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Tennessee 355 articles

Wrongful Death Suit Filed In Connection To Pigeon Forge Helicopter Crash

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The family of a woman killed in a sightseeing helicopter crash in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., last April, has filed a lawsuit against the owner of the aircraft, alleging negligence in maintaining the helicopter and hiring its pilots. Keith Morvant and Lynne Frederick, the husband and mother of Johna Morvant respectively, filed the lawsuit against Great Smoky Mountains Helicopters and owner Bobby Riggs in a Tennessee federal court, seeking unspecified compensation and damages for Ms. Morvant’s alleged wrongful death. Ms. Morvant, 49, of Kodak, Tenn., was killed in the April 4 crash with her two children, Peyton Rasmussen, 22, and Parker ... Read More

Tennessee-Based Hospice Provider Seeks Dismissal of Whistleblower Lawsuit

whistleblower

Tennessee-based hospice care provider Caris Healthcare has asked a federal judge to toss a whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit alleging the company admitted and retained patients who were not terminally ill, collecting millions in false Medicare claims for several years of unnecessary care. The complaint, filed on behalf of the U.S. government in 2014 by whistleblower Barbara Hinkle, was unsealed in June after the federal government chose to intervene in the suit, effectively taking over its litigation. Government prosecutors chose to pursue some of the lawsuit’s claims, and the others were voluntarily dismissed. Ms. Hinkle, a former nurse who worked ... Read More

Judge Sends Chattanooga School Bus Crash Case To Grand Jury

Chattanooga, TN school bus crashes into tree

The driver of a Chattanooga school bus that crashed in November, killing six students and injuring 20 others, was driving up to 22 mph over the speed limit off his designated route and may have been using his cellphone at the time, a police officer investigating the accident testified in court Dec. 15. School bus driver Johnthony Walker, 24, has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving. Authorities will also add a sixth charge of vehicular homicide for a student who later died from crash injuries. In last Thursday morning’s hearing, Hamilton County General ... Read More

Salmonella Concerns Prompt Recall of Publix Brand Pancake and Waffle Mixes

blueberry pancakes

Publix grocery stores are pulling certain store-brand pancake and waffle mixes from their shelves in Alabama and several other states after being notified by a supplier that the milk powder used as an ingredient may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The recalled products include 16-ounce boxes of Publix Premium Banana-Flavored Chocolate Chip Pancake & Waffle Mix (4141503503), Publix Premium Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix (4141503703), and Publix Premium Blueberry Flavored Pancake & Waffle Mix (4141503603). The numbers are Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs) and are located near the bar code on the product packaging. The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocery chain operates ... Read More

J&J pays big for Risperdal’s gynecomastia side effect

risperdal

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals face more than 13,000 lawsuits over claims that their antipsychotic drug Risperdal causes adolescent boys to grow large, disfiguring breasts. The sixth trial is currently underway and time will tell if jurors will hold the drug companies accountable. In February 2015, the first Risperdal side effects lawsuit went to trial. The jury awarded Austin Pledger, who was 20 at the time, $2.5 million after finding that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen didn’t adequately warn that the medication could cause boys and young men to grow female breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia. ... Read More

Texas teen will have day in court over alleged Risperdal side effects

risperdal

T.M. of Texas was about 7 years old in 2004 when he was prescribed the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. He was on the medication for four years and was eventually diagnosed with gynecomastia, a disfiguring condition in which adolescent boys develop female breasts. T.M., now 19, is suing Risperdal maker Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alleging the companies did not disclose the gynecomastia risks associated with the drug. T.M.’s case is scheduled to go to trial Friday, making it the sixth Risperdal side effects lawsuit to be heard in Philadelphia since the bellwether began in January. Four of the ... Read More

CFO Whistleblower Awarded Nearly $2 Million In Wrongful Termination Case

whistleblower

A federal administrative law judge has awarded the former chief financial officer of a chain of medical clinics in the Northwest nearly $2 million, finding credibility with his claim that he was fired in retribution for refusing to wrongfully alter financial reports. Greg Becker, the former CFO of Rockwood Clinic, which operates a dozen primary care clinics in the Spokane, Wash., and Couer d’Alene, Idaho, areas, sued his employer and its parent company, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, in 2012. Mr. Becker alleged that the company repeatedly tried to bully him into lowering the company’s projected losses for 2012 from $12.8 ... Read More

Bus Company Involved in Chattanooga School Bus Crash Has Blemished Safety Record

Chattanooga, TN school bus crashes into tree

The fatal school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tenn., that left six children dead and dozens of others injured Monday afternoon wasn’t the first deadly wreck for the bus’s corporate owner, federal safety data show. Illinois-based Durham School Services owns and operates more than 13,000 buses and employs an equivalent number of drivers, including Johnthony Walker, 24, the driver who lost control of his bus Monday while it was carrying 35 elementary school children. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data shows that Durham has been involved in 346 crashes in the last 24 months. Of those crashes, 142 resulted in ... Read More

Additional Products Containing Sabra Hummus Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

Sabra hummus recall

A nationwide recall of hummus products made by Sabra Dipping Co. LLC over concerns of potential Listeria contamination was expanded Tuesday to include “Taylor Farms Veggie and Hummus Bistro Boxes” and “Schnucks Vegetable and Hummus Snack Trays.” Both products contain two-ounce cups of classic hummus made by Sabra. Both of these products are made by Taylor Farms Tennessee Inc., Taylor Farms Texas Inc., and Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. The Taylor Farms companies have not received any reports of illnesses linked to the recalled products, but voluntarily recalled them to minimize the potential risk of Listeria exposure. Sabra announced a recall ... Read More

Smoke from wildfires in the Southeast billows cancer-causing chemicals

smoke, fire, wood burning

More than 30 wildfires burning in the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachian Mountains are sending billows of smoke drifting throughout the southeast. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s AirNow monitor reported “unhealthy” air from West Virginia extending all the way down to south Georgia. Hospitals throughout Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina have received more people than usual needing assistance for breathing problems caused by the smoke. More than 200 people have been hospitalized in Chattanooga, Tenn., alone for shortness of breath and breathing problems since Nov. 11 due to the smoke. “We’ve seen a big increase in the number of respiratory complaints ... Read More