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  • Imerys Talc Claims Bankruptcy, J&J Ovarian Cancer Claims Continue
    Feb-18-19 Three Forks, MT: Facing about 14,000 asbestos-talc cases claiming that talc causes ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, Imerys Talc America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Court records indicate that defending a single case can cost Imerys $4 million and some juries have awarded damages up to $2.75 million against the company. Imerys is the s...
  • Employee 401(k) Lawsuit Claims GE Inflated Stock Value
    Jan-15-19 Albany, NY On December 14, 2018, Adele Vargas filed a class action ERISA lawsuit against General Electric Company (“GE”) and Jeffrey Immelt, its former CEO. She alleges that GE improperly manipulated its earnings and inflated its stock price. As a retirement plan sponsor, it failed in its fiduciary duty to GE employees who invested in the compan...
  • The Labor Commissioner's Office Working California Overtime?
    Feb-4-19 Oakland, CA: Last year the restaurant industry alone was cited in California labor law violations amounting to millions of dollars. And according to a 2017 report, California wage theft can cost workers about $2 billion per year. That amount may rise now that agricultural workers are entitled to farmworker overtime pay based on a schedule issued by the L...
  • New Reuters Report Reveals J&J knew its Talcum Powder link to Asbestos and Cancer
    Dec-15-18 Los Angeles, CA: After reviewing documents and testimony from 1971 to the early 2000s, a new report by Reuters determined that Johnson & Johnson’s executives, mine managers, doctors and lawyers were aware the company's raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos. This report reflects many Johnson & Johnson l...
  • Tennessee Drywall Workers Win Unpaid Overtime in DOL Settlement
    Nov-21-18 Hermitage, TN On October 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that Tennessee contractor, Vasquez Drywall, had agreed to pay $103,300 in back wages to workers misclassified as independent contractors and a $2,424 civil penalty. Employment misclassification is rampant in the construction industry in Tennessee and throughout the country. Th...
  • Xarelto Settlement of $775 million Over Failure to Warn Claims
    Apr-9-19 New Orleans : Thousands of patients who took Xarelto have settled, through multi-district litigation, with Johnson & Johnson and Bayer for three quarters of a billion dollars. Plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers marketed the drug to physicians to prevent blood clots, but failed to inform them of Xarelto side effects, which could cause life-threateni...
  • California Unpaid Wages Lawsuit Goes to Jail
    Dec-7-18 San Diego, CA A year and a half ago, Sylvester Owino and Jonathan Gomez filed a California unpaid wages lawsuit against CoreCivic, a for-profit business that runs private prisons, including the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego. The lawsuit alleges violations of federal human trafficking laws and California labor laws relating to minimum wage,...
  • Sephora Accused of Shorting Workers for Time to Don Makeup
    Nov-5-18 San Francisco, CA Cosmetics retailer, Sephora, has recently found itself embroiled in several California unpaid wages lawsuits . The allegations are similar from lawsuit to lawsuit, and so are the plaintiffs’ evidentiary problems. Basically, Sephora is accused of failing to pay workers for time required to go through security, put on makeup before shif...
  • Hacks, Embezzlements, and 401(k) Mismanagement – What You Can Do to Protect Your Retirement Nest Egg
    Nov-17-18 Washington, DC When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton reportedly replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” Now, however, roughly $5 trillion, or a fifth of all U.S. retirement assets, sit in 401(k) accounts . Today’s Willie Suttons are there, too, as recent ERISA lawsuits and criminal prosecutions confirm. Don’t stuff your money...
  • The New Year Rings in New Sexual Harassment Rules, Mainly Triggered by #MeTooMovement
    Jan-4-19 Sacramento, CA: The #MeTooMovement has resulted in a number of new laws with the goal to make it easier for employees to report sexual harassment and for employers to have a voice in investigations concerning this and other California labor law violations. Most of these laws took effect January 1, and employers would be wise to become familiar with them. ...
  • LTD Claimants Win Big as Ninth Circuit Trims “Abuse of Discretion” Standard
    Jan-11-19 San Francisco, CA In one of the earliest decisions of 2019, the Ninth Circuit gave plaintiffs in long term denied disability lawsuits a new way to challenge benefit denial decisions. It may turn out to be significant. But to understand why, it is necessary to get down into the details of how courts apply the rules about whether or not to defer to a...
  • Discrimination Laws Upheld with Teva Claim
    Dec-6-18 Santa Clara, CA: Pharmaceutical giant Teva was ordered by an eight-person jury last month to pay $6.3 million to a former manager who filed a discrimination employment lawsuit against the Israeli company. The eight-person jury in Philadelphia federal court came to a unanimous decision after a one-week trial: they concluded that former manager Stephen Mi...
  • Judge Upends $289 Million Monsanto Roundup Cancer Award
    Oct-19-18 San Francisco, CA On October 11, 2018, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos tentatively ruled that she would toss out the jury’s $250 million punitive damage award and schedule a new trial on that issue. The judge also suggested she may also drastically reduce the $39 million compensatory damage portion of the Monsanto glyphosate laws...
  • UNUM LTD Claimants Must Beware of Exhaustion of Remedies Roadblock
    Oct-15-18 Chattanooga, TN On September 25, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted UNUM Life Insurance’s motion for summary judgment, thus ending Richard Ravenscraft’s UNUM disability lawsuit on the grounds that he had not exhausted administrative remedies. These are the rocks on which many long term disability lawsuits have been dashed. An earlier...
  • Unum Disability Insurance Claimant Wins Reinstatement of LTD Benefits
    Jan-8-19 Santa Ana, CA On November 20, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California handed Pamela Fleming a resounding victory in her Unum disability insurance lawsuit. Unum had been paying her LTD benefits since 2005, after a serious and well-documented neck injury sustained in a car accident. A change in her treating physician and a br...
  • ER Charges: Underserved and Over-Charged thanks to Upcoding
    Jan-10-19 Los Angeles, CA: When a nine-year old accidentally had gasoline splashed in her eyes, her mother immediately drove her to the closest hospital emergency room. They were directed to the eyewash station but it was so dirty they couldn’t use it, so Brianna’s mom rinsed her daughter’s eyes at a regular sink. Turns out, they would have been better off us...
  • Jury Awards $25.6 Million in Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit
    Dec-17-18 Oklahoma City, OK In November 2018, a jury awarded nearly $25.6 million to the family of a Oranna Cunningham, a woman who was diagnosed with advanced nasopharyngeal cancer. Her insurer, Aetna, refused to cover the cost of the proton beam therapy recommended by her physician, claiming that it was “experimental or investigational.” After her death, her h...
  • Fibromyalgia Sufferer Brings LTD Lawsuit against Life Insurance Co. of North America
    Nov-16-18 Los Angeles, CA On September 14, 2018 Marisa Finnerty filed a long term denied disability lawsuit against the Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA), alleging that she had been wrongly denied benefits under her employer, Quest Diagnostics’, long term disability and group life insurance plans. Two things stand out about this lawsuit. It’s a...
  • Excessive Overdraft Fees Lawsuit against DFCU Survives Motion to Dismiss
    Nov-23-18 Boston, MA Brandi Salls’ excessive overdraft fees lawsuit against Digital Federal Credit Union (DFCU) has survived the credit union’s Motion to Dismiss. This is good news, but it was a near thing , at least with respect to some of the counts. Claimants in similar credit union lawsuits should take away five important lessons. Excessive Overdraft...
  • Is a Health Plan Liable for the Negligence of an Unqualified Claims Reviewer?
    Oct-23-18 Sherman, TX Johnson v. UnitedHealthcare raises more questions than it answers about how ERISA protects health plan participants who bring bad faith insurance lawsuits over denied medical claims. Stephen Johnson had more than his share of hardship. The law hasn’t helped him. But it’s a complicated story that will affect claimants and health in...
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