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law firm 303 articles

Hawking Sealed Whistleblower Lawsuits Gets DC Lawyer Prison Sentence

A former U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) lawyer who pleaded guilty to charges related to his stealing and selling copies of whistleblower lawsuits has been sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison. Jeffrey Wertkin, 41, left his Justice Department job in 2016 and joined a prominent Washington D.C. law firm, taking with him copies of 40 whistleblower complaints that were under seal. At the Justice Department, Mr. Wertkin worked in a division that handles civil whistleblower complaints filed under the False Claims Act. The lawsuits, filed by informants who allege fraud against federal programs and agencies, remain under ... Read More

Missouri supreme court hears venue arguments in talc-ovarian cancer case

Michael Blaes has been struggling to seek justice for his wife Shawn since she died from ovarian cancer in 2010. He claims that her regular use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing products, like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, on her genitals for feminine hygiene caused her deadly cancer. Since he first filed the lawsuit, the case has been hit with one procedural fight after another. In the latest fight, Johnson & Johnson last week asked the Missouri Supreme Court to transfer Blaes’ case out of St. Louis, a venue in which juries have awarded multi-million dollar verdicts to ... Read More

Ovarian cancer risk warning added to generic talc products

Some generic talcum powder products that rival Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower now carry ovarian cancer warnings on their labels, even though Johnson & Johnson has repeatedly refused to add warnings on its talc-containing products. Meanwhile, the consumer health care giant is being hit with multiple eight- and nine-figure verdicts in cases alleging the company knew of the cancer risks with its products but failed to warn consumers. Last August, jurors in Los Angeles who returned a $417 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a talc-ovarian cancer case heard evidence that some generic brands of talc-containing products ... Read More

Whistleblower Warns Regulators of Stock Market Manipulation

The biggest index used by Wall Street to gauge stock market volatility, known as the Cboe Volatility Index or VIX, is being manipulated, causing wild market swings and costing investors hundreds of millions of dollars a month, an anonymous whistleblower has warned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The whistleblower, a senior executive who worked at many of the largest investment firms in the world, made the allegations in a letter to the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent by a Washington D.C. law firm. According to USA Today, the whistleblower alleges that the market manipulators are ... Read More

California Whistleblower Case Against BP Recovers $102 Million

BP has agreed to pay $102 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought under California’s False Claims Act alleging the oil company intentionally overcharged the state for natural gas for more than a decade. The law firm representing the whistleblower in the case said it is the largest whistleblower settlement involving an oil company in California’s history, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The case started on July 3, 2012, when former BP employee Chris Schroen filed a whistleblower complaint with the state alleging BP was knowingly quoting and charging the state gas prices above the contractual price cap. The ... Read More

CVN names talc verdict No. 1 on Top 10 Most Impressive list

One woman’s trial against consumer health care giant Johnson & Johnson alleging cancer risks with the company’s talc-containing products was named the most impressive plaintiff verdict in 2017 by Courtroom View Network (CVN), a news organization that webcasts high-stakes civil trials. The news organization covered a variety of litigation to compile its Top 10 list, including bellwether product liability trials, medical malpractice trials, and complex commercial trials. The verdicts were not ranked solely by amount awarded. The news group also took into consideration the facts of each case, the parties and attorneys involved, and the potential broader impact of the ... Read More

Attorneys fight to reinstate $70M talc verdict for ovarian cancer victim’s family

Attorneys for Jacqueline Fox, whose $70 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in 2016 was overturned over questions about jurisdiction, plan to file a motion to transfer her case to the Missouri Supreme Court. The announcement was made this week, after The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District denied a motion to reinstate the verdict. Fox’s family had sued Johnson & Johnson over claims that prolonged use of the company’s baby powder on her genitals caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict was later overturned based on the Supreme Court ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court, over issues ... Read More

Opinion: J&J may have a hard time overcoming personal jurisdiction in Missouri

In light of Missouri trial Judge Rex M. Burlison upholding the May 2016 verdict of $110 million in favor of plaintiff Lois Slemp, finding that although she is a Virginia resident her case meets the jurisdictional standards laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court, Law360 addresses the potential future of talc trials in Missouri. The Supreme Court ruled in June in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, effectively changing the previously functioning rules for establishing personal jurisdiction for out-of-state plaintiffs. The trial that had been underway for two weeks on behalf of three women who died of ovarian ... Read More

Natural remedies for hair loss can’t help Taxotere users

Everyone loses some hair, with the loss of 74 to 100 old hairs per day being normal as hairs reach the end of their four- to six-year lifespan. However, some people experience excessive hair loss. This can be caused by autoimmune disease alopecia; damaging hair treatments and styles; side effects of medications such as chemotherapy; as well as changes such as pregnancy, stress, and weight loss. Health issues such as some vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, liver malfunction, and even high blood pressure can also have an effect on your hair, causing unwanted excessive loss. For those who might be dealing ... Read More

Natural Gas Explosion Levels House, Kills Ohio Woman

Authorities in Kettering, Ohio, are investigating an apparent natural gas explosion that leveled a house early Dec. 5 and threw its occupant, a 58-year-old woman, into a neighbor’s yard. The Montgomery County Coroner confirmed to the press that Darlene Baumgarder died from injuries she sustained in the Dec. 6 natural gas explosion. According to Dayton, Ohio’s WDTN 2 News, no others are believed to have been in the house at the time of the blast, which completely leveled the house and damaged other homes in the area. The Kettering Fire Department told WDTN that Ms. Baumgarder was found in her ... Read More