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whistleblower 959 articles

Government study of Toyota sudden acceleration too narrow, say whistleblowers

U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is voicing concerns that a government investigation of sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles may have wrongly ruled out electronic glitches as the cause triggering some vehicles to unexpectedly speed out of control. A team of investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and NASA engineers studied sudden acceleration in some of the affected Toyota models, but ruled out a malfunction in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system as a possible cause. The conclusion drew the ire of many independent engineers, safety advocates, and other critics who insist the study was flawed. Senator Grassley ... Read More

Whistleblower fired for reporting asbestos in condo complex to be compensated

A Columbia, South Carolina, real estate management company has agreed to pay a former employee $45,000 and take other measures to ensure federal whistleblower provisions aren’t violated in the future, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced. The agreement settles a complaint brought against CMM Realty Inc. and its owner for allegedly terminating a maintenance worker after he reported asbestos control violations to state and federal regulatory agencies. According to OSHA, in May 2009 the employee was working at CMM’s Briargate Condominiums in Columbia when he encountered problems involving asbestos and asbestos exposure. Contact with asbestos fibers can ... Read More

Complaints accuse Merck of mumps vaccine fraud

An Alabama health care provider filed a lawsuit against Merck Monday, June 25, a week after a 2010 whistleblower lawsuit against the drug manufacturer was unsealed, revealing allegations that for a decade, Merck may have knowingly made and marketed a mumps vaccine that was “far less effective” than it told federal regulators. According to the Courthouse News, Chathom Primary Care in Chathom, Alabama, filed a federal antitrust class action against Merck after learning about a False Claims Act complaint brought against the drug maker by two former Merck virologists familiar with the company’s vaccine development. In that complaint, Stephen Krahling ... Read More

Whistleblowers to get cut of record fines in health care fraud case

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will pay a combined total of $3 billion in civil and criminal fines and plead guilty to pushing two of its popular drugs for unapproved purposes and withholding important safety information about a third drug from U.S. regulators. A group of whistleblowers instrumental to the case, which is considered to be the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, will receive a percentage of the fines for their role in aiding the federal government’s investigation and helping to recover taxpayer money. At the center of the case was GSK’s illegal marketing of the drug Paxil to treat ... Read More

Kentucky miner blows whistle on Big Coal over lax safety

A Kentucky miner who has blown the whistle repeatedly on major coal mining operations over safety issues has been reinstated to work by a federal judge. Kentucky miner Charles Scott Howard, 52, lost his job with Cumberland River Coal Co. shortly after he filed a civil lawsuit last year against his employer for allegedly endangering his and other miners’ with its noncompliance of key federal safety regulations. In 2010, Mr. Howard complained about a number of safety issues with company managers. Shortly after, he received a head injury on the job that required hospitalization. Several doctors who examined Mr. Howard ... Read More

Vet brings awareness to whistleblower laws with cross-country walk

A Gulf War veteran who wants to raise awareness about corruption and fraud, which he says he personally witnessed while working for the Northern Arizona VA health care system, has taken his message to the streets in a cross-country walk-a-thon. Steven Jacoby, 40, left his home in Arizona February 29, setting off on a 2,300-mile journey to Washington, D.C., on foot. It was a decision he had made only the day before, compelled by a desire to fix all of the fraud and wrongdoing by drawing attention to it. In June he had reached Tennessee, where he told Cookeville’s Herald-Citizen ... Read More

New Orleans riverboat company settles whistleblower case with OSHA

NEW ORLEANS, LA—The U.S. government has agreed to settle a whistleblower complaint brought against St. James Stevedoring Partners of New Orleans by a riverboat barge captain who was fired for reporting serious safety concerns to the U.S. Coast Guard, as required by law. A Labor Department whistleblower investigator found that St. James Stevedoring fired the riverboat captain after he complained to the U.S. Coast Guard about an inoperable starboard vessel engine in June 2011. Federal regulations require riverboat captains to report inoperable engines to the Coast Guard, and failure to do so can jeopardize the captain’s license. St. James Stevedoring ... Read More

OSHA advisory committee to strengthen whistleblower protections

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced it plans to establish a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to help inform the agency on ways to improve the whistleblowing protections it offers to those who have taken a stand against corporate fraud. “Workers who expose securities and financial fraud, adulterated foods, air and water pollution, or workplace safety hazards have a legal right to speak out without fear of retaliation, and the laws that protect these whistleblowers also protect the health, safety and well-being of all Americans,” Dr. David Michaels, OSHA’s assistant secretary of labor said in a statement. “Establishing ... Read More

Harvard Medical School to stand trial for Alzheimer’s research fraud

Harvard Medical School will face trial for conducting research fraud after a U.S. Appeals Court overturned the decision of a lower court Tuesday and ordered the case to proceed. The claim, which involves one of the largest Alzheimer’s disease research grants ever awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was brought to court by a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Dr. Keith Jones, chief statistician for the NIH grant. Dr. Jones blew the whistle on the Alzheimer’s study and its principal researchers after discovering that key measurements used to demonstrate the study’s reliability had been secretly modified to suit a ... Read More

Montgomery man faces harsh backlash after blowing whistle on his international employer

MONTGOMERY, ALA–Blowing the whistle on corporate fraud and other wrongdoing would be a no-brainer for most people, but the truth is workers have a lot to consider when faced with the prospect of calling out their employers. The threat of losing one’s job always looms large, but other forms of backlash that were not apparent at first may emerge after the whistle is blown, turning the fight into a real-life David and Goliath at best or a living nightmare in more extreme cases. For whistleblowers facing backlash, lawyers can become their closest ally. Few real-life examples illustrate this more vividly ... Read More