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Florida 345 articles

Injuries from Takata exploding airbags often resemble bullet and knife wounds

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Motorists injured by exploding airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata often look like they have been stabbed or shot, CNN reported, citing police who responded to emergencies involving the potentially deadly airbags. In September 2013, Police who first arrived at the scene of a minor car accident in Alhambra, Calif., thought that the driver, Hai Ming Xu, had sustained a gunshot to the face. But Mr. Hai wasn’t the victim of foul play. He was simply maneuvering his 2002 Acura TL in the parking lot of a restaurant where he worked when he accidentally struck the wall of an adjoining ... Read More

Auburn University study finds the BP oil spill may plague state for years to come

tar ball - WSFA

Oil and tar from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill is still trapped in the sand along Alabama’s Gulf beaches four and a half years later, a new study by Auburn University researchers has found. The study may not come as a surprise to the residents of coastal Alabama who frequent the beaches, but it does demonstrate that the oil from the BP disaster is not as quick to degrade as some scientists expected. It’s also another sign that Gulf Coast hasn’t returned to normal the way BP’s television ads have suggested. Many beachgoers might be surprised to find much of ... Read More

Defective Takata air bag inflators lead to second recall expansion by Chrysler amid safety worries

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

There is more drama stirring in the defective Takata air bag inflators situation as Chrysler announces its second recall expansion, this time of 208,783 vehicles, in one week. The expansion comes likely as a reaction from regulators like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which are following the issue closely. Since June, Chrysler has recalled more than 600,000 vehicles featuring the infamous Takata air bags due to reports that the defective Takata air bag inflators may explode, firing tiny metal fragments into drivers and passengers within the vehicle. Honda vehicles in areas of high humidity, such as Florida, have experienced ... Read More

Rite Aid pays settles whistleblower allegations it lured Medicare beneficiaries with gift cards

whistleblower

National retail drugstore chain Rite-Aid has paid the U.S. nearly $3 million to resolve whistleblower allegations brought under the False Claims Act that it used gift cards to manipulate Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries into transferring their prescriptions to Rite-Aid. The Department of Justice said Wednesday that from 2008 to 2010 Rite Aid engaged in an “illegal” and “inappropriate” scheme to use gift cards as a way to lure new business to its stores from those who rely on government-funded health care programs. The company settled the allegations for $2.99 million. “Pharmacies are not allowed to improperly influence the decision-making of ... Read More

Appeals court tosses whistleblower lawsuit under first-to-file rule

whistleblower

Two whistleblowers who sued pharmaceutical companies under the False Claims Act for allegedly inflating wholesale drug prices to Medicare and Medicaid  lost their appeal to have their case reopened because they weren’t the first to file a complaint. A First Circuit Panel ruled Monday that Linnette Sun, a former Express Scripts Inc. employee, and Greg Hamilton, a former Baxter Healthcare Corp. executive, can’t reopen a $29.8 million lawsuit in multidistrict litigation. The pair had appealed the decision of a Massachusetts federal judge who tossed their whistleblower lawsuit in May 2013, arguing that the ruling could discourage other potential whistleblowers from ... Read More

SEC whistleblower program gained momentum in its third year

whistleblower

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that the number of whistleblower tips it received in fiscal year 2014 climbed again to its highest level since Congress created the agency’s Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program three years ago. In its annual report, the agency said the SEC whistleblower program had received more than 3,620 tips from whistleblowers in fiscal year 2014 (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014), up nearly 10 percent from the 3,328 tips that it received in fiscal year 2013. The SEC compiles the report to monitor the health of the program and keep track of how much it ... Read More

U.S. backs whistleblower lawsuit against Florida contracting services firm

whistleblower

The U.S. government has chosen to intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the U.S False Claims Act against Air Ideal Inc., an Orlando, Fla.-based contracting services company and its owner. The lawsuit alleges the company fraudulently misclassified itself as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) company in order to win government contracts for which it wasn’t eligible. The U.S. Justice Department said that Air Ideal and its owner, Kim Amkraut, applied for the HUBZone program in 2010, claiming that the company’s principal office was located in a designated zone. The HUBZone program allows companies that have their primary office ... Read More

Takata defies U.S. regulators’ demand for wider recall of exploding airbags

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Japan’s Takata Corp. is defying federal auto safety regulators who are demanding the supplier and automakers expand recalls of potentially deadly airbags over concerns the devices can explode with excessive force, blasting the driver and passengers with metal fragments. Takata responded to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Tuesday, saying the agency lacks the authority to order recalls from manufacturers that supply automakers with original parts. In November, NHTSA authorities contacted Takata and several automakers demanding a nationwide recall of vehicles fitted with the faulty airbags. The agency took the rare measure after evaluating a report of an exploding ... Read More

Dietary supplement for infants, children recalled due to fungal contamination

Recall - ABC Dophilus Powder Fungus

Solgar, Inc. ABC Dophilus Powder, a dietary supplement for infants and children, is being recalled after testing revealed the products were contaminated with a fungus that can cause potentially dangerous infections. ABC Dophilus Powder is a supplement containing acidophilus, a bacteria that supports the healthy functioning of the intestinal system by promoting a favorable environment for the absorption of nutrients. Testing conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) revealed the presence of Rhizopus oryzae in 1.75 ounce (50 g) containers of Solgar ABC Dophilus Powder, which may cause Mucormycosis, a rare infection. Those at greater risk of developing ... Read More

Honda expands exploding airbag recall again after deadly Malaysia accident

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Honda Motor Corp. has widened its recall of vehicles fitted with faulty airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. by another 170,000 units. The announcement came after the company said that a driver died in Malaysia after being blasted with shrapnel from one of the defective airbags. The fatality in Malaysia was the fifth known record of a driver or passenger being killed by an exploding airbag in a Honda vehicle and the first such death to occur outside of the United States. The Takata airbags at the center of the Honda recall and recalls by 11 different other car ... Read More