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Virginia 185 articles

Companies involved in West Virginia chemical spill that contaminated drinking water face numerous lawsuits

drinking water

In January of 2014, 300,000 West Virginia residents were left without water for more than a week due to a chemical spill in the Elk River, just upstream from the Kanawha County municipal water intake in Charleston, W. Va. At 6 p.m. on the day of the spill, the Office of the Governor of West Virginia issued a “Do Not Use” order on the residents’ tap water. The spill originated from Freedom Industries, a Charleston-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals used in the mining, steel, and cements industries. Soon after the spill was discovered, a pungent odor permeated the cities near the river. ... Read More

Another transvaginal mesh trial is underway in West Virginia

bladder sling

Another trial is underway in Charleston, W.Va., alleging defectively designed transvaginal mesh products caused serious injuries. The federal lawsuit was filed by Jo Huskey and her husband Allen against Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. Transvaginal mesh, also referred to as vaginal mesh or bladder sling, is a type of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic floor disorders including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. It is inserted through the vagina to hold up organs that have prolapsed out of place, putting pressure in the pelvic cavity and causing symptoms such as pain, discomfort and incontinence. The mesh has ... Read More

“The UPS Store” in 24 states hit by a data breach


A computer virus may have targeted 51 “The UPS Store” locations in 24 different states, resulting in the exposure of credit and debit card information of consumers all over the nation. According to UPS spokeswoman Chelsea Lee, the compromised information includes names, card numbers as well as postal and email addresses from at least 100,000 transactions taking place between Jan. 20 and Aug. 11 of this year. UPS is unaware of any fraudulent activity having occurred due to the attack, Lee said. A bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security brought the suspected malware to the attention of U.S. retailers, ... Read More

Judge allows suit to move forward against cleanup companies for improper chemical dumping following West Virginia spill

drinking water

Two West Virginia waste management companies charged with cleanup of a chemical spill that polluted the Elk River lost their bid to have an environmental lawsuit filed against them in a West Virginia federal court thrown out. The City of Hurricane, W.V., and the Putnam County Commission filed the lawsuit in May, alleging that Waste Management Inc. and Disposal Service Inc. improperly disposed to toxic chemicals it collected from the January 9 spill caused by a Freedom Industries coal-cleaning plant. The plaintiffs accuse the two companies of dumping propylene glycol phenyl ether, dipropylene glycol phenyl ether, and crude MCHM containing ... Read More

Federal court holds Chinese drywall companies in contempt for ignoring U.S. litigation


China’s state-owned drywall manufacturers have abandoned litigation in the U.S. involving thousands of American homeowners who sued the companies over allegedly toxic and corrosive drywall they claim has damaged their homes and their health. In addition to not responding to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Louisiana federal court, Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and other gypsum manufacturers owned by the Chinese government’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission ignored a $2.7 million default judgment against them in 2010. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon held Taishan in civil and criminal contempt on July 17 for its refusal to appear in court to ... Read More

Judge denies Ethicon’s request for new transvaginal mesh trial

bladder sling

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon has been denied a new trial that would have struck an $11.1 million verdict in the first bellwether trial over allegedly defective transvaginal mesh. “There was strong evidence presented and multiple sources of evidence that in fact there were many problems with this product,” Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee said in court. Despite the ruling, Ethicon spokesman Matthew Johnson said the company isn’t giving up. “We will be filing an appeal in this case as we believe the jury’s verdict and damage awards were not supported by the evidence presented at trial,” he ... Read More

Documents show GM “opts not to respond” in history of past death inquiries involving faulty ignition switches

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Crash after crash, federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were confused about what was happening to victims who appeared to have just suddenly lost control of their General Motors (GM) vehicle and crashed with failed airbags. However, thanks to material discovered through the Freedom of Information Act, The New York Times has learned General Motors’ answer to the many “sudden power loss” crashes that occurred before the ignition switch defect came to the public eye this year – silence. According to The New York Times, GM’s response to NHTSA’s inquiries continually left questions about the crashes ... Read More

Moving services company settles whistleblower allegations with U.S.

osha whistle

A Virginia-based moving management company has agreed to pay the U.S. government nearly $510,000 to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that it overbilled the government for moving services it provided to federal employees being relocated. RE/MAX Allegiance Relocation Services was sued under the federal False Claims Act by Michael Angel, a former employee. Mr. Angel filed his lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria, Va., alleging the company charged the government for moving services that it never provided and overbilled federal agencies by adding inapplicable tariff charges. RE/MAX Allegiance contracts with the U.S. government to move the personal property of federal employees ... Read More

GM’s plan for ignition switch victim compensation fund flawed; Beasley Allen lawyers weigh in

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General Motors (GM) announced on Monday details of its victims’ compensation fund for those harmed by the automaker’s ignition switch defect. The fund, which will be managed by former BP oil spill fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg, will offer at least $1 million to family members of victims who died as a result of the defect, which has led to multiple recalls encompassing about 6 million GM vehicles, including 2.6 million small models and 3.4 million midsize and large cars. GM said the fund is accessible to drivers as well as passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of a second vehicle who were ... Read More

GSK pays $22 million to settle fraudulent marketing claims in West Virginia


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to pay $22 million to settle claims that the pharmaceutical company used illegal tactics to peddle its diabetes drugs. The settlement is one of the largest in West Virginia history, said Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. About $10.6 million will go to the state’s Public Employees Insurance Agency and $3.7 million to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Medicaid program. About $3.1 million will go to the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Fund and the remaining $4.6 million will be used to cover attorney’s fees and expenses. Morrisey, on behalf of West Virginia, argued that GSK failed ... Read More