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Maryland 195 articles

Class-Actions, Criticisms Mount Over Equifax Data Breach

Equifax was reckless in its handling of sensitive data concerning millions of U.S. residents and their finances, a class-action lawsuit filed against the credit-monitoring corporation alleges. The lawsuit, filed last week in an Atlanta federal court, is one of 23 similar lawsuits filed on behalf of plaintiffs nationwide who allege they suffered financial harm because of Equifax’s failure to keep consumer information secure. According to the Tribune News Service, the lawsuit filed in Atlanta faults Equifax for “gargantuan failures to secure and safeguard consumers’ personally identifiable information … and for failing to provide timely, accurate and adequate notice” to those ... Read More

U.S. Researchers Create Lithium-ion Battery Without Fire, Explosion Risk

Could explosive lithium-ion batteries and all the injury and property damage they cause soon be a thing of the past? Researchers with the University of Maryland and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have developed the world’s first lithium-ion battery that uses a salt-water electrolyte and hits the 4.0-volt mark needed for laptop computers and other household electronics without the risk of explosion and fire that traditional non-aqueous lithium-ions present. “In the past, if you wanted high energy, you would choose a non-aqueous lithium-ion battery, but you would have to compromise on safety. If you preferred safety, you could use an aqueous ... Read More

Hours-of-Service Rules Relaxed In Wake of Harvey Flooding

Federal transportation officials have declared a state of emergency relaxing hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers in 26 states to help expedite the overland shipment of fuel in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made the announcement August 31 in response to “fuel shortages due to refinery delays and interruption of delivery through pipelines as a result of damage from Tropical Storm Harvey.” The storm dropped a record amount of rainfall in Houston and other parts of coastal Texas and Louisiana, resulting in the loss of power to major U.S. oil refineries, including ... Read More

Two tons of chicken kabobs recalled

An estimated 20,000 pounds of Expresco Goods Inc. chicken kabobs have been recalled after U.S. officials found Listeria monocytogenes during a routine foreign shipment inspection of the Canadian company’s imports. Both Expresco and West End Cuisine brand chicken kabobs are under recall, according to Food Safety News. No adverse events have been reported in relation to the fully cooked chicken kabobs packaged on Aug. 9, 2017, and Aug. 15, 2017. However, listeriosis, caused by the germ Listeria monocytogenes, can cause serious infection in those who eat contaminated food, particularly for newborns, those who are pregnant, older adults and people with ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Recovers $123K For Medicare

A Baltimore hospital has agreed to settle a federal False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a whistleblower who alleged the hospital overbilled Medicare through the misuse of billing codes, resulting in higher reimbursements from the federal health care program. St. Agnes Healthcare will pay the U.S. government $122,928 to resolve claims made by Dr. Jonathan Safren, a former St. Agnes cardiologist. Dr. Safren’s allegations were investigated and ultimately supported by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal agencies. According to the whistleblower complaint, St. Agnes acquired a medical practice consisting of ... Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuit Recovers $450K From Government Contractor

A Maryland-based infrastructure contractor has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $450,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it failed to pay its workers according to the prevailing wage required by federal labor standards when performing work for the government. Midasco LLC of Elkridge, Maryland, worked as a subcontractor on a Virginia highway project that created about 29 miles of reversible high-occupancy toll lanes along the I-95/I-495 corridor. Midasco’s contract included installation of highway signage, lighting, toll gantries, ITS infrastructure, and electrical communication components. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, federal officials investigated ... Read More

Five Missing After Black Hawk Helicopter Crashes in Hawaii

Late Tuesday night, a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, CNN reported. Five crew members were on board when the helicopter lost communications with Wheeler Army Airfield on the island of Oahu. Approximately 80 minutes later at 11:28 p.m. local time, the U.S. Coast Guard located a debris field near Kaena Point, which is located on the west side of the island. The helicopter was one of two Black Hawk helicopters from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade conducting a routine night training exercise between Kaena Point and Dillingham Airfield, according to the Honolulu ... Read More

DOJ Addresses Opioid Epidemic’s Human and Financial Tolls

The ever-growing and alarmingly deadly opioid epidemic sweeping the U.S. has triggered the formation of a three-year pilot program designed to combat health care fraud related to prescription painkillers, including pill mill schemes run by doctors and pharmacies for profit. The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) new Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit will focus on the “middleman” of the prescription opioid epidemic by identifying and prosecuting individuals who are contributing to the crisis. These perpetrators illegally divert and dispense the drugs for illegitimate purposes and often bill Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and other taxpayer-funded health care programs for them. ... Read More

Papaya recall expanded

More papayas have been recalled for fear they may be contaminated with salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced. Agroson’s LLC of Bronx, New York, is recalling 2,483 boxes of Maradol Papaya Cavi Brand, grown and packaged by Carica de Campeche, and Freshtex Produce of Alamo, Texas, is recalling Valery brand Maradol Papayas also grown and packed by Carica de Campeche, because other brands that buy from this farm have tested positive for salmonella. Affected Agroson’s LLC products were distributed to wholesalers in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey from July 16 to 19, 2017, and were available for sale ... Read More

DOJ launches opioid detection unit

A new Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit has been formed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to focus specifically on opioid-related health care fraud using data to identify and prosecute individuals who contribute to the prescription opioid epidemic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced. The pilot program will fund 12 experienced assistant U.S. Attorneys for a three-year term to crack down on unlawful pill mill schemes and pharmacies that unlawfully divert or dispense prescription opioids for illegitimate purposes. Participating districts include the Middle District of Florida, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern District of Alabama, Eastern District of Tennessee, District ... Read More