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Veterans Sue 3M for Defective Combat Earplugs

Department of Defense contractor 3M faces a series of lawsuits representing hundreds of veterans who allege the company provided U.S. armed forces with defective combat earplugs that failed to work as intended and led to hearing loss and tinnitus as a result. The lawsuits, filed in multiple states including Maryland, Texas, South Carolina and Florida, follow a $9.1 million settlement between 3M and the U.S. government over the same dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2. That agreement resolved allegations that Aearo Technologies, a company that 3M later bought, violated the False Claims Act by selling the U.S. defective combat earplugs ... Read More

Oregon Legislature to pay $1.32 million to resolve sexual harassment claims

The Oregon Legislature has agreed to pay $1.32 million to resolve sexual harassment claims brought by eight women who claimed they had endured unwanted touching, and verbal and electronic propositioning while working in the Legislature. State Sen. Sara Gelser started the ball rolling when she registered a complaint against then-Sen. Jeff Kruse, which led to an investigation by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). That investigation, which wrapped up earlier this year, found that the women had been subjected to sexual harassment and that legislative leadership, namely House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, had failed ... Read More

Police officer claims fellow officers sexually harassed her

A police lieutenant and three sergeants at a Branchburg, New Jersey police department were named in a six-count lawsuit filed by officer Kate Proscia-Berger in Superior Court in Warren County in Phillipsburg. According to the lawsuit, the men sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment. The lawsuit also claims the men retaliated against her and refused to promote her after she reported the incident to supervisors. According to the lawsuit, Proscia-Berger claims one of the sergeants repeatedly asked her for sex since 2002, kissed her and groped her, and even reached for her crotch in a patrol car. ... Read More

Nursing Home Chain Settles ‘largest worthless services’ case in U.S. history

A Tennessee nursing home chain will pay the U.S. and Tennessee more than $18 million in a record settlement that federal officials called the “largest worthless services” case in U.S. history. Vanguard Healthcare, five nursing homes it owns and operates, and two of the company’s executives engaged in a scheme that not only harmed vulnerable patients but cheated Medicare and Medicaid out of millions of dollars, federal prosecutors alleged. Among the Justice Department’s many findings, the Vanguard nursing homes allegedly involved in the scheme failed to administer medications to residents as prescribed; failed to provide standard infection control; failed to ... Read More

Columbia Gas Costs For Mass. Explosions Top $1 Billion

Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource expect to pay about $1.3 billion for damages related to a series of natural gas explosions that destroyed parts of three Massachusetts towns in September. The company said that those costs don’t include expenses related to restoration efforts, such as replacing pipeline and modernizing its infrastructure to prevent a similar event from happening in the future. According to the Associated Press, the NiSource’s latest financial reports show the company allocated $757 million to third-party claims filed against the utility, including property damage. The utility incurred an additional $266 million for other expenses related ... Read More

Environmental group urges Cape towns to stop using Roundup

Environmental advocacy group POCCA (protect our Cape Cod Aquifer) is urging all 15 Cape Cod towns to refrain from applying glyphosate-containing herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup in an effort to protect the health of local citizens. “Glyphosate has proven harmful to people as well as bees,” said Laura Kelley, president of POCCA, and a beekeeper. “There are now 15 countries that don’t allow the sale or use of glyphosate products. We’re asking the town to become a leader and to do the right thing by just taking the next step.” Six months ago, the first lawsuit against Bayer AG’s unit Monsanto ... Read More

Latest Roundup trial currently underway

The first federal trial involving claims that Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup caused cancer is underway in San Francisco, and the outcome may determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits. Edwin Hardeman claims he used Roundup on his 56-acre property in Sonoma County from the 1980s until 2012. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015. He claims that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is carcinogenic and contributed to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. Hardeman’s case is one of about 8,000 filed against Monsanto, and the second to be tried. His trial comes six months after a California jury awarded ... Read More

OSHA Addresses Nebraska’s Alarming Workplace Amputation Trend

Work-related amputation injuries are on the rise in Nebraska workplaces, and so is the number of employers failing to report these debilitating accidents as required by federal law, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said in a recent advisory. An OSHA review of Nebraska workers’ compensation claims found 42 employees suffered amputation injuries statewide in 2018, and employers failed to report more than 65 percent of those injuries to OSHA within 24 hours, as workplace rules and regulations stipulate, the agency said. Farming, meat processing, and other agricultural industries are the cornerstone of Nebraska’s economy, and worker exposures ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps U.S. Nab California Urology Chain For Medicare Fraud

A whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit has led to a $1.85 million settlement between Skyline Urology and the U.S. government, resolving allegations that the Torrance, California-based health care company deliberately overbilled Medicare. Federal prosecutors investigated the whistleblower’s claims and alleged that from January 1, 2013, through 2016, Skyline Urology systematically billed Medicare for evaluation and management services in violation of federal rules. Although some exceptions exist, health care providers are not permitted to bill Medicare for evaluation and management services on the same day a related procedure is performed. This is because the cost of evaluating a patient is included ... Read More

Texas University Faces Negligent Security Complaint Over Alleged Rape

A former Huston-Tillotson University student who alleges she was raped by a campus security guard is suing the college, the man she claims assaulted her, and the security company he worked for. The plaintiff, who did not want to be identified in the lawsuit, was 17 and enrolled as a freshman at the private Austin college when the alleged rape took place on July 30. She says she went off campus to smoke marijuana with a security guard employed by G4S Secure Services, the company contracted by Huston-Tillotson University to provide security. The woman rode with the G4S guard in ... Read More