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settlements 196 articles

IRS gives tax break to victims of sexual harassment

A loophole that prevented victims of sexual harassment who receive settlements from companies or individuals that victimized them from deducting their legal fees on their taxes has been closed, according to Robert W. Wood, a tax expert and contributor to Forbes. The so-called Weinstein tax law passed December 2017 prohibits individuals and companies that paid hush money settlements in sexual harassment cases from deducting those payments from their taxes. But it also prohibited those who received sexual harassment settlement payments from deducting their legal fees as well. For example, if a person received a $500,000 settlement and her lawyer got ... Read More

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

Imerys dropped from talc trial a day after bankruptcy announcement

A California judge told a jury hearing testimony in the latest case to go to trial alleging a link between Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder and a woman’s mesothelioma diagnosis that J&J’s talc supplier was no longer a defendant in the case, and that they should not speculate as to why. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman made the announcement a day after Paris-based Imerys SA reported that three of its subsidiaries had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – including Imerys Talc America, which was named in the case – citing the more than 14,600 lawsuits the company faced ... Read More

Imerys files for bankruptcy amid mounting talc litigation

Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to protect itself against more than 14,600 lawsuits in the U.S. that claim its talc causes cancer. Imerys Talc Vermont and Imerys Talc Canada Inc., also filed for bankruptcy. All three are subsidiaries of Paris-based Imerys SA. The filing will enable the companies to establish a trust to fund current and future claims. All lawsuits against the company involving cancer claims will also be centralized under one judge. “After carefully evaluating all possible options, we determined pursuing Chapter 11 protection is the best ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson will pay for $4.69 billion talc verdict one way or the other

Last July, Johnson & Johnson was hit with a staggering $4.69 billion verdict – one of the largest jury awards in the country – over claims that its Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talcum powder products contain asbestos – a known carcinogen – and contributed to the ovarian cancer diagnoses of 22 women. The news sent the company’s stock into its biggest annual share loss in a decade. But the company may never pay a dime of that verdict. The consumer health care giant is appealing the massive verdict. Its chances of seeing the award slashed or even stricken completely ... Read More

U.S. Attorney General Nominee Vows to Uphold False Claims Act

Stepping back from previous criticism of the False Claims Act, William Barr, Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, pledged he would stand by the law that authorizes whistleblowers to sue on behalf of the U.S. government and American taxpayers. Mr. Barr, who served as the attorney general in President George H.W. Bush’s administration from 1991 to 1993, once described the False Claims Act as an “abomination” and displayed an appetite to challenge the law, which he viewed as unconstitutional. In 1989, Mr. Barr wrote that the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act replaced the Judicial Department’s prosecutorial discretion ... Read More

After much negotiation, Congress passes sexual harassment bill

After nearly a year of negotiations prompted by the #MeToo movement and highlighted by a battery of lawmaker resignations, the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to address the issue of sexual harassment in Congress. The measure updates the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, and holds lawmakers financially responsible for any settlements made to resolve sexual harassment allegations. It also eases the process for congressional employees to report inappropriate behavior and adds more transparency to any settlements made to resolve such claims. “We believe this is a strong step toward creating a new standard in Congress that will set a ... Read More

J&J agrees to settle many Invokana side effects lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle a large number of lawsuits pending in a multidistrict litigation in New Jersey accusing the company’s diabetes drug Invokana of causing kidney failure, diabetic ketoacidosis or amputations, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. A settlement fund is expected to be ruled on by Nov. 19. It’s unclear how many of the more than 1,000 cases are included in the settlement, but attorneys say more settlements are likely. Bellwethers from the multidistrict litigation were set to go to trial as early as January 2019, but those orders were ... Read More

Defense Contractor Pays $7.8 Million To Resolve Fraud Allegations

A defense contractor has agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle allegations with the U.S. government that it illegally exploited military contracts set aside for small businesses. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia said that Arena Event Services Inc., which does business as Arena Americas, coordinated with Military Training Solutions LLC (MTS) to obtain the small business contracts. Congress mandates that a certain amount of government contracts go to small businesses as a way to encourage small business growth. These contracts prohibit the small business from being affiliated with a non-small business, while also limiting the ... Read More

Florida Ambulance Co. Settles Whistleblower Fraud Case

A whistleblower was instrumental in helping the U.S. recover $1.2 million in federal health care funds from a Jacksonville, Florida-based ambulance company, the U.S. Attorney in Orlando said. Liberty Ambulance agreed to pay the $1.2 million to resolve allegations that it overbilled Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded health care programs for transporting patients. Liberty knowingly up-coded claims for life-support services from “basic” to “advanced” without justification, according to the whistleblower lawsuit. The complaint also alleged that Liberty billed Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for unnecessary patient transportation. The alleged activity occurred between June 2005 and ... Read More