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Veterans Sue 3M for Defective Combat Earplugs

Department of Defense contractor 3M faces a series of lawsuits representing hundreds of veterans who allege the company provided U.S. armed forces with defective combat earplugs that failed to work as intended and led to hearing loss and tinnitus as a result. The lawsuits, filed in multiple states including Maryland, Texas, South Carolina and Florida, follow a $9.1 million settlement between 3M and the U.S. government over the same dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2. That agreement resolved allegations that Aearo Technologies, a company that 3M later bought, violated the False Claims Act by selling the U.S. defective combat earplugs ... Read More

Families of Lion Air Victims Take Boeing to Court in US

The families of some of the Lion Air passengers who died when their flight crashed in Indonesia Oct. 29 are suing Boeing Co. in Seattle Municipal Court in Washington, alleging the aircraft manufacturer is partially to blame for the deadly crash. The lawsuit, which has grown to include about 21 family members, alleges that faulty equipment on the brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft contributed to the crash. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that faulty sensor readings informed the autopilot system, causing the airplane to make several anti-stall maneuvers that weren’t needed and put the aircraft in danger. The erroneous readings ... Read More

3M Water Pollution Pushes Alabama Water Utility to Seek State Loan

A north Alabama water utility still grappling with perfluorinated chemical pollution allegedly caused by the 3M plant in Decatur is asking the state to front $58 million for the construction of an advanced water filtration system. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority on its list of 59 water systems nationwide with levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) too high for safe human consumption. The water authority was one of nine water systems deemed unsafe for too-high levels of industrial pollutants stemming from 3M. The WMEL Water Authority acted on ... Read More

4 Attorneys, Pilot Killed in Airplane Crash Over Lake Okeechobee

Partners and lawyers at a Florida law firm are expressing shock after four of their colleagues were killed in a plane crash over Lake Okeechobee last Friday. Eric Peterson, 73, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, a founding member of the Peterson Bernard law firm, perished in the crash, along with Matthew Fiorello, 36, of Palm Beach Gardens; Heather Bridwell, 43, of Jupiter; Edwin “Ted” Mortell III, 54, of Stuart; and their pilot, Eduardo Mulet, 45, of West Palm Beach. The five were traveling on a Piper PA-23-250 airplane on a return flight from Tampa and were in the last stretches of ... Read More

IRS gives tax break to victims of sexual harassment

A loophole that prevented victims of sexual harassment who receive settlements from companies or individuals that victimized them from deducting their legal fees on their taxes has been closed, according to Robert W. Wood, a tax expert and contributor to Forbes. The so-called Weinstein tax law passed December 2017 prohibits individuals and companies that paid hush money settlements in sexual harassment cases from deducting those payments from their taxes. But it also prohibited those who received sexual harassment settlement payments from deducting their legal fees as well. For example, if a person received a $500,000 settlement and her lawyer got ... Read More

Prime Health Care Settles Another Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleging Medicare Fraud

Two employees of a Philadelphia hospital who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital’s parent company and its founder have helped the U.S. government recover $1.25 million in Medicare funds. Prime Health Care Services and Dr. Prem Reddy, the company’s founder and CEO, agreed to settle the whistleblower lawsuit Feb. 14, resolving allegations that two of its hospitals, Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, and Roxborough Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia, engaged in schemes to increase their Medicare billings. According to federal prosecutors, the whistleblowers alleged that the hospitals admitted Medicare beneficiaries who visited the ER when they should have ... Read More

Pressure Cooker Accidents Leave Kids With Lifelong Injuries

The Instant Pot pressure cooker craze that has swept the nation in recent years has inspired a multitude of manufacturers to cash in on the trend by making their own models. Unfortunately, in the rush to market, it seems that some pressure cooker models weren’t properly designed or manufactured, leaving unsuspecting consumers at risk of burns and other injuries. As we have seen in the past, many of the victims of pressure cooker malfunctions are children. Late last summer, an Idaho toddler was severely burned when the Sunday dinner his mother was cooking erupted from the pressure cooker, showering the ... Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuit Leads to $17 Million Recovery from Pentec Health

A whistleblower who filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against her former employer, Pentec Health Inc., has helped the U.S. government recover $17 million for Medicare and other federal health care programs. Jean Brasher filed the whistleblower lawsuit in October 2013 accusing Pennsylvania-based Penter Health Inc. of billing Medicare and other government programs for excessive amounts of its renal drug Proplete. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the whistleblower lawsuit alleged that Pentec also routinely waived patient copayments and deductible obligations to incentivize beneficiaries of the government programs to get Proplete prescriptions, even when more affordable options were available. Additionally, ... Read More

Canadian parliament member calls for independent safety review of glyphosate

Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Carol Hughes is pressing the Canadian government to conduct an independent review of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, to determine the effects of the herbicide on users and whether the chemical can cause cancer. “There was a presentation made at a meeting I recently attended, and one of the lawyers on hand had argued the case in the U.S. that their client, a groundskeeper, had been exposed to the herbicide glyphosate in Roundup and has terminal cancer. It is believed it is caused by years of his exposure to glyphosate,” said ... Read More

Parents Say Tesla Removed Speed Limiter Before Deadly Crash

The parents of a Florida teen who died in a fiery high-speed crash in a Tesla Model S last May are suing the automaker, alleging a Tesla service technician removed a speed limiter device without their consent. Edgar Monserratt and Esperanza Martinez, the parents of 18-year-old Edgar Monserratt Martinez, claim the speed limiter could have prevented the deadly crash. The driver, 18-year-old Barrett Riley, also died in the crash. According to the lawsuit, Barrett Riley’s parents had a speed limiter installed on the Tesla Model S that prevented the car from going over 85 mph. They had the speed limiter ... Read More