$3,500,000 Verdict Involving Insurance Fraud

posted on:
January 15, 2008

author:
Staff

category:
Fraud

December, 1994 – This case involved fraud in the sale of a life insurance policy. In this case, the insurance company's agent told Plaintiff that if he would make his payments on the policy for a certain number of years, the policy would be paid up and good until his death. This was called a vanishing premium policy because the premium was to vanish at some point. However, the premiums never actually vanished and Plaintiff had to pay on the policy for years to come. The jury awarded this verdict to try to stop this type of conduct in the future.

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At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

1,500 attorneys attend Beasley Allen’s 11th Annual Legal Conference & Expo

posted on:
November 17, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

Beasley Allen Legal Conference 1,500 attorneys attend Beasley Allens 11th Annual Legal Conference & ExpoBeasley Allen Law Firm hosted its 11th annual Legal Strategies Conference & Expo at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center Thursday, Nov. 16, and Friday, Nov. 17. Approximately, 1,500 Alabama lawyers in private practice attended the event and were treated to an inside look, start-to-finish, at a recent case Beasley Allen successfully litigated, which was a new approach to presenting cutting-edge trends and information in the profession.

The conference’s new approach included a special appearance by Colin Lacy, whose unique perspective as a client reinforced the important role of trial lawyers in the country’s civil justice system.

Lacy explained that the accident has been the worst thing that has ever happened to him, but the best thing, too. It helped him realize how short life can be and that it can change in the blink of an eye. He told attendees, “What you do makes a difference and has made a difference to me. My team [of attorneys] had my back and actually cared about me.”

Lacy’s spine was severed at the T-10 level when the Freightliner truck he was driving went out of control on Interstate 10 near Niceville, Florida, in 2011. The accident occurred because Empire Truck Sales, LLC, which had just serviced the truck, left a lateral control rod detached and caused a defect in the truck’s brake system. Lacy spent more than two months in the hospital following the accident and will spend the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair. A Mobile, Alabama, jury returned an $18.79 million verdict in Lacy’s favor following a trial in 2015.

“Lawyers can easily get wrapped up in day-to-day tasks, but at the end of the day, the heart of our job is getting justice for our clients,” said Beasley Allen Principal and Lead Products Liability attorney Greg Allen. “There is no better reminder than hearing directly from a client about the impact his legal team had on his case and his life after one of the worst tragedies a person can experience.”

Lacy first connected with Charlie Potts, an attorney with Briskman and Binion law firm in Mobile, Alabama. After attending the legal conference in previous years, Potts decided to partner with Beasley Allen to get justice for the young man. As an active member of the trial team, Potts’ commitment to helping jurors understand what happened to Lacy and how it would affect him the rest of his life was integral to the team’s success.

“I am proud to have worked with the team of Beasley Allen lawyers on Colin’s case,” Potts said. “This fine young man had his whole life ahead of him when one company’s neglectful actions tragically changed his life forever. It was an honor to help successfully achieve justice for such a deserving young man.”

Throughout the two-day event, the lineup of award-winning and accomplished speakers presented on topics of Product Liability, Business Litigation, Consumer Fraud, Medical Device and Drug Litigation as well as Legal Ethics. Attorney speakers walked attendees through Lacy’s case, sharing key tips on the different aspects of preparing a case for trial.

“It’s important for lawyers to stay up-to-date on evolving trends and technology that can help us advocate more successfully for our clients,” said Beasley Allen Principal Gibson Vance. “Beasley Allen is pleased to provide a venue and resources for our colleagues throughout the state. And, while it’s risky to introduce change after more than a decade of hosting this type of event, the feedback about the new approach was overall positive and encouraging.”

Beasley Allen Principal & Founder Jere Beasley also discussed the important role lawyers play in improving society. Additional special guest speakers included Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall; Retirement Systems of Alabama CEO Dr. David Bronner; Alabama Association for Justice President Frank Woodson; Co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center Morris Dees; the Alabama State Bar’s Executive Director Phillip McCallum, Alabama State Bar President Augusta S. Dowd, and ASB General Counsel Doug McElvy; best-selling author and international technology expert Jabez LeBret; and Alabama Lawyer Assistance Program Director Robert Thornhill.

Attendees visited with more than 20 of the nation’s top legal service providers along with this year’s platinum sponsors, Jackson Thornton Valuation and Litigation Consulting Group and Freedom Reporting, Inc. Other sponsors included Baker Realtime Reporting, Berny Office Solutions, Forge Consulting, Garreston Resolution Group, Martindale-Hubbell and Verscend. Representatives from other legal and community groups, including the Alabama State Bar and the Alabama Association for Justice, were also on hand to share information with conference participants about how their organizations assist Alabama lawyers.

“We have been pleased to welcome the Beasley Allen Legal Conference in Montgomery for more than a decade.” said Dawn Hathcock, Vice President, Destination & Brand Development for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “The conference provides lawyers from all over the state an opportunity to see everything Montgomery has to offer as a destination, and we hope that translates into return visits for vacations, events or additional meetings. In addition, hosting nearly 2,000 attendees at the state’s largest legal conference provides a huge economic impact in the River Region estimated to be roughly a million dollars.”

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Beasley Allen lawyer Kendall Dunson inducted into ABOTA

posted on:
November 17, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

kendall dunson Beasley Allen lawyer Kendall Dunson inducted into ABOTABeasley Allen lawyer Kendall Dunson was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) at the Alabama Chapter’s annual meeting Nov. 16, 2017. Dunson is a Principal who practices in the firm’s Personal Injury / Products Liability section. Membership into the American Board of Trial Advocates is by invitation only, following a rigorous nomination and voting process. There are approximately 7,300 members of ABOTA in the United States; only 122 attorneys in Alabama are members.

“I’m honored to be selected for inclusion in ABOTA,” Dunson said. “In my work as a lawyer, I am most proud of my ability to help people, especially those people who have been injured through the fault of product manufacturers. A catastrophic injury can dramatically change a person and their family’s lives. It’s rewarding when my work can help make a real difference in someone’s recovery, and influence change for safety so that others don’t have to suffer.”

For the third consecutive year, ABOTA’s annual event honored one of the state’s most respected judges. This year’s banquet recognized the Hon. Robert H. Smith of Mobile, who serves the 13th Judicial Circuit. Prior to his appointment to the bench in 2006, Judge Smith was in private practice for 37 years. His practice, focused primarily on Admiralty and Maritime Suits, included a wide range of trial experience including appellate courts. Since assuming the bench, Judge Smith has distinguished himself as one of the finest judges in the Alabama court system.

ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ABOTA works to uphold the jury system for educating the American public about the history and value of the right to a trial by jury. To be considered for admission into the Alabama Chapter, one must have tried to conclusion a minimum of 10 civil jury trials, be nominated by an existing member whose practice typically is on the opposing side of the nominee, and be approved by 75 percent of those members voting on membership. Criteria evaluated includes exceptional jury trial skills, civility, professionalism and integrity.

Kendall grew up in LaGrange, Georgia, and graduated with honors from LaGrange High School in 1989, after serving his senior class as president. He earned a degree in Corporate Finance from UGA under full scholarship. Among a host of UGA honors, one of his most treasured honors was being elected president of the Zeta Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Kendall says he was inspired to law from two sources. One was a legal television serious popular in the 1980s called “L.A. Law,” which initially piqued his interest in the legal field. As he began to explore the field, Kendall says he realized the importance of the court system to the Civil Rights movement. Landmark court cases decided by the Courts in that fight were a major inspiration to his pursuing a legal career. A recipient of the Calloway Scholarship, Kendall is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Georgia.

Kendall has served as the president of both the Alabama Lawyers Association and the Capital City Bar Association. He recently completed a term as a Board member for the National Bar Association. He served on the Board of the Montgomery County Bar Association until he was elected to the Executive Committee. Kendall is also past president of the Montgomery County Bar Association and has the distinct honor of being its first African-American President.

He is a member of the Alabama State Bar and serves on the Diversity Committee and the Client Security Fund committees, positions appointed by the State Bar President. He served on the Alabama Curriculum Committee for the Board of Examiners, where he is authoring the new Tort Section and videotaped the presentation to be viewed by all taking the Alabama Bar Exam.

Kendall was selected as Beasley Allen’s Litigator of the Year in 2013, and again in 2015. In 2014, Kendall was recognized as our firm’s Personal Injury Section Lawyer of the Year. He also has been selected for inclusion on the Best Lawyers in America list since 2016.

Most recently, Kendall has been involved in several multimillion dollar lawsuits, including a $24.75 million verdict in a premises liability case; a $18.79 million verdict in a commercial truck product liability case; a $5.75 million verdict in a maritime lawsuit; and a $4.7 million verdict in a seat belt failure case. He and his Beasley Allen law partner Mike Andrews also recently secured an $8 million jury verdict on behalf of a woman who was seriously injured when her Volkswagen suddenly accelerated out of her control and crashed.

Kendall was a member of the trial team that handled a wrongful death case against a corporate defendant resulting in the largest jury verdict ever in Selma, Alabama. That suit influenced the corporate defendant to outfit its entire fleet of trucks with audible backup alarms. He also handled the suit over a bus collision case in Huntsville, Alabama, that caused the death of four students and numerous injuries. The suit resulted in the cancellation of the contract between the county and the defendant, which had the duty to safely transport students to school in Madison County.

Other Alabama lawyers inducted into ABOTA this year are:

Alan Alexander of the Helmsing Leach law firm, Mobile; Will Axon of the Starnes, Davis, Florie law firm, Birmingham; Bob Cooper of the Stockham, Cooper and Potts law firm, Birmingham; Jeff Rickard of the Marsh, Rickard & Bryan law firm, Birmingham; Gaynor St. John of the St. John & St. John law firm, Cullman; Allen Sydnor of the Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart law firm, Birmingham; and Michael Upchurch of the Frazer, Greene, Upchurch and Baker law firm, Mobile.

Mike Ermert of the Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton law firm in Birmingham, is President and George Knox, Jr., of the Lanier Ford law firm in Huntsville, is President- Elect of the Alabama Chapter of ABOTA.

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Increasing poultry plant line speeds risks worker safety

posted on:
November 16, 2017

author:
Kendall Dunson

kendall dunson Increasing poultry plant line speeds risks worker safetyHow fast is too fast? It’s a question over which the poultry industry is currently struggling. Some believe line speeds, which dictate how quickly poultry is processed, can be safely increased, but others are calling foul.

In September, the National Chicken Council wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) petitioning the Food Safety and Inspection Service to create a waiver system to allow plants that participate in certain inspection programs to increase line speeds up to 175 birds per minute (bpm) instead of the current cap at 140 bpm. It would increase the number of birds workers process from 2.25 bpm to 3 bpm.

In these plants, while some workers slice birds, others grab and twist wings into a particular position or debone the birds. It all involves fast-paced, detailed work with one’s hands that carries the risk of injury, whether due to quick repetitive motions, standing for long periods of time, or lacerations due to knives and other equipment.

To put the pace into perspective, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest time anyone has completed a Rubik’s Cube is 4.69 seconds. In videos of record-setting solving times, hands seem to blur, they’re moving so fast. Now imagine having to move your hands almost as quickly but with a knife or while trying to manipulate bone. It’s much easier to see why opponents of the increase cite worker safety as their concern, especially when considering any holdup on the line or visiting a company nurse or going to an outside doctor could cause a worker to be fired, as the Southern Poverty Law Center found in its report, Unsafe at These Speeds.

As the title suggests, the report stresses how the speeds of the poultry industry are a detriment to employees. It notes, “The workers in our survey attribute much of their pain and injuries to the speed of the processing line; 78 percent of workers surveyed said that the line speed makes them feel less safe, makes their work more painful and causes more injuries.” That’s at its current rate.

The proposed change to a maximum of 175 bpm would only apply to the evisceration portion of poultry processing, which the proposal notes is the one with the most automation. Plants would “need to expand to increase capacity in second processing,” where most of the labor force works, to accommodate the increased speed on the front end of production, according to the petition.

However, it’s unclear how well that would be executed given the history of unsafe working conditions in poultry processing. For example, Beasley Allen handled the case of a worker injured in an Alabama processing plant who was also fired after contacting a lawyer. The death of a worker at the same company was also reported at the end of last month.

A letter signed by 40 organizations describing their “alarm” over the proposed birds per minute increase counters that “overwhelming evidence to date suggests this increase would have disastrous results. Until the USDA completes its studies evaluating the safety of existing poultry plant line speeds, no changes in standards should be proposed or made.”

Increasing processing speeds would allow for the potential to increase profit — more chicken translates into more sales — and that is undoubtedly the driving factor behind the desire to change the regulation. Despite claims of maintaining safety at increased speeds, worker wellbeing should always take priority over increased profit potential when evaluating new regulations.

***

For more information about on-the-job injuries and deaths, and related potential legal claims, contact Kendall Dunson, a lawyer in Beasley Allen’s Personal Injury / Products Liability section at 800-898-2034 or Kendall.Dunson@beasleyallen.com.

Sources: Southern Poverty Law Center, USDA, The National Employment Law Project and the Guinness Book of World Records

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Beasley Allen helps feed 20 families this Thanksgiving

posted on:
November 15, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

turkey delivery Thanksgiving shutterstock 683370352 Beasley Allen helps feed 20 families this ThanksgivingFor many years Beasley Allen Law Firm has partnered with the Family Sunshine Center to provide Thanksgiving meals for River Region families in need. This year we are tripling the number of families we support thanks to the generosity of the firm’s employees and leadership.

In two trips before Thanksgiving, Beasley Allen will be delivering meal essentials, including turkeys and all the fixings, to 20 families who may not otherwise have had a meal to enjoy. These donations are made via the Family Sunshine Center, which has provided assistance to victims and survivors of family violence in the River Region for more than 35 years.

“We here at Beasley Allen are blessed to be able to provide meals to local families this Thanksgiving,” managing attorney Tom Methvin said. “The Family Sunshine Center has had a tremendous positive impact on our community, and we are glad to be able to help them with their mission this holiday season.”

For more information about the Family Sunshine Center and how you can help with their mission, visit them online at familysunshine.org.

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Legal woes, health risks lead to shrinking testosterone therapy market

posted on:
November 15, 2017

author:
Matt Teague

matt teague Legal woes, health risks lead to shrinking testosterone therapy marketIn less than a month, AbbVie, the manufacturer of the top selling testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drug AndroGel, was slapped with two verdicts totaling just under $300 million, Righting Injustice reports. The verdicts were awarded to two plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in which more than 6,000 claims are pending against AbbVie and other TRT drug manufacturers, according to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. At the heart of the MDL is the claim that manufacturers failured to warn about cardiovascular risks and misrepresented the drugs’ uses.

It is no wonder expansion of the TRT market has slowed and recent market growth estimates have dropped.

In 2015, the global market for the drug was estimated to reach approximately $2 billion by 2024, but the most recent forecast for the market shows a negative compounding annual growth rate of -4.2 percent by 2024, Righting Injustice explains. According to Bloomberg, factors such as patent challenges have led to the slowdown in the industry. However, the outlet also reported that sales for AndroGel began sliding when regulators demanded the product be accompanied by stronger warnings.

The prescription-only drugs were first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as treatment to increase testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism. Men suffering from the condition do not produce enough of the male hormone due to disease or injury, resulting in symptoms such as low libido, muscle loss, and fertility issues.

However, the drugs came with significant and life-threatening risks.

As Beasley Allen previously reported, in 2014, an FDA investigation confirmed findings from two studies linking the drugs to significantly higher risk of stroke, heart attack and death. Further evidence showed that the drugs may also cause dangerous blood clots in the legs, known as deep vein thrombosis, which can lead to pulmonary embolism.

In response to its findings, the FDA ordered drug manufacturers to update their safety labels to include a new warning for deep vein thrombosis blood clotting. The new warning was in addition to an existing warning of increased blood clot risk related to a condition called polycythemia.

Despite the health risks to men, TRT manufacturers were determined to expand the market.

Although TRT drugs were never approved by the FDA to treat age-related decreases in testosterone levels, the drugmakers invented a condition called Low-T and aggressively marketed the drugs to men who sought medical advice for erectile dysfunction. Manufacturers promised the drugs would restore men’s vitality.

In March, a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirmed a direct link between the industry’s aggressive marketing through television ads and “greater testosterone testing, new initiation, and initiation without recent… testing.”

Aggressive marketing tactics also included paying doctors to promote the drug. Beasley Allen previously explained that AbbVie paid more than $20 million to 191,555 doctors from August 2013 to December 2015 to promote its testosterone replacement drug, AndroGel. AbbVie’s fraudulent marketing practices was cited as the reason a jury awarded one of the plaintiffs, mentioned above, $150 million in punitive damages.

In September, Righting Injustice reported that Eli Lily is discontinuing two of its Axiron testosterone replacement therapy solutions and its authorized generic testosterone solution. However, the drugmaker rejects the notion that the move is connected to the health risks and legal trouble surrounding the product. Other testosterone replacement therapies remain available in patches, topical solutions, topical gels, tablets, injections and pellets. Brand names include Androgel, Bio-T-Gel, Delatestryl, Depo-Testosterone, Fortesta, Striant, Testim and Testopel.

* * *

If you or a loved one has suffered a heart attack or stroke while taking testosterone supplements, or if someone you love has died, you can contact Matthew Teague, a lawyer in the firm’s Personal Injury and Product Liability Section at 800-898-2034 or by email at Matt.teague@beasleyallen.com. More information about testosterone replacement drugs or replacement therapy can be found at www.lowt-lawyer.com.

Sources:
Righting Injustice
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
Bloomberg
Beasley Allen
JAMA

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Nursing home industry fights Florida’s life-saving emergency rule

posted on:
November 14, 2017

author:
Chris Boutwell

chris boutwell Nursing home industry fights Florida’s life saving emergency ruleLast month, a Florida administrative judge sided with the nursing home industry, striking down a life-saving measure that requires nursing homes to have backup generators to protect residents in the event of a power outage, according to the Washington Post.

As Beasley Allen previously reported, following Hurricane Irma, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills lost power for several days with no backup generator to restore power. The stifling heat led to the deaths of 10 residents, and other residents required emergency treatment for dehydration, breathing difficulties, and other heat exhaustion symptoms. Some patients’ body temperatures reached between 107 to 109.9 degrees.

Within days of the tragic and preventable deaths, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) used his emergency powers and issued a new rule. The rule required nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators that could provide enough backup power to keep facilities running for 96 hours, or four days. The governor gave nursing homes 60 days to meet the requirements.

However, rather than working to comply with the rule and protect their residents, the industry challenged the rule. It filed claims in multiple judicial venues before finding a judge willing to provide a favorable ruling, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Governor Scott’s administration vows to appeal the decision and is working to “implement the power requirements through a more-traditional rule-making process, which requires public meetings,” according to NewsChief.com.

The industry’s efforts to scuttle the protective measure were also on display during a public hearing earlier this month. The hearing was hosted by the state Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) on a proposed rule, which will apply to nursing homes and will be similar to the emergency rule issued by the governor in September.

Florida Health Care Association, a lobbying organization for Florida’s nursing home industry, complained about the costs and time constraints of complying with the life-saving rule. The group was key to defeating legislation with similar requirements in 2006. Its national counterpart, the American Health Care Association, is also known for putting profits before residents’ health and safety. Most recently, the national trade group has blocked a federal rule that would protect consumers’ rights to hold facilities accountable for incidents of abuse and neglect.

* * *

If you need more information on nursing home litigation contact Chris Boutwell at 800-898-2034 or by email at Chris.Boutwell@beasleyallen.com. Chris handles nursing home litigation for our firm, and he will be glad to talk with you.

Sources:
Washington Post
Beasley Allen
Wall Street Journal
NewsChief.com

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Beasley Allen named to 2018 Best Law Firms list by Best Lawyers

posted on:
November 14, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

Best Lawyers Beasley Allen named to 2018 Best Law Firms list by Best LawyersBest Lawyers® recently announced Beasley Allen Law Firm as one of the Best Law Firms in the country. Beasley Allen was recognized as a Tier 1 firm in the Litigation-Environmental, Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs categories. Beasley Allen was also recognized in the Tier 2 list for Commercial Litigation and Health Care Law, as well as the Tier 3 list for Corporate Law.

Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. The methodology is designed to capture the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession.

Earlier this year, 20 Beasley Allen lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America®. Included on the list are the firm’s Principal & Founder, Jere L. Beasley, included since 1991, as well as Principals J. Greg Allen (the firm’s Lead Products Liability Attorney), included since 2012; Michael J. Crow, included since 2011; Thomas J. Methvin (the firm’s Managing Attorney), included since 2006; J. Cole Portis (Personal Injury Section Head), included since 2012; W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III, (Consumer Fraud Section Head) included since 2011; Andy D. Birchfield, Jr., (Mass Torts Section Head) included since 2007; Rhon E. Jones (Toxic Torts Section Head), included since 2011; Benjamin E. Baker, Jr., included since 2013; Julia Anne Beasley, included since 2011; LaBarron N. Boone, included since 2011; David B. Byrne III, included since 2012; Kendall C. Dunson, included since 2016; R. Graham Esdale, Jr., included since 2012; Benjamin L. Locklar, included since 2017; P. Leigh O’Dell, included since 2011; W. Roger Smith III, included since 2012; C. Gibson Vance, included since 2012; E. Frank Woodson, included since 2016; and Navan Ward Jr. for the first time.

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

EPA limits reach of toxic chemical evaluations

posted on:
November 13, 2017

author:
Rhon Jones

category:
Environmental

 EPA limits reach of toxic chemical evaluationsEarlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 45,000 people have died in the United States alone from malignant mesothelioma from 1999 to 2015. Even more alarming was the fact young people continued to be exposed despite increased regulations limiting how and where asbestos can be used.

In the report, the CDC concluded the continued exposure of people 55 and older “might result from occupational exposure to asbestos fibers during maintenance activities, demolition and remediation of existing asbestos in structures, installations, and buildings if controls are insufficient to protect workers.”

Despite evidence that existing asbestos is continuing to create health problems for Americans, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reneging on promises to evaluate some of the most dangerous chemicals used by the public, including millions of tons of asbestos found in consumer products, buildings, vehicles, etc.

“Instead of following President Barack Obama’s proposal to look at chemicals already in widespread use that result in some of the most common exposures, the new administration wants to limit the review to products still being manufactured and entering the marketplace,” the Associated Press reports. “For asbestos, that means gauging the risks from just a few hundred tons of the material imported annually while excluding almost all of the estimated 8.9 million tons of asbestos-containing products that the U.S. Geological Survey said entered the marketplace between 1970 and 2016.”

Contrary to popular belief, asbestos is still legal in the United States. The EPA website contains a list of products containing asbestos that are not banned: pipeline wrap, clothing, brake blocks, gaskets, cement pipe and roof coatings. While the review would include those asbestos products that are still being manufactured, it would not include any information on asbestos-containing products that are no longer made but are still in use.

By not including any preexisting materials in new handling or disposal rules, the hope of a complete asbestos ban, as is currently underway in Canada, is almost non-existent, and people will continue to die from completely preventable asbestos-related diseases, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Originally, the EPA touted the evaluation as the delivery on “a promise to better protect public health and the environment,” but unfortunately this backtracking has left that promise empty. The chemical industry has shown it continues to place profit over people’s health, and the government continues to fail to truly protect its citizen from asbestos exposure.

* * *

For more information about asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, and how they may be linked to product liability claims, contact Rhon Jones, head of Beasley Allen’s Toxic Torts section, at 800-898-2034 or Rhon.Jones@beasleyallen.com.

Sources: The Associated Press, EPA, CDC

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Failure to promptly disclose FCA lawsuit triggers government fraud case

posted on:
November 10, 2017

author:
Archie Grubb

category:
Fraud

archie grubb1 Failure to promptly disclose FCA lawsuit triggers government fraud caseU.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, rejected an Ohio-based chemicals and roofing company’s attempt to have a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whistleblower lawsuit dismissed, according to Law360. The SEC filed the lawsuit against RPM International after the company violated antifraud regulations following an investigation of claims that it had gouged the federal government.

In 2010, Gregory Rudolph filed a lawsuit as a qui tam whistleblower under the False Claims Act (FCA) against RMP International subsidiary Tremco. Rudolph worked for the company for 20 years before he resigned as its Vice President of Product Systems a year earlier, the National Law Review explained. He claimed the company charged the government higher prices than it charged its private-sector clients and sold the government more expensive, brand-name and top-of-the-line roofing systems when less expensive alternatives would have been just as effective.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an investigation in 2011 in response to Rudolph’s claims. Two years later, the company agreed to pay $61 million to settle the lawsuit and end the investigation. However, the story doesn’t end with settlement, but takes a turn down a trail of more reported fraudulent activity, which led to the filing of the current SEC lawsuit.

Edward W. Moore was RPM’s general counsel and Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) who directed the company’s response to the DOJ investigation and the resulting settlement. After learning of the of the FCA lawsuit and DOJ investigation in August 2012, Moore was legally required to alert investors and markets that “RPM faced a material loss that was probable and reasonably estimable” in connection with the DOJ investigation. Yet, he failed to do so, and RPM also failed to “record an accrual on its books.”

The defendants argued that their failure to obey the anti-fraud regulations did not impact the company’s stock price. The court, however, found that the issue was much larger than the price of the stock, LawyersandSettlements.com explained. The other part of the impact equation was “whether the disclosure would have mattered to a reasonable investor.”

* * *

Are you aware of fraud being committed against the federal government, or a state government? If so, you may be protected and rewarded for doing the right thing by reporting the fraud. If you have any questions about whether you qualify as a whistleblower, please contact an attorney at Beasley Allen for a free and confidential evaluation of your claim. There is a contact form on this website, or you may email one of the lawyers on our whistleblower litigation team: Archie Grubb, Larry Golston, Lance Gould or Andrew Brashier.

Sources:
Law360
Securities and Exchange Commission
National Law Review
LawyersandSettlements.com

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Beasley Allen attorneys named to prestigious 2017 Super Lawyers list

posted on:
November 9, 2017

author:
Staff

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Super Lawyers Beasley Allen attorneys named to prestigious 2017 Super Lawyers listTwenty-three Beasley Allen attorneys were selected for inclusion on the 2017 Super Lawyers list. Included on the list are the firm’s Principal & Founder, Jere L. Beasley, as well as Principals J. Greg Allen, Michael J. Crow, J. Cole Portis, Daniel W. “Dee” Miles III, Andy D. Birchfield, Jr., Rhon E. Jones, Benjamin E. Baker, Jr.Julia A. Beasley, David B. Byrne III, Kendall C. Dunson, R. Graham Esdale, Christopher D. Glover, Ted G. Meadows, P. Leigh O’Dell, W. Roger Smith III, C. Gibson Vance and Navan Ward Jr. This marks the first year David B. Byrne III, P. Leigh O’Dell and Navan Ward Jr. were selected for inclusion and the 10th year Jere L. Beasley, J. Greg Allen and Rhon E. Jones were selected.

In addition, five Beasley Allen attorneys were included on the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list, which recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys – those who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing 10 years or less. Beasley Allen’s Rising Stars are Alison Douillard Hawthorne, Danielle Ward Mason, J. Parker Miller, Sonny W. Wills Jr., and, for the first time, Andrew E. Brashier.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The mission of Super Lawyers is to bring visibility to those attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice.

The Super Lawyers lists are published in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. The Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information, go to superlawyers.com.

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