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whistleblower 952 articles

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

Lawsuit accuses Takeda of hiding bladder cancer Actos risks

A Kentucky man is suing Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals, claiming the popular diabetes drug caused him to develop bladder cancer. The man and his wife filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, naming Japan-based Takeda and its subsidiary companies as defendants, as well as U.S.-based Eli Lilly, which partnered with Takeda to market Actos in the United States and Canada. In addition to bladder cancer and resulting illnesses, the plaintiffs assert Actos caused other bodily injuries, diminished enjoyment of life, economic losses, and other damages. According to the lawsuit, the link between Actos and bladder cancer was no secret ... Read More

Unnecessary surgeries were performed for profit and promotion, whistleblower lawsuit alleges

A whistleblower lawsuit filed against The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Hamot campus under the False Claims Act accuses the hospital and five cardiologists of defrauding Medicare and a number of patients by participating in a kickback scheme from 2001 to 2005 that involved performing unneeded heart operations. According to Pennsylvania’s Erie Times-News, “The suit claims the doctors, part of Medicor Associates Inc., performed unnecessary surgical procedures to make more money for themselves and Hamot and to promote the development of a cardiovascular surgery program at Hamot.” The lawsuit also contends that “Hamot overbilled Medicare in exchange for referrals ... Read More

Whistleblower receives $21 million for exposing health care fraud

A former senior financial analyst for a Florida-based health plan provider will receive nearly $21 million for his role in exposing his employer’s fraudulent business practices, which involved double billing Medicare and Medicaid. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Sean Hellein, who worked for WellCare Health Plans in Tampa, secretly recorded company executives in 2006 discussing ways to double bill the government health programs. As an administer of managed-care plans for 2.6 million Medicare and Medicaid patients, WellCare is required to refund a percentage of unspent funds. Mr. Hellein’s information led to an FBI raid on WellCare’s Tampa headquarters in ... Read More

Injured Pfizer worker blows whistle on unpoliced biotech hazards

Becky McClain was a molecular biologist working for Pfizer Inc. when she was allegedly injured on the job after being exposed to a highly secretive virus in the company’s Groton, Connecticut, laboratories. McClain filed a number of complaints with Pfizer in an effort to address safety concerns that put both workers and the public at risk. But instead of fixing the problem, Pfizer turned its back on Ms. McClain’s complaints and fired her. Today, two years after winning a $1.27 million judgment against Pfizer and an additional $910,000 for attorney’s fees and punitive damages awarded by a judge last year, ... Read More

“Reluctant whistleblower” tells Reuters about pink slime in ground beef

The national outrage over chemically treated meat scraps dubbed “pink slime” and sold to unsuspecting consumers as ground beef started with a disapproving email written by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) microbiologist to a colleague. According to Reuters, in 2002 USDA food scientist Gerald Zimstein was assigned to a project analyzing ground beef products and what was being added to them. Mr. Zimstein was thus familiar with the Beef Industry’s efforts to get approval on a product it called “finely textured ground beef,” which is made by grinding connective tissue and other meat scrap products into a paste and ... Read More

Florida school fired whistleblower who voiced safety concerns, OSHA says

PALMETTO, FL–The Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Florida, is being sued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for firing an employee who blew the whistle on alleged safety hazards at the school. According to OSHA, the employee submitted a letter to his supervisor on June 20, 2009, warning of improperly placed extension cords and the lack of sprinkler systems in the Manatee School’s two theaters. School authorities never responded to the letter or the concerns it expressed. The employee then filed a complaint with OSHA on July 14, and on July 30 regulators from OSHA’s ... Read More

Whistleblower sues Takeda for downplaying Actos heart risks

A U.S. unit of Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. downplayed the seriousness of hundreds of cases of congestive heart failure linked to its diabetes drug Actos to federal regulators, a Takeda employee alleges in a whistle-blower lawsuit she brought against the company. All pharmaceutical companies are required by law to report adverse drug reactions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS). This information updates the drug database and keeps regulators apprised of safety concerns that could influence how the drug is marketed. Helen Ge, a medical reviewer for the Actos manufacturer, alleges that from 2007 to ... Read More