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Massachusetts 330 articles

Columbia Gas Costs For Mass. Explosions Top $1 Billion

Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource expect to pay about $1.3 billion for damages related to a series of natural gas explosions that destroyed parts of three Massachusetts towns in September. The company said that those costs don’t include expenses related to restoration efforts, such as replacing pipeline and modernizing its infrastructure to prevent a similar event from happening in the future. According to the Associated Press, the NiSource’s latest financial reports show the company allocated $757 million to third-party claims filed against the utility, including property damage. The utility incurred an additional $266 million for other expenses related ... Read More

Too much off-label prescribing of potent fentanyl, study finds

Nearly half of the patients prescribed high potent transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl (TIRF) reserved to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients already on round-the-clock opioid therapy, were given the drugs off-label. Yet, when this evidence surfaced, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dragged its feet on addressing the problem. And when it did, the agency only made a “few substantive changes” to its Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (REMS), according to a study published in JAMA. The REMS for TIRF drugs was approved by the FDA on Dec. 28, 2011, because the medications were very potent and there was a high risk ... Read More

Nursing home faces wrongful death lawsuit

The family of an elderly Massachusetts woman is suing the nursing home where she was living for wrongful death, alleging the facility failed to respond to the 88-year-old woman’s cries of distress, and engaged in a cover-up by withholding the identities of four nurses at the facility charged with her care. Kathryn Miller died March 2015 at Alden Court Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Center in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. The nursing home claimed in court documents that Miller died from a seizure. But her death certificate states that she died from asphyxiation. A post-mortem exam revealed something in her throat that resembled ... Read More

Boeing denied new trial over PTSD claims from harrowing flight

A Massachusetts federal judge nixed Boeing’s request for a retrial in a case involving a woman who won a $2.2 million verdict against the company, finding it was clear from expert testimony that the woman suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder following a nail-biting flight in 2010. Adriana Guzman, a resident of Costa Rica, had flown aboard a Boeing aircraft in 2010 from Miami to Boston along with about 155 other passengers and crew, when at 32,000 feet in the air, an explosion-like noise erupted from the plane. An 18-inch-by-7-inch hole had torn through the 757’s fuselage, ... Read More

MA nursing home agrees to pay $1 million to settle wrongful death lawsuit

A Westborough, Massachusetts, nursing home has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the daughter of an elderly woman who died from injuries sustained after falling at the facility. Candilou C. Hitchcock filed the lawsuit in Worcester Superior Court in 2017. Her mother, Betty “Betsy” Ford Crane, 89, was living at Beaumont Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center when, on July 29, 2015, she fell, suffering blunt force head trauma. She died a week later on Aug. 7, 2015. Crane suffered from dementia and had fallen at least 21 other times while at the facility. ... Read More

Fruit Recalled in Several States Over Listeria Concerns

Concerns of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination in fresh produce have prompted ALDI, Costco, Walmart, and other retailers to recall bags of peaches, nectarines, and plums from stores in several states. Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness and death. The recalled produce was distributed by fruit distributor Jac Vandenberg Inc. of Yonkers, New York. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the recall affects 1,727 cartons of fresh peaches, 1,207 cartons of fresh nectarines, and 365 cartons of fresh plums. ALDI said in a recall announcement that it has removed recalled peaches, nectarines, and plums ... Read More

Perdue’s Sackler family blamed addicts for opioid epidemic

In 1996, Purdue Pharma held a launch party to introduce its new, potent opioid called OxyContin. Then-senior vice president Richard Sackler made a prediction that the party “will be followed by a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition.” Not only was Sackler right, OxyContin became “one of the deadliest drugs of all time,” according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in an amended lawsuit filed against the company. Over the next 20 years since the drug’s launch, Richard Sackler became CEO of Purdue. With family members Beverly, David, Ilene, Lefcourt, Jonathan, Kathe, Mortimer, and Theresa sitting on the ... Read More

Teens almost twice as likely to suffer on-the-job injuries

Nonfatal injury rates for teenagers in Massachusetts is nearly twice that of workers who are at least 25 years old, and nearly half of teen workers who were injured on the job from 2011 to 2015 did not receive health and safety training from their employers, according to a report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For more than 25 years, the Young Workers: Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has tracked work-related injuries to teens under age 18, and has collaborated with partners on a variety of initiatives to prevent injuries to ... Read More

Massachusetts Boosts Tobacco Sales Age to 21

With the New Year comes a new Massachusetts state law boosting the minimum age for the purchase of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21. The new law comes on the heels of data showing that teens are turning to e-cigarettes and other vaping devices in alarming numbers, rolling back decades of progress in reducing smoking rates among U.S. youth. Considering that nicotine is harmful to the developing brains of people 25 and younger, it may be surprising to know that the new law makes Massachusetts just the sixth state to restrict the sale of tobacco products to individuals 21 ... Read More

Majority of those who report workplace harassment face job loss, retaliation

More than two thirds of employees who file a sexual harassment complaint get fired or are retaliated against by their employers, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Employment Equity. The study involved an analysis of more than 46,000 sexual harassment claims made between 2012 and 2016 – before the #MeToo movement took hold last year. The claims were registered with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices. Researchers found that of the people who filed a sexual harassment claim against their employers, more than 64 percent ... Read More