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Pittsburgh 38 articles

Education Management Corp. Pays $99.5 Million To Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit


The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that it had reached a “landmark global settlement” with Education Management Corporation, the second-largest for-profit education company in the nation, in which the company agreed to pay $95.5 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that it used unlawful methods to recruit and enroll students to its campuses. Education Management Corporation, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn., operates four post-secondary school brands: the Art Institutes, South University, Argosy University, and Brown-Mackie College. Student enrollment across the company’s schools exceeds 100,000 students. Accusations against Education Management Corp.’s practices have been raging for years, including allegations that its ... Read More

Congressman to introduce a bill to ban Essure contraceptive device


U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania says he plans to introduce a bipartisan bill to Congress to ban the Bayer HealthCare contraceptive Essure because of reports the device has caused hundreds of women pain and suffering. “The Essure device is harming women and needs to be removed from the market,” he said in a prepared statement. “I believe it is imperative to the continued success of their brand and the other work they do to immediately end production of a product that poses such a danger to patient safety.” Essure is a flexible, nickel-titanium coil that is inserted into the ... Read More

Will Smith to star in movie about NFL concussions, CTE

Will Smith concussion movie

Variety announced that filmmaker Ridley Scott is shooting the story of the doctor who identified the debilitating brain injury associated with sports-related head injuries that started a concussion awareness campaign and ultimately affected all levels of high-impact sports. The announcement comes just months after the National Football League (NFL) struck a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars with former players who alleged the league did not do enough to protect them from repeated concussions during practices and games. Will Smith will star as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the first pathologist to detect a degenerative brain injury called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in a former ... Read More

Another Los Angeles-area hospital reports superbug infections


Los Angeles-area Huntington Memorial Hospital announced that some of its patients had contracted a drug-resistant superbug after undergoing procedures using a specialized endoscope known as a duodenoscope. Hospital authorities say they contacted public health authorities after the bacteria pseudomonas was found in patients who had undergone procedures in which Olympus Corporation duodenoscopes were used. The hospital did not say how many patients were infected, however the Los Angeles Times reported that the bacteria was found in three of the hospital’s patients in June. Duodenoscopes are specially designed endoscopes that are fed down a person’s throat to treat gallstones, tumors and ... Read More

FDA cites duodenoscope makers for safety violations


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a first step toward formal legal action against manufacturers of specialized endoscopes called duodenoscopes linked to outbreaks of deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections at some hospitals, issuing warning letters citing manufacturing safety violations. The warning letters were sent to Olympus, Pentax and FujiFilm for various manufacturing and quality control violations. Olympus and Pentax were also cited for not properly notifying the FDA after learning their scopes were linked to infections. The agency also questioned whether Pentax and FujiFilm obtained proper clearance for their duodenoscopes before marketing them. Olympus was previously cited for this issue, the ... Read More

Chevron to pay $5 million to family of worker killed in fracking blast


A Pennsylvania County court approved a $5-million settlement Tuesday between Chevron Appalachia and the parents of a man killed in a 2014 natural gas explosion at a fracking operation in the southwestern corner of the state. Ian McKee was 27 when he was killed in a violent explosion at the Marcellus Shale fracking well on Feb. 11, 2014. He had been working as a field service technician for Houston-based Cameron International Corp., which Chevron had contracted for service work at the well site, when the blast occurred, setting off a fire that raged for five days before it burned out. ... Read More

OSHA calls roofer’s disregard for worker safety “horrifying”

Working on the Wall

TARENTUM, Penn. — A Pennsylvania roofing company has been cited for its reckless disregard for worker safety after Andrew “CK” Sakala, Jr., was fatally electrocuted on a roofing job at a Tarentum, Penn., home in September 2014 when the aluminum ladder he was using contacted a 7,200-volt power line. Only three days later, his employer sent another worker to finish the job, exposing him to the same hazardous conditions that led to Sakala’s death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which investigated the incidents, cited Kolek Woodshop Inc. for willfully exposing the second worker to the same, preventable electrocution hazards ... Read More

Another lawsuit filed in wake of superbug outbreak


A Washington state woman has filed a lawsuit against the makers of a specialized endoscope blamed for a life threatening superbug outbreak in some medical facilities, alleging she became infected at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle two years ago. The hospital, however, says it has no record of a carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infection caused by the medical devices. Debbie Newton, 54, claims she contracted CRE after undergoing a procedure with a duodenoscope made by Olympus America Inc. on Feb. 7, 2013. Duodenoscopes are a type of endoscope that is fed down patients’ throats to treat or diagnose various gastrointestinal ailments. About ... Read More

Endoscope at center of superbug outbreak was never FDA approved


The manufacturer of the specialized endoscope at the center of the deadly drug-resistant bacteria outbreak at UCLA never obtained approval from drug and medical device regulators to sell the surgical tool in the United States, CNN has learned. Olympus began selling its TJF-Q180V duodenoscope in 2010. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), didn’t realize until late 2013 or early 2014 that Olympus had never filed for FDA approval on the device. Duodenoscopes are a type of flexible endoscope fitted with a camera that is put down throats of patients to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions. A half million duodenoscope ... Read More

Patient files first lawsuit in deadly superbug outbreak


An 18-year-old boy who became infected with a deadly superbug after undergoing a procedure using a specialized endoscope at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the surgical tool. The patient, high school student Aaron Young, remains hospitalized with carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, a highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria that kills up to 50 percent of infected patients. The lawsuit names Olympus Corp. of Americans, manufacturers of the specialized endoscope, known as a duodenoscope. UCLA and the University of California regents may also be added as defendants following more investigations into the matter. Duodenoscopes are flexible fiber-optic ... Read More