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criminal 188 articles

GM resisting NHTSA pressure to recall vehicles for potential brake line failure

General Motors (GM) is resisting pressure from federal auto regulators to recall full-size pickup trucks and SUVs from 1999 to 2003 for potential brake failure, the New York Times reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the potential for brake failure in the affected vehicles since 2010. To date the agency has received about 1,000 complaints from owners. The issue affects nearly 1.8 million vehicles. The latest publicly available figures show that NHTSA received reports of 26 crashes and three injuries related to brake line failure in the affected vehicles. Those numbers, from 2011, linked no ... Read More

Nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy provider settles whistleblower lawsuit for $124.24 million

Omnicare Inc., the country’s largest provider of prescription drugs and pharmacy services to nursing homes, has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $124 million to settle whistleblower allegations that it defrauded federal and state Medicare and Medicaid programs through false billings and engaged in illegal kickback schemes. The latest settlement marks the third time in one year that the Cincinnati-based corporation has agreed to settle whistleblower allegations brought against it under the federal False Claims Act, which contains provisions allowing individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government when they have good, original evidence of wrongdoing. Additionally, Omnicare ... Read More

Beasley Allen video takes a look inside GM’s defective ignition assembly

By now, nearly everyone in the U.S. has heard of the dangerous and potentially deadly ignition switch defect that has triggered General Motors (GM) to recall more than 11 million cars worldwide. But as familiar as that news is, the actual mechanics of what is happening inside the steering column may not be clear to many. Beasley Allen law firm has produced a new video in which attorney Mike Andrews shows viewers an actual ignition switch assembly taken from a Chevy Cobalt and demonstrates the flaw that GM has linked to 54 crashes and 13 deaths. “GM has hidden a ... Read More

U.S. Supreme Court to review whistleblower lawsuit against KBR, Halliburton

The U.S. Supreme Court said that it will review a whistleblower lawsuit against KBR Inc. (Kellogg, Brown and Root) and Halliburton Co. alleging the corporations overbilled the U.S. government for work they performed on water-purification projects at two camps in Iraq. The Justices said on Tuesday that they will consider whether the lawsuit, filed by former KBR employee Benjamin Carter under the federal False Claims Act, should move forward. KBR, a global engineering and construction firm, has appealed the decision of a lower court reinstating Mr. Carter’s whistleblower lawsuit. According to the Associated Press, a federal judge had tossed the ... Read More

GM recalling 8.2 million more vehicles for ignition switch error

On the same day it announced a compensation fund for victims of its defective ignition switch, General Motors (GM) announced more massive recalls Monday afternoon, collectively encompassing an additional 8.2 million U.S. vehicles to repair ignition switch defects and other safety problems. The six new recalls GM announced affect 17 model years stretching back to 1997 up until 2014. In addition to the 7.6 million U.S. vehicles recalled, GM recalled another 800,000 vehicles globally, bringing the total number of cars included in the latest recall to 8.4 million. The automaker said that it blames “inadvertent ignition key rotation” in the ... Read More

GM’s plan for ignition switch victim compensation fund flawed; Beasley Allen lawyers weigh in

General Motors (GM) announced on Monday details of its victims’ compensation fund for those harmed by the automaker’s ignition switch defect. The fund, which will be managed by former BP oil spill fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg, will offer at least $1 million to family members of victims who died as a result of the defect, which has led to multiple recalls encompassing about 6 million GM vehicles, including 2.6 million small models and 3.4 million midsize and large cars. GM said the fund is accessible to drivers as well as passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of a second vehicle who were ... Read More

GM blames recall of additional 3 million U.S. vehicles on “made in China” ignition switch flaw

General Motors (GM) said the ignition switches that triggered another recall of millions of vehicles earlier this month were made by a company in China. GM recalled more than 3 million cars in the U.S. June 16 for problems related to the ignition switch, saying that it would replace or rework ignition keys to prevent them from inadvertently slipping out of position while the car is in motion. The GM vehicles affected by the latest recall include the 2005-09 Buick Lacrosse, 2006-11 Buick Lucerne, 2004-05 Buick Regal LS and GS, 2000-05 Cadillac DeVille, 2004-11 Cadillac DTS, 2006-14 Chevrolet Impala, and 2006-08 ... Read More

Leon County, Florida, school system facing multiple whistleblower complaints

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A former executive secretary of the Leon County, Florida School System has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the School Board, alleging it forced her to retire in retaliation for reporting inappropriate construction bid awards, misuse of school funds and property, and other misconduct. The lawsuit is the fourth such whistleblower lawsuit filed by school district employees against the School Board. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Patricia Nichols filed her whistleblower lawsuit May 30 in Leon County Circuit Court, making several accusations that, together with the complaints of other school district whistleblowers, paint a picture of widespread corruption ... Read More

Plaintiffs’ lawyers demand fair compensation terms for victims of GM ignition switch flaw

Lawyers from Beasley Allen and other firms representing plaintiffs harmed in crashes involving defective General Motors (GM) ignition switches say they are happy with the automaker’s plans for a victims’ compensation fund to some extent, but concerns remain about whether the fund would adequately punish GM and compensate some of the victims. GM CEO Mary Barra told a Congressional panel June 18 that the compensation fund would not be capped and that plaintiffs harmed before the company’s 2009 bankruptcy, which diminished much of its liability for pre-bankruptcy crashes, would be covered under the fund. Ms. Barra directed questions about the ... Read More

Celgene’s bid to have whistleblower case tossed is invalid, U.S. argues

The U.S. government threw its support behind a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act against drugmaker Celgene Corp. after the defendant asked a California federal court to throw out the complaint. The lawsuit, filed in 2010 by former Celgene sales representative Beverly Brown, alleges the company illegally marketed its cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for off-label uses and then submitted reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medicaid for the prescriptions. Only drugs that are prescribed for purposes approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reimbursable by federal health care programs. Drugs sold for off-label or “unapproved” ... Read More