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Virginia 449 articles

Whistleblower’s Import Fraud Case Helps U.S. Recover $10.5 Million

A whistleblower who filed a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging Bassett Mirror Company was evading customs duties by misclassifying its imported furniture has helped the U.S. government recover $10.5 million. Bassett Mirror Company, a Virginia-based home furnishing company, imports wooden bedroom furniture from the People’s Republic of China. According to the whistleblower allegations, Bassett evaded paying antidumping duties on those furniture imports by intentionally misclassifying them as non-bedroom furniture. Antidumping duties are put in place to protect U.S. manufacturers from foreign companies “dumping” products on the U.S. market at prices below cost. The U.S. Commerce Department assesses the duties and the ... Read More

VW Emissions Settlements Don’t Affect County Claims, Plaintiffs Argue

Settlements resolving claims over Volkswagen’s (VW) emissions cheat and the federal Clean Air Act do not bar air pollution complaints lodged by Hillsborough County, Florida, and Salt Lake County, Utah, lawyers for the counties told a California federal court. Volkswagen is pressing the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to toss the counties’ claims that they are entitled to compensation for pollution caused by VW’s emissions cheat under state laws. Those complaints are currently included in multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in the California court. In 2014, West Virginia University researchers and other members of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) discovered ... Read More

Second Takata Airbag Death In Ford Ranger Prompts Urgent Recall

A Takata airbag that exploded inside a Ford Ranger pickup truck in West Virginia over the summer, killing its driver, has prompted an urgent recall by Ford Motor Co. Ford said the recall covers about 3,000 Ranger pickup trucks and urges owners not to drive the vehicles until the airbag units are repaired. This round of Takata airbag recalls is relatively small considering the recall affects about 42 million U.S. vehicles, but Ford believes the airbags in certain 2006 Rangers are particularly volatile and prone to explode with deadly force. Fifty-six-year-old Steve Mollohan, who lived in the Hedgesville, West Virginia ... Read More

Coal Miner Deaths Surged in 2017 After Record Lows

The number of coal miner deaths surged in 2017 after hitting record lows in 2015 and 2016. Reporting federal labor statistics, the Associated Press said that 15 coal miner deaths were recorded in 2017. Eight of those coal miner deaths occurred in West Virginia mines; two of the deaths occurred in Kentucky; and there was one coal miner death each in Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. The spate of coal miner deaths in 2017 is seen by some safety advocates and legislators as an alarming reversal of a coal mine trend brought on by policies instituted after the deadly ... Read More

Romaine Lettuce A Possible Suspect in Deadly E. Coli Outbreak

Health authorities in the U.S. and Canada are working to identify the source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened people in 13 states and several Canadian provinces. So far, romaine lettuce appears to be a possible culprit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Public Health Agency of Canada has identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak of the E. coli 0157:H7 strain there. In the U.S., state and local public health officials are interviewing people sickened on this side of the border to determine whether there is a correlation to Canada’s ... Read More

T. Marzetti Recalls Frozen Biscuits Over Listeria Concerns

T. Marzetti Company, the manufacturer of biscuits and other baked goods sold under various brand names, said on Tuesday that it is recalling a number of products because of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. So far no illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled products, which are not ready to eat and require cooking, which reduces the risk of causing illness. Still, if the baking instructions are not properly followed or the product is mishandled, the risk of contracting listeriosis remains. Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness in young children, elderly people, and others with ... Read More

Widowers blame J&J’s baby powder for wives’ ovarian cancer

Two widowers are joining nearly 5,000 other people who are suing Johnson & Johnson over claims that the consumer health care company’s talc-containing products caused women to develop ovarian cancer. Bryan Isa says his wife Tami used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products from 2003 to 2015. In 2011, she learned she had ovarian cancer, and died Dec. 15, 2015, at the age of 42. George Shenefield’s wife Jacquelyn used the same products from 1973 to 2011. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, and died June 8, 2017 at the age of 69. The lawsuits filed ... Read More

Attorneys fight to reinstate $70M talc verdict for ovarian cancer victim’s family

Attorneys for Jacqueline Fox, whose $70 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in 2016 was overturned over questions about jurisdiction, plan to file a motion to transfer her case to the Missouri Supreme Court. The announcement was made this week, after The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District denied a motion to reinstate the verdict. Fox’s family had sued Johnson & Johnson over claims that prolonged use of the company’s baby powder on her genitals caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict was later overturned based on the Supreme Court ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court, over issues ... Read More

Coal Miner Black Lung Protections Head to Trump’s Chopping Block

Donald Trump touted himself as a friend of the coal industry on the campaign trail, but does his love of coal extend to the men and women who mine it? Last week, the U.S. Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published a notice saying that regulations protecting coal miners from black lung disease could soon be headed to the chopping block. The stated purpose of the notice, titled “Regulatory Reform of Existing Standards and Regulations; Retrospective Study of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule,” is to revisit the existing standards and regulations to see if they “could be improved ... Read More

Opinion: J&J may have a hard time overcoming personal jurisdiction in Missouri

In light of Missouri trial Judge Rex M. Burlison upholding the May 2016 verdict of $110 million in favor of plaintiff Lois Slemp, finding that although she is a Virginia resident her case meets the jurisdictional standards laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court, Law360 addresses the potential future of talc trials in Missouri. The Supreme Court ruled in June in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, effectively changing the previously functioning rules for establishing personal jurisdiction for out-of-state plaintiffs. The trial that had been underway for two weeks on behalf of three women who died of ovarian ... Read More