former employee of Florida Oncology Network P.A., a radiation oncology group. In his lawsuit, Dr. Montejo claimed that several Adventist hospitals in Florida were providing radiation oncology services to Medicare and TRICARE (the Defense Department’s health care program) beneficiaries that weren’t ... Read More

More Xarelto bleeding risk lawsuits filed


Elsie Smith, 87, of Bridgeport, Conn., is one of hundreds of people who have filed a lawsuit against the makers of Xarelto claiming they were never warned the blood thinner could cause them uncontrollable, life threatening bleeding. Smith claims she was prescribed the drug in 2012 and used it for two years before she suffered “a life-threatening bleeding incident,” in 2014. Xarelto, made by Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, is one of the first drugs from a new class of anticoagulants hit the market as a “safer and more convenient” alternative to the long-used warfarin ... Read More

Lawsuit faults defective electrical systems for airplane crash

Sooners QB Steve Davis

TULSA, Okla. — A defective electrical distribution system and faulty wiring are to blame for a 2013 airplane crash that killed a former University of Oklahoma quarterback and his friend, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed this week. The lawsuit, filed Monday in a Tulsa, Okla., federal court, seeks unspecified damages from the plane’s manufacturer, Beechcraft Corp., and Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support LLC, which repaired, maintained, and warranted the Hawker Beechcraft model 390 twin-engine jet. Former OU quarterback Steve Davis, 60, and his friend Wes Caves, 58, died March 17, 2014 after the airplane lost power during flight ... Read More