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Virginia 335 articles

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Virginia Linked To Smoothies Containing Egyptian Strawberries

strawberries, frozen - Flickr

Virginia health officials have linked an outbreak of Hepatitis A in the state to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt and used in the Tropical Smoothie Café chain. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said so far its investigations of “a cluster of hepatitis A cases” point to “a potential association with smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurants in Virginia.” Genetic testing shows the illnesses were caused by a strain of hepatitis A that has been associated with past outbreaks linked to frozen strawberries from Egypt. Upon learning of the potential link to the strawberries, Tropical Smoothie Cafe immediately conducted a voluntary ... Read More

Boy Decapitated on Kansas City Waterslide, Evidence Points To multiple Safety Failures

tallest waterslide, Kansas - image courtesy KMBC

New details have emerged about the death of the 10-year-old boy who was killed on the world’s tallest waterslide in Kansas Sunday, indicating serious safety failures contributed to the horrific accident. Caleb Schwab, the son of a Kansas state lawmaker who was at the Schlitterbahn Kansas City water park with his family on “Elected Officials Day,” died after descending the “Verrückt” slide. The slide’s designers wanted to offer an extreme attraction to guests and created a 17-story vertical drop that ascends a second hill, followed by a second 50-foot drop. Various verified reports say the raft Caleb was seated in ... Read More

False Claims Act lawsuit charges D.C. couple with evading nonresident tuition in coveted public schools

money whistleblower rewards

A Washington D.C. Superior Court judge handed down a harsh False Claims Act (FCA) penalty to a Maryland couple who had enrolled three children in some of D.C.’s best public schools for more than a decade. Alan and Candace Hill, both of whom are D.C. police officers, have been ordered to pay $539,000 for fraudulently enrolling their children in D.C. schools between 2003 and 2013. According to the D.C. Attorney General, the Hills and their children lived at various locations in Maryland and Virginia during that time. Mr. Hill owned a home in D.C. that he rented to tenants, using ... Read More

Pediatric breathing system recalled due to defect that can harm patients


Medical device company Dräger is recalling the VentStar Oxylog 3000 Disposable Pediatric Patient Breathing Circuit after discovering that the check valve on the circuit may leak. This could result in patient re-breathing exhaled gas with reduced oxygen concentration and increased carbon dioxide levels, which can lead to serious health consequences, including excessive carbon dioxide in the bloodstream and increased acidity in the blood, which can be fatal. This issue pertains only to the VentStar Oxylog 3000 Disposable Pediatric Patient Circuit. There is no issue or problem with the Oxylog 3000/3000 plus ventilator. The affected device contains the lot number 5704964, ... Read More

Company Contracted To Train Iraqi Police Committed Fraud, U.S. Alleges in False Claims Act Suit


The U.S. government has announced it has filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against DynCorp International, a firm contracted by the State Department to train police in Iraq. The government’s complaint alleges DynCorp knowingly allowed one of its main subcontractors to inflate the cost of a multitude of services billed to the government. The State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs contracted DynCorp, a subsidiary of Delta Tucker Holdings Inc., in April 2004 to provide training for civilian police forces in Iraq as well as other services needed in support of the police training operations. The U.S. ... Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleges West Virginia Internet Provider Squandered U.S. Stimulus Funds


Allegations of gross misuse of federal stimulus grants for private profit are the basis of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by one West Virginia internet provider against another under the federal False Claims Act. Bridgeport, W. Va.-based provider Citynet is suing Frontier Communications, accusing the defendant of misusing $40.5 million it received in federal stimulus funds. Rather than building an open, high-speed broadband network for more than a thousand public facilities as it was supposed to do under the term of the grant, Frontier instead built a closed network connecting the public buildings to its existing fiber utility poles, Citynet claims. ... Read More

Passenger Carrier Service Shut Down After Deadly Fatigue-Related Crash


A father and son who have been operating as a commercial passenger transportation team have been ordered to cease all interstate and intrastate commercial driver after federal safety regulators declared them to be an “imminent hazard to public safety.” The federal order follows a June 18 crash that left six passengers dead. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Wenceslao Cruz Marquez and his son, Hugo Cruz operated a passenger carrier service although neither of the men possessed a commercial driver’s license. On the day of the accident, Mr. Cruz was driving a pickup truck loaded with passenger ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Recovers $5.8 Million From Technology Companies That Falsely Procured Small Business Contracts


Five California-based information technology companies have agreed to pay the U.S. nearly $6 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit accusing them of falsely representing the size of one of their companies to obtain government contracts reserved for small businesses. The complaint alleges the defendant companies, En Pointe Gov. Inc., En Pointe Technologies Inc., En Pointe Technologies Sales Inc., Dominguez East Holdings LLC and Din Global Corp.; falsely certified En Pointe Gov. Inc. as a small business from 2008 to 2015, even under-reporting quarterly sales figures to make it seem eligible for contracts the General Services Administration (GSA) available ... Read More

Jury Awards Plaintiff $5.1 Million in DuPont Water Contamination Case


An Ohio federal jury last week returned a harsh verdict against DuPont by awarding $5.1 million to a plaintiff who claims the company’s chemical dumping caused his cancer. The jury also found DuPont liable for actual malice, prompting the second bellwether trial to enter a punitive damages phase that could signal heavier damages on the horizon for the company. Plaintiff David Freeman, an Ohio college professor, claims that chemical manufacturer DuPont led in the production of ammonium perfluorooctanoate, known as PFOA, a chemical compound used in the production of Teflon, Stainmaster, and Gore-Tex fabric, and that the company dumped its ... Read More

New talc study among African American women finds even greater ovarian cancer risk

talc ovarian cancer

Reuters reported on a new talc study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention this May that African American women who used talcum powder in the genital area had more than a 40 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer. In an email interview with Reuters Health, Dr. Nicolas Wentzensen, head of clinical epidemiology for the National Cancer Institute, affirmed the study, saying that the research was well-conducted. Reuters reported Wentzensen “noted that African-American women are underrepresented in many epidemiological studies.” The study included 1,329 African-American women, 584 diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 745 without the disease. Researchers interviewed them about their ... Read More