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Kansas 227 articles

Counselor Files Federal Complaint Against Haskell University Alleging Whistleblower Retaliation

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A counselor employed by Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan., has filed a whistleblower complaint against the university, alleging it retaliated against her after she advocated for a rape victim’s Title IX rights. Counselor Angelina Adams was assigned to help a rape victim with support services and academic accommodations in the wake of her rape report and protracted criminal trials that ensued. Her duties included making sure the student received her rights under Title IX, a federal law that requires universities to investigate reports of sexual harassment and take measures to prevent sexual violence on campus. The law also ... Read More

PPI cases seeking consolidation into MDL in Louisiana

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Plaintiffs are looking to consolidate PPI cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). They filed a motion for transfer with the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on Oct. 17. The lawsuits have in common that they allege “negligence, design defect, failure to warn, fraudulent concealment, warranty claims and loss of consortium” as the cause of action against defendants, manufacturers of acid-reducing drugs PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. PPI users are alleging serious kidney injuries, such as chronic kidney disease, acute interstitial nephritis and kidney failure. “There are 15 actions currently filed in 12 different ... Read More

Regional OSHA Campaign Targets Amputation Hazards In Factories

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In 2015, U.S. labor officials received reports of more than 2,600 amputations sustained by workers across the country. The alarming number of U.S. workers receiving painful and debilitating injuries every year prompted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to launch a targeted enforcement campaign in four states where accidental workplace amputations run high: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. OSHA’s targeted enforcement efforts take aim at the manufacturing industry, where 57 percent of the nation’s on-the-job amputations occurred last year. The agency’s goal is to inspect manufacturing facilities, enforce safety regulations, and hold employers responsible for protecting workers and reducing ... Read More

For-Profit College Chain Shuts Down Ahead of Whistleblower Lawsuit Trial

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Heritage College, a for-profit chain of schools with 10 campuses in eight states, permanently shut its doors just days after the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals revived a whistleblower lawsuit accusing it of falsifying student records and grades to maintain a flow of federal financial aid money. Former Heritage employees Chickoiyah Miller and Cathy Sillman sued Denver-based Heritage College in 2011 under the whistleblower provisions of the U.S. False Claims Act, accusing the school of altering the grade and attendance records of students who were doing poorly so that those students remained eligible for federal financial aid. The plaintiffs allege ... Read More

Imported frozen Strawberries Recalled Amid Hepatitis A Outbreak

strawberries, frozen - Flickr

An Egyptian food exporter is recalling certain lots of frozen strawberries in response to an outbreak of Hepatitis A virus. U.S. health officials traced the outbreak to frozen Egyptian strawberries used in smoothies served at some Tropical Smoothie Café establishments. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing (ICAPP), based in Ramadan, Egypt, is recalling the frozen strawberries it sent to the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2016, out of an abundance of caution. The recall came a few days after the FDA said ICAPP’s frozen strawberries would not be admitted into ... Read More

Oklahoma Considers More Oil and Gas Restrictions After Another Earthquake

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Oklahoma regulators say they will take another look at restricting oil and gas extraction within the state in the wake of a 4.5 magnitude earthquake that rocked the northern part of the state and southern Kansas Nov. 1. Tuesday’s earthquake caused little damage, but it was the latest in a series of earthquakes to shake the state. Seismic activity is normally rare in Oklahoma. In 2005, there were just three quakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or higher in the state. In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded 2,500 magnitude 2.5 or higher earthquakes – an alarming increase that parallels ... Read More

Accidental Amputation Leads To Steep Fines For Arkansas Wire Manufacturer

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Federal safety regulators hit a western Arkansas wire manufacturer with harsh penalties after one of its employees suffered a machine-related amputation, and a subsequent inspection found that the company had been cited for the same problems twice in the past. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it fined Bekaert Corp. of Van Buren $124,710 for a repeat violation for exposing workers to machines with “unguarded pinch points” that expose workers’ fingers and hands to the risk of amputation. OSHA said that the injured Bekaert worker had been untangling wire that became jammed in the machine when the ... Read More

Kansas Home Health care Provider Pays $1.8 Million To Resolve Whistleblower’s Kickback Allegations

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A Kansas home health care company and its owner have agreed to pay the U.S. $1.8 million to settle allegations brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that they paid unlawful kickbacks for Medicaid patient referrals. The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday that Best Choice Home Health Care Agency Inc. of Kansas City, Kansas, and its owner, Reginal King, allegedly boosted Medicaid billings actively seeking referrals and paying for them. According to the False Claims Act lawsuit, Mr. King and Best Choice entered into a kickback arrangement with Christopher Thomas, an individual who transported patients from their ... Read More

Factory Accident Envelopes Atchison, Kansas, In Chemical Cloud

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Health authorities say the air quality in and around Atchison, Kan., has returned to normal after a toxic chemical cloud released from a local food additive and beverage plant enveloped the city Friday morning, sending more than 100 people to the hospital. The accident happened at the MGP Ingredients plant a couple minutes after 8 a.m. when a worker at the facility accidentally combined sulfuric acid and sodium hypochlorite, creating a reaction that sent a massive plume of chlorine gas over the city. The noxious smog was so thick in some areas that it reduced visibility to near zero. “Two ... Read More

Arkansas Landowners Ask Appeals Court To Revive Oil Spill Class Action Against Exxon

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Arkansas landowners living along a 70-year-old pipeline that ruptured in March 2013 and flooded the town of Mayflower with crude oil appeared before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minn., to ask the three-judge panel to revive their complaint against Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. Lawyers for the landowners argue that the case should be reinstated because they can prove that the pipeline is damaging their property and diminishing their ability to enjoy it. The landowners claim that easements say the company is responsible for repairing, replacing, or removing the pipeline, which stretches 850 miles from Illinois to ... Read More