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Virginia 220 articles

Whistleblower: U.S. contracted soldiers can’t shoot


The U.S. military, stretched thin by wars in the Middle East and other conflicts, is relying more and more on contracted soldiers from private firms for military and security operations traditionally performed by our troops. But sadly, as a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act indicates sometimes these private forces fail to provide adequate and competent defense. Omar Badr, a medic for private military/security firm Triple Canopy, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging it hired guards from Uganda that couldn’t properly shoot. According to the complaint, ... Read More

Ethicon settles transvaginal mesh lawsuit on fifth day of trial

transvaginal mesh

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. settled a bellwether case in a multidistrict litigation over injury claims with its transvaginal mesh device on the fifth day of the trial. The details of the settlement have yet to be revealed, but the outcome could lay the groundwork for resolving the thousands of other lawsuits in that MDL. Plaintiff Dianne M. Bellew had sued Ethicon claiming she suffered inflammation, chronic pain and other injuries after receiving Ethicon’s transvaginal mesh implant. She claims she has had four surgeries to remove the mesh. Transvaginal mesh is also referred to as a vaginal sling, bladder ... Read More

Judge upholds expert witnesses limit in transvaginal mesh cases

transvaginal mesh

Plaintiffs in a C.R. Bard transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigation consolidated in federal court were told by a West Virginia federal judge that they could only call three expert witnesses per case, a standard that was established during a pre-trial order last July. Plaintiffs had argued that limiting their experts to three could prevent them from showing burden of proof. In some cases, they argued, they may need more variety in experts, such as a pathologist, a materials expert, a causation expert (such as a gynecologist or urologist), and a specialist in pelvic pain. But the arguments didn’t sway Judge Goodwin, ... Read More

OSHA fines W.Va. construction company for fall hazards

Working on the Wall

Following the discovery of several hazards during an inspection last fall, West Virginia construction company K&F Construction, Inc. was cited more than $109,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to OSHA’s findings during its inspection last September, the construction contractor willfully violated three safety measures put in place to keep workers safe while on the job. OSHA’s first two citations involved the lack of safety precautions for employees exposed to falls of about 25 feet and higher. In the first citation, K&F workers performing roof work on three-story townhomes, which were roughly about 35 feet ... Read More

$5.7 million awarded to woman injured by transvaginal mesh

transvaginal mesh

A California jury slapped Johnson & Johnson unit Ethicon Inc. with a $5.7 million judgment after finding the company’s transvaginal mesh device caused a woman to suffer injuries that will leave her in chronic pain. Plaintiff Coleen Perry was awarded $700,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages after suing the companies and her doctor in California state court over injuries she alleged were caused by the companies’ TVT Abbrevo mesh. Transvaginal mesh, also known as vaginal mesh or a bladder sling, is used to support pelvic organs that have dropped causing discomfort, painful intercourse or incontinence – ... Read More

Oil train derailment, explosion in Illinois

railroad tracks

GALENA, Ill. — A freight train hauling 103 tanker cars full of crude oil derailed and caught fire Thursday afternoon in an isolated wooded area south of Galena, Ill. Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the operator of the train, reported that the oil train derailment occurred about 1:20 p.m. in an area where the Galena River meets the Mississippi River in the northwestern corner of Illinois. The railroad company said eight of the tanker cars left the track. Two of those remained upright while six had toppled over. It was not known how much crude has spilled from the derailed cars. ... Read More

Canadian city files class action against Texas guardrail maker

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

The Canadian town Stratford, Ontario, had filed a class-action lawsuit against Dallas, Texas-based guardrail manufacturer Trinity Industries, seeking a proposed $500 million in damages on behalf of all Canadian jurisdictions affected by the potentially deadly guardrails. The lawsuit, filed in Ontario Superior Court, echoes what similar lawsuits against Trinity in the U.S. claim: that the manufacturer secretly modified the design of its ET-Plus guardrail 10 years ago and failed to warn anyone about the “serious failures” of the altered system. “Rather than absorbing the crash energy as originally intended, designed and tested, the guardrail becomes a rigid spear that impales ... Read More

Bard battles with supplier over liability in transvaginal mesh case

transvaginal mesh

Medical device maker C.R. Bard and supplier Sofradim Production of Trevoux, France are battling in a New Jersey federal court over who should take responsibility for injuries caused by Bard’s Uretex Sling transvaginal mesh product. Bard claims Sofradim is under contractual obligation to indemnify it, while the French supplier says it is owed indemnity by Bard. Bard claims that a 2002 contract with Sofradim that gave Bard the right to sell the Uretex Sling in the United States and Canada obligated Sofradim to defend Bard against any past, present or future claims related to injuries caused by the transvaginal mesh. Bard ... Read More

Bard on verge of settlement in transvaginal mesh case

transvaginal mesh

C.R. Bard and a woman who claims she was injured by the medical device maker’s defective transvaginal mesh are on the verge of a settlement, just days before the lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial. Debra Wise’s lawsuit was part of a federal multidistrict litigation in West Virginia. The “pending settlement” was signed off on by U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, and the case was ordered off the active docket in the litigation. Wise’s lawsuit was originally filed in West Virginia state court in the Circuit Court of Cabell County before it was transferred to the federal multidistrict litigation. ... Read More

Congressman pushes for hearing on FDA’s role in superbug outbreak


A congressman whose district includes the UCLA hospital where more than 100 patients were exposed to a drug-resistant superbug is calling for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accountable for not taking action sooner when it learned that certain medical devices could spread the dangerous bacteria from patient to patient. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who also serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, urged his fellow committee members to hold a hearing on the matter, adding that the agency’s recent safety alert failed to adequately provide health care ... Read More