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Los Angeles 410 articles

Greyhound-Tractor Trailer Crash Kills Seven on New Mexico Highway

At least seven people are dead and several others injured after a tractor-trailer plowed into a Greyhound bus head-on on I-40 in western New Mexico Thursday morning. The deadly collision occurred in the westbound lanes of I-40 near the town of Thoreau, New Mexico, about 100 miles west of Albuquerque and near the Arizona border. New Mexico authorities investigating the crash said that a tractor-trailer traveling eastbound crossed the median and collided with the bus head-on. They said it appears the driver of the tractor-trailer lost control of the vehicle after a tire blowout. Aerial footage of the crash site ... Read More

Residents sue SoCal Gas for cancer risk after massive gas leak

More than 9,000 residents are pushing a class action lawsuit against Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) asking for up to $2.5 billion in damages over a massive gas leak that released cancer-causing benzene into the environment when 100,000 metric tons of methane spewed out of a pressurized gas field in the Aliso Canyon three years ago. Many residents said they became ill after the gas leak. Some were forced out of their homes. At issue is how much benzene was released during the gas leak. A SoCalGas engineer claims it was only trace amounts. The company also contends that there “is ... Read More

SoCalGas To Pay $120 Million For Aliso Canyon Blowout Costs

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has agreed to pay nearly $120 million to cover costs resulting from its months-long Aliso Canyon methane gas blowout that forced thousands of residents to abandon their homes. The SoCalGas leak started on Oct. 23, 2015, and continued to blast methane gas from the Aliso Canyon well until Feb. 18, 2016. The blowout was the largest single release of methane in U.S. history, according to the Associated Press. The blowout prompted health complaints from residents in and around Porter Ranch, a community in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley region, and stoked concerns of benzene, a ... Read More

U.S. Fights Opioid Epidemic With New Newark/Philadelphia Strike Force

The federal government is expanding its efforts to combat the nation’s opioid crisis and health care fraud with a new regional Medicare Fraud Strike Force operation for the Newark and Philadelphia areas. The Newark/Philadelphia Medicare Strike Force location is the tenth region-specific operation. All of the Strike Force locations monitor health care activity in a specific region for fraud affecting government health care programs. The growing crisis of opioid abuse and addiction has not just harmed tens of thousands of individuals and their families across the U.S., it has also taken its toll on the Medicare program, which loses billions ... Read More

Recovery of Alaska Tour Plane Crash Victims Too Dangerous to Proceed

Efforts to recover the bodies of five people killed in an Alaska “flightseeing” plane crash earlier this month have been called off, park rangers said, because the operation would exceed an acceptable level of risk to recovery workers. “Due to the unique challenges posed by the steepness of terrain, the crevasse, avalanche hazard and the condition of the aircraft, NPS has determined that recovery of the deceased and/or removal of the aircraft exceed an acceptable level of risk in all three factors and will not be attempted,” the National Park Service said in a news release. The de Havilland Beaver ... Read More

Whistleblower Awarded $17 Million for Exposing Medicare Fraud

A whistleblower who filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against Prime Healthcare Services, one of the nation’s largest hospital chains, and its founder and chief executive officer, has received an award of $17,225,000 for helping the U.S. recover $65 million in Medicare funds. The U.S. Department of Justice said that Karin Berntsen, the former Director of Performance Improvement at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego, brought the suit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Ms. Berntsen alleged that Prime Healthcare Services, Prime Healthcare Foundation, Prime Healthcare Management, and CEO Dr. Prem Reddy routinely admitted Medicare patients ... Read More

Jury Sides With Whistleblowers in School Board Retaliation Case

Two whistleblowers who were allegedly fired from California’s Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) in East Los Angeles in retaliation for calling out “lies, fraud, and corruption” within the Board’s leadership have been awarded more than $3 million. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury heard the whistleblower retaliation complaint, brought by Susanna Contreras Smith the ex-superintendent of the school district, and Cleve Pell, the district’s former operations officer, in June 2017. The plaintiffs argued they were wrongfully fired for standing up to cronyism and other misconduct by then-Board of Education and Chief Business Officer Ruben J. Rojas. Lawyers for the whistleblowers ... Read More

Los Angeles casino bus crash injures 25 passengers

More than two dozen people were injured after a casino shuttle bus carrying 32 people crashed in the early morning hours into a barrier along Highway 10 in Los Angeles and tipped over, skidding to a stop. Twenty-five passengers were taken to nearby hospitals. Four were listed in serious condition, five were in fair condition, and the rest were listed in good condition, according to fire officials. The bus was transporting people from the Pala Casino in San Diego County to Koreatown at about 4 a.m. on July 14 when it collided head-on with sand-filled buffers near the 110 Freeway ... Read More

Woman fights to reinstate $417 million jury award in talc case

Elisha Echeverria, overseeing the estate of her deceased mother Eva Echeverria, who won a $417 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson in August over claims that its talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer, appealed to a California judge to rethink his decision to toss the award arguing that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings. Eva Echeverria and six other women filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in Los Angeles Superior Court in July 2016, arguing that regular genital use of J&J talcum powders, like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, for feminine hygiene were ... Read More

Mistrial called after mesothelioma victim dies

Ilene Brick lived a full life, but at the age of 94 she received a horrific diagnosis: mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of internal organs, like the lungs. The disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral made up of microscopic fibers found in many building and industrial materials. It can take 10 to 50 years for the disease to develop. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma typically kills within 12 to 24 months. Ilene was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs. How could ... Read More