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fines 40 articles

OSHA penalties to be adjusted to meet changes in inflation index; first increase since 1990

Thanks to an update to the congressional budget, employers in violation of federal workplace laws may be facing steeper proposed penalties than in previous years. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has not increased its citation fines since 1990, has asked Congress to determine a “catch-up” percentage related to the changes in the inflation index, OSHA’s Omaha-area office director Jeff Funke told Omaha World-Herald. Although it is currently unknown what the increase will be based on, if the inflation bump is affixed to the difference between the 2015 Consumer Price Index and the 1990 Consumer Price ... Read More

BP trial judge issues scathing criticism of BP legal team

The federal judge overseeing Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation in New Orleans said he was “deeply disappointed” in the behavior of BP’s legal team, condemning it for attempting to undermine his authority and undo the complex settlement agreement with plaintiffs that it helped design. Judge Carl Barbier issued the unusually striking order Nov. 22 in response to an “emergency motion” the oil giant filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In that motion, BP accuses the judge of refusing to suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments it believes are being sent to claimants ... Read More

Lawsuit seeks to cease illegal production, marketing of products from drug company

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against a Louisiana pharmaceutical company to stop the sale of drugs that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says are labeled incorrectly and have not received federal clearance to be marketed in the United States. Sage Pharmaceuticals, based in Shreveport, has been making and selling prescription painkillers and over-the-counter cold medicines and wound cleansers without FDA approval. The agency says it has been repeatedly warning the company to stop illegally making and distributing the products. In 2000, the government filed an injunction against Sage Pharmaceuticals, to prevent the company from selling two unapproved ... Read More

Toyota moves to settle sudden-acceleration lawsuit chosen as first bellwether case

In what appears to be a move to keep potentially damaging cases from trial, Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to settle a sudden-acceleration lawsuit filed by the families of two people killed in a 2010 crash in Utah. The case had been scheduled to go to trial February 19 as the first of three bellwether cases involving runaway Toyota vehicles. The cases were selected to represent the larger body of wrongful death and personal injury litigation the Japanese auto giant faces over allegations that its vehicles contain a defect that can cause them to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly. Details of ... Read More

Deepwater Horizon victim’s father says BP should be fined $45 billion

Critics of the U.S. Justice Department’s $4.5-billion agreement with BP to settle criminal fines related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill think the oil giant got off the hook too easy. Among those critics is Billy Fred Anderson, a father whose son died in the April 2010 explosion that destroyed BP’s oil rig. Mr. Anderson stated his harsh opinion of the agreement in a court filing under a law that permits victims to comment on deals reached between the Justice Department and parties pleading guilty to criminal charges. BP “killed my son in their efforts to speed up operations, to ... Read More

BP employees arraigned on manslaughter, obstruction charges

Two BP well site leaders have been arraigned on manslaughter charges for the deaths of 11 workers who lost their lives when Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago. A third man faces a federal felony charge for hiding information from Congress about the volume of oil that gushed from the well for more than 80 days while he was employed by BP. Under an agreement reached with the Justice Department earlier this month, BP said it would plead guilty to 11 manslaughter counts related to its Deepwater Horizon disaster and one felony ... Read More

BP is attempting to discredit oil spill studies, scientists warn court

Independent scientists who computed the volume of oil released by BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill say the oil giant’s lawyers are using the federal court system to attack their calculations. Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts published a paper in the journal Science Thursday objecting to tactics used by BP and other corporations to potentially discredit and cast doubt over scientific conclusions. Such schemes, they say, involve subpoenaing correspondence between peers and other documents, which may be taken out of context, misconstrued, or even deliberately misrepresented in court in an effort to cast doubt over their findings. ... Read More

Alabama leaders express high hopes for BP oil spill fine money

President Obama signed the RESTORE Act into law Friday, a measure that will channel billions of dollars in BP oil spill fine money away from federal coffers, sending it instead directly to the Gulf Coast states to aid in environmental and economic recovery. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) introduced the RESTORE Act in July 2011 in an effort to ensure most of the fines collected under the Clean Water Act would be invested on the Gulf Coast. Under federal law, such fines collected by the government are normally deposited in a general fund used for the cleanup ... Read More

Whistleblowers to get cut of record fines in health care fraud case

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will pay a combined total of $3 billion in civil and criminal fines and plead guilty to pushing two of its popular drugs for unapproved purposes and withholding important safety information about a third drug from U.S. regulators. A group of whistleblowers instrumental to the case, which is considered to be the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, will receive a percentage of the fines for their role in aiding the federal government’s investigation and helping to recover taxpayer money. At the center of the case was GSK’s illegal marketing of the drug Paxil to treat ... Read More

Abbott to pay $1.5 billion for illegally promoting Depakote, thanks to whistleblower lawsuits

Abbott Laboratories has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $1.5 billion to resolve criminal and civil charges for fraudulently promoting its anti-seizure drug Depakote for a number of unapproved, off-label purposes. The near-record payout, the second largest by a drug company according to the U.S. Justice Department, also resolves four whistleblower lawsuits brought against Abbott Laboratories under the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the United States and share a percentage of funds recovered. Deputy U.S. Attorney General James M. Cole said Monday’s settlement “shows further evidence of our deep commitment to public health ... Read More