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Virginia 247 articles

Judge upholds $3.27 million verdict against transvaginal mesh maker

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Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc., failed to convince a West Virginia federal judge to strike a $3.27 million jury verdict in a bellwether lawsuit alleging the company failed to warn that its transvaginal mesh device could cause serious injuries. Ethicon had argued for a new trial based on insufficient evidence to support the verdict. However, U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin refused to budge off the jury’s verdict, adding that not only did the evidence show that the plaintiff’s doctor was not sufficiently warned by the company about complications with the TVT-O polypropylene transvaginal mesh, but that evidence regarding ... Read More

Recent TVM settlements, verdicts may lead to resolution in outstanding MDL

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A number of high-profile transvaginal mesh settlements and verdicts in the past few months may prompt larger larger-scale settlements in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in West Virginia. That MDL involves pelvic mesh devices manufactured by a several medical device companies including C.R. Bard Inc., Endo International PLC unit American Medical Systems, and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. Last month, American Medical Systems announced it had resolved more than 100 personal injury lawsuits with the $830 million the company had set aside to settle a large number of the lawsuits waged against its transvaginal mesh device. In May, Boston Scientific ... Read More

Mississippi man hospitalized after guardrail impales his car

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

A Mississippi man is in stable condition in a Northern Virginia hospital after losing control of his vehicle on a wet highway and colliding with a guardrail Wednesday. Reports and images taken of the crash show the guardrail apparently malfunctioned and impaled the man’s vehicle, further raising concerns that some guardrails may be defective and potentially deadly. Authorities investigating the crash aren’t certain whether the guardrails that sliced through 31-year-old Clayton Dominic Johnson’s 1996 Nissan were made by Trinity Industries, the Texas company that manufactured the controversial ET-Plus guardrail systems targeted by a recent whistleblower lawsuit. Joshua Harmon, himself a ... Read More

Kroger recalls seasonings for possible salmonella contamination

Recall - Kroger products - image courtesy WRIC and WVEC

Popular supermarket chain Kroger has announced a sizable recall of four Kroger-brand seasonings sold in its stores. The Kroger recall was sparked by the FDA’s discovery of Salmonella in a sample of the Kroger-brand Garlic Powder sold by a South Carolina store. According to the supermarket’s press release, the following Kroger-brand seasonings were produced in the same facility with the same equipment as the Salmonella-tainted Garlic Powder and are now under recall: Kroger Bac’n Buds: 12 oz containers (Sell by: May 20 18PS4) Kroger Coarse Ground Black Pepper: 17.1 oz containers (Sell by: May 18 18PS4, Sell by: May 19 ... Read More

Two-time whistleblower opens up about hospital fraud cases

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

A whistleblower whose False Claims lawsuit against Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. led to a recovery of nearly $13 million for the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs says he warned his hospital supervisors repeatedly about the misconduct but they never took corrective action. James Roark Sr., a reimbursement manage for Children’s from 2009 to 2013, alleged in his lawsuit that the hospital  inflated overhead costs used to calculate reimbursement rates to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. He also accused the hospital of falsifying reports of its available bed count, resulting in higher reimbursements from Medicare ... Read More

Chinese Drywall Class Action plaintiffs await ruling on damages


Nearly 3,000 homeowners who claim their homes and personal property have been ruined by cheaply made Chinese drywall await a federal judge’s decision after a trial to determine damages in a class-action lawsuit concluded Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Edon Fallon, who certified the class, heard testimony from expert witnesses in New Orleans and will decide damages without the participation of a jury. The judge plans to make a decision toward the end of the month, after meeting with attorneys from both sides. The class action includes homeowners from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia who contend the defective drywall ... Read More

Judge adds new plaintiffs to Ethicon transvaginal mesh lawsuit

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U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing thousands of transvaginal mesh lawsuits in West Virginia, revised his plan for a single consolidated trial against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc., adding new plaintiffs and pushing back the start date by a month. The consolidated trial was to involve the lawsuits of 26 women who claimed Ethicon’s TVT was defectively designed and caused injuries. However, when new information came to light that some of the women in the lawsuit had been implanted with several transvaginal mesh devices, Judge Goodwin made changes to the plaintiffs list. The new consolidated lawsuit against Ethicon ... Read More

Whistleblower complaint helps U.S. recover $75.5 million from technology contractors


A whistleblower lawsuit alleging two contractors overcharged the U.S. government and cheated it out of discounts available to commercial customers has ended with a $75.5-million settlement. Dale Smith, a former executive of VMware Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer virtualization software company, filed that lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act, which allows private individuals with evidence of fraud to sue on behalf of the U.S. government. In the complaint, Smith alleged that VMware and information technology services company Carahsoft Technology Corporation of Reston, Va., which distributes IT products to federal, state, and local governments, failed to honor the terms ... Read More

Attorneys request moving hundreds of transvaginal mesh lawsuits to PA

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Plaintiffs in more than 500 lawsuits spread across two separate multidistrict litigations alleging defectively designed transvaginal mesh made by Bard Inc. and Ethicon Inc. caused serious injuries have requested their cases be moved out of West Virginia and into Pennsylvania federal court so that their claims could be dealt with faster. More than 70,000 lawsuits in seven separate multidistrict litigations alleging injuries with transvaginal mesh from various manufacturers are pending in West Virginia. At least 23,000 of those are waged against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, and another 10,000 have been filed against Bard. This week, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, ... Read More

Red light camera fraud scheme implicates dozens of municipalities, officials


An alleged red light camera enforcement bribery scheme exposed by a whistleblower last year that encompassed several municipalities in more than a dozen states keeps growing larger. Aaron Rosenberg, once the top national salesman for Chicago-based Redflex Traffic Systems, alleged in his federal lawsuit that the company doled out hefty bribes and showered government officials with gifts in “dozens of municipalities” in exchange for lucrative contracts. Mr. Rosenberg says he was fired in 2013 in retaliation for providing information about the alleged scandals to federal and local officials investigating Reflex for alleged misconduct. The whistleblower then filed a civil defamation ... Read More