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Ward Mason named Rising Star for talc litigation work

For the second year in a row Law360 has chosen Beasley Allen’s Danielle Ward Mason as one of its Rising Stars, nationally recognized attorneys younger than 40 who are impressing with accomplishments often not seen until later in an attorney’s career. This year’s winners were selected by a team of Law360 editors from among 1,200 submissions. Ward Mason was chosen for her work as second-in-command in the firm’s talc litigation against Johnson and Johnson and Imerys Talc America, where she helped win $307 million in verdicts on behalf of ovarian cancer victims who were not warned that perineal exposure to ... Read More

Navy Whistleblower Alleges Major Safety Violations

A civilian Navy engineer who spoke out about potentially deadly safety violations and other problems that threaten the lives of Navy pilots says he was fired in June in retaliation for raising concerns. Glenn Schwarz, a civilian aeronautical-engineering technician, claims that his supervisors put him in a highly technical and sensitive job calibrating equipment for weapons systems testing and aircraft support even though he lacked the skills and qualifications for the job, The Washington Free Beacon reports. Mr. Schwarz also claims that on-the-job training managers failed to comply with Navy regulations at the Metrology and Calibration (METCAL) laboratory and across ... Read More

CSX To Appeal Jury Verdict For Camerawoman Killed

CSX Railroad intends to appeal a jury verdict ordering it to pay $3.9 million to the family of a woman killed on the set of “Midnight Rider,” a movie about the life of singer Gregg Allman, after it had just started shooting in southeastern Georgia. Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant, was killed when she was hit by a CSX train Feb. 20, 2014, on a railroad trestle spanning the Altamaha River in Doctortown, Georgia. Six other members of the film crew were injured by flying debris and shrapnel. Richard and Elizabeth Jones, Sarah’s parents, sued CSX and 11 others ... Read More

Family of film worker Killed By CSX Train Awarded $3.9M

A Chatham County, Georgia, jury ordered CSX Transportation to pay nearly $4 million to the family of a film crew member killed on a railroad trestle in 2014 during the shooting of a biopic about Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant, was run over by a CSX freight train and killed during the first day of filming “Midnight Rider” on Feb. 20, 2014. The crew was on a railroad trestle in Southeastern Georgia filming a scene with actor William Hurt, who was cast to play Mr. Allman, when a CSX train barreled through ... Read More

Work injury, amputation results in $17M verdict

A Riverside, California, man whose work-related injuries led to multiple surgeries and an eventual leg amputation was awarded $17 million by a Riverside Superior Court jury. Steven Meier, 62, a former security guard for Securitas Security Services, was patrolling a PennySaver USA facility in Mira Loma, California, when a forklift backed into him and ran him over in October 2013. The forklift crushed Mr. Meier’s leg and dragged him several feet, tearing the skin from his leg below the knee.  Another forklift was used to get the first forklift off of him. Mr. Meier had to undergo 11 surgeries over ... Read More

E-Cigarette Burn Injuries Prompt Lawsuit

An Illinois man and his wife are suing two e-cigarette vendors and a battery manufacturer for damages after a pair of lithium-ion batteries for an e-cigarette exploded in the man’s pants pockets, leaving him with debilitating second- and third-degree burn injuries. The Chicago Tribune reports that a Plainfield couple filed a negligence and product liability complaint in Cook County Circuit Court against Rockin Vape, Tobacco Zone, and battery manufacturer LG, alleging the defective e-cig batteries caused the disaster that left the husband with severe burn injuries, lost work, and a mountain medical bills. The man, a father of five who owns ... Read More

Medicare Advantage whistleblower suit recovers $32.5M

Medicare Advantage plan providers Freedom Health, Optimum Healthcare, and their affiliates agreed to pay the U.S. government and State of Florida a combined $32.5 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged the companies exaggerated patient diagnosis codes and overstated the resources it had available to patients. The whistleblower lawsuit was filed in federal court in Tampa in 2009 by Dr. Darren Sewell, who worked for Freedom and Optimum for five years, most recently as a vice president. Dr. Sewell alleged that the companies violated the False Claims Act by submitting false information to Medicare about their members’ medical conditions ... Read More

GM Ignition Switch Bellwether Trial Begins

A fourth bellwether trial that will help determine the course of litigation for hundreds of lawsuits seeking damages from General Motors (GM) allegedly caused by defective ignition switches opened Monday, July 10, in New York. In the newest trial, plaintiff Dennis Ward claims the ignition defect that GM concealed for years caused his Chevrolet HHR to crash in Tucson, Arizona. He alleges the March 2014 crash left him with a permanent leg injury. According to the New York Law Journal, Mr. Ward claims in court documents that he was traveling on South Kolb Rd. in Tucson when he noticed a ... Read More

First California talc trial scheduled to start today

Today the first California talc trial is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles Superior Court. Plaintiff Eva Echeverria’s suit was chosen as the first of hundreds filed in the state and consolidated into a complex litigation to go to trial because Echeverria, who has ovarian cancer, has been diagnosed with only six months to live. She alleges that her cancer was caused by years of using Johnson and Johnson’s talc products, such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower according to instructions for feminine hygiene. Besides Johnson and Johnson, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is Imerys ... Read More

Physiomesh MDL established in Atlanta

Nearly 70 lawsuits against Ethicon over its Physiomesh hernia repair mesh device have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Atlanta, Georgia. Ethicon is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated the lawsuits in the Northern District of Georgia before Judge Richard W. Story. Mass Tort Nexus reports that the consolidation has centralized the actions pending throughout 36 various district courts, with dozens of lawyers scattered among them. Although each case is unique, the complaints shared common elements of device failure such as herniation through the mesh itself, recurrent hernia formation and hernia rupture, ... Read More