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Oklahoma 182 articles

Flavored ice pops recalled due to listeria scare

Warmer weather is popsicle weather, but buyer beware. The Ziegenfelder Company is recalling about 3,000 cases of its Budget $saver Cherry Pineapple Monster Pops and Sugar Free Twin Pops because they may be tainted with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer short-term woes like fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, but the illness can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions. No illnesses or incidents involving the possibly ... Read More

Oklahoma Ambulance Provider Settles Whistleblower Kickback Allegations

An Oklahoma ambulance service provider will pay $300,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by engaging in an unlawful kickback scheme with a former Texas contractor. According to Tulsa World, a whistleblower lawsuit provided the basis for allegations lodged by federal officials. The complaint alleged that Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), its former president and CEO Stephen Williamson, and contractor Paramedics Plus LLC controlled a slush fund that they used to pay out more than $20 million in kickbacks, including $50,000 or more for Mr. Williamson’s personal benefit. The State ... Read More

Salmonella outbreak investigation leads to another kratom recall

A federal investigation into a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella linked to kratom capsules has led to another recall. Houston, Texas-based NutriZone LLC is recalling four different dietary supplements containing the herb kratom because they may be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The outbreak has sickened at least 87 people in 35 states, 17 of whom have been hospitalized. The investigation was launched in March by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ... Read More

MO supplement maker faces prison time, fines for felony fraud

A Joplin, Missouri dietary supplement manufacturer is facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony fraud in federal court. Jeff Hicks, owner of JT Naturals, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri for misrepresenting ingredients in his dietary supplements his company made and sold to several retail outlets in Florida, New York, California and Oklahoma. Hicks also admitted to lying about conducting tests for potentially dangerous ingredients in the supplements when he actually did not. Hicks was released on a personal recognizance bond. He faces up to 20 years in prison ... Read More

Kansas Man Burned By Exploding E-Cigarette Sues

A Kansas man seriously injured by an exploding e-cigarette is suing the Wichita shop where he bought a lithium-ion battery to power the device, claiming it was unsafe to use. Like many people who use e-cigarettes, Daniel Anderson put the spare lithium-ion battery in his front pocket, along with his car keys and some coins, his lawsuit says, according to The Wichita Eagle. Contact with the other metal objects caused the lithium-ion battery to short and eventually to overheat and explode. The incident occurred on Feb. 29, 2016. A lawyer representing Mr. Anderson described the incident to The Wichita Eagle ... Read More

Kratom linked to reports of Salmonella infections

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing its crackdown on the herbal supplement kratom announcing this week that it, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other state and local officials are investigating a multi-state breakout of Salmonella infections linked to products reportedly containing kratom. Because of this health risk, the FDA is advising consumers to avoid kratom and kratom-containing products. Salmonella infections cause symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but the diarrhea may be so severe for some people that they need to be hospitalized. In some ... Read More

Trump Calls for Elimination of Chemical Safety Board

Donald Trump has called for the elimination of the Chemical Safety Board, an independent federal agency responsible for investigating major chemical-related incidents, such as explosions, fire, spills, leaks and other disasters. The proposed Chemical Safety Board shutdown is the second time Trump has sought to shutter the agency. He also called for nixing the agency’s entire $11 million budget – one of the smallest budgets in the U.S. and one that could be funded many times over through penalties for safety and environmental violations – in his 2018 budget proposal. The Chemical Safety Board’s budget is dwarfed by the essential ... Read More

OK Supreme Court: Special Protections For Oil and Gas Industry Unconstitutional

Oklahoma oil and gas workers and their families recently welcomed news that the state’s highest court struck down a rule exempting oil and natural gas companies from being sued when their workers are injured or killed on the job. On Jan. 23, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found the part of the state’s workers compensation law giving oil and natural gas companies special immunity from the law was unconstitutional. The unanimous decision with one recusal resolves a lawsuit brought by the daughter of a worker who was killed in a well site accident in Crescent, Oklahoma, in 2013. David Chambers worked ... Read More

Deadly Oklahoma Rig Explosion Likely Caused By Blowout Preventer Failure

Federal officials said they will open a full investigation of the rig explosion that killed five workers in eastern Oklahoma last month as early indications show the failure of a critical piece of equipment may have contributed to the deadly blast. The Chemical Safety Board, an independent non-regulatory federal agency charged with investigating large industrial chemical accidents, said it sent two investigators to the rig explosion site near Quinton, Oklahoma on Jan. 24 to begin the probe. The rig, owned by Houston-based company Patterson-UTI, exploded about 9 a.m. on Jan. 22 when an uncontrolled release of natural gas from a ... Read More

Oklahoma Gas Rig Explosion Kills Five

A massive natural gas rig explosion that killed five men and burned another in Eastern Oklahoma Monday, Jan. 22, was caused by an uncontrolled release of gas from a well during drilling operations, state regulators said. The accident – the deadliest drilling rig explosion to occur since BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 – happened around 9 a.m. at a well site operated by Patterson-UTI in Pittsburgh County, Oklahoma. Of the 22 workers on the well site at the time of the rig explosion, 17 were able to escape. Five others on the rig were classified as missing until about ... Read More