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SFMS Law Blog

Mega national pharmacy chain embroiled in false claims scandal

National pharmacy chain giant Walgreen Co. employs some quite catchy word play to create an upbeat imagery-laden buzz about the company. Walgreens is, allegedly, "at the corner of happy and healthy."

Here's the deal, though: The iconic company is also at the center of controversy, given recent media accounts focused upon what two whistleblowers -- a Walgreens pharmacist and technician, respectively -- contend was unlawful behavior sanctioned at the corporate level that defrauded American taxpayers of many millions of dollars.

Legal loophole allows faulty air bags back into salvage vehicles

We haven't heard very much in recent months about the federal government's largest auto product recall in history. It wasn't all that long ago that nearly every major news outlet had at least one headline offering up the latest bad news regarding Takata air bags. Age and the environment have not proven kind to certain models of these crash safety devices. As a result, many of them have come to be deadly defective products.

Unless you have been on another planet, chances are you are aware of the issue we're talking about. It's not just a Connecticut problem. It's national in scope. At last word, some 69 million of the bags are under government recall because of faulty inflation systems. Chemical propellants in the bags have been found to become so unstable over time that they ignite with so much force that canister shrapnel enters the passenger compartments of vehicles. At least 16 deaths and 180 injuries have been attributed to the defect.

Often, workplace sexual harassment victims opt not to report

"[B]ake it into company culture."

That is the recipe advanced in a recent New York Times article discussing on-the-job sexual harassment for best eliminating that pernicious evil in the workplace and upping the odds that unlawful treatment and behavior is duly reported when it occurs.

Report: 2016 notably concerning year for defective kids' products

A 12% jump regarding select subject matter relating to America's children can be salutary, indeed, if it is linked with something like collectively improved test scores, an increased immunization rate, lower rates of family-based domestic violence or some other positive development.

That stark upward tick can be instantly alarming, though, when it pertains to any matter focused upon imperiled safety for the nation's youngest demographic.

Explosive allegations prompt securities fraud class action claim

The sordid details surrounding a long-tenured private arbitration case became available for public scrutiny several weeks ago. The matter centrally pits the mega national jewelry manufacturer and retailer Signet Jewelers Ltd. (the parent company of Sterling Jewelers, which owns mall mainstays Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, respectively) against a stunning 69,000 female plaintiffs alleging pay and promotion discrimination, as well as sexual harassment.

Many of those women claim that sexually harassing behavior against female employees has long been endemic across all company sectors and regions, and at the highest corporate levels.

Seventh Circuit Extends Civil Rights to Sexual Orientation

In June 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States in its Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) decision. Although it was considered a victory for the LGBTQ community, that community's right to jobs, education, and other civil liberties remained unprotected from discrimination. For example, Professor Kimberly Hively filed a discrimination lawsuit against her employer, Ivy Tech Community College ("Ivy Tech"), for discriminatory employment practices based on her sexual orientation. Her claims were originally dismissed until they reached the Seventh Circuit.

Allergan Kickback Claims Survive Provisional Stage

John Wood ("Wood") served as a senior territory manager for Allergan Inc. ("Allergan" or the "Company") from October 2008 through July 2010, during which time he became privy to the allegedly illegal practice of bribing physicians to prescribe Allergan drugs in exchange for $100 million worth of drug samples and other goods. Once Wood internally reported the purported misconduct to Allergan, his was terminated. Consequently, Wood brought a False Claims Act ("FCA") lawsuit on behalf of the federal government and 25 states.

T. Rowe's $388M Mutual Fund Fee Suit Continues in Maryland

In our article, "Do Actively Managed Funds Breach Fiduciary Duties?" we outlined the role of an entity or person who handles investments (a fiduciary) and the fiduciary duty the law provides to protect investors. Although that article discussed fiduciary duties in the context of retirement plans, these obligations are not limited to those with pensions and 401(k)s.

Islands' $2.7M Settlement Gets Skeptical Stamp of Approval

In March 2011, Jonathan Chambless ("Chambless") accused a hamburger chain restaurant with over 50 locations, Islands Restaurants LP ("Islands"), of violating California wage and hour laws by denying employees mandated rest breaks. However, because of personal reasons, Chambless withdrew from the case and Kathryn Jacoby ("Jacoby") became the named plaintiff.

Chrysler Customers Argue NY Jurisdiction is Appropriate

A putative class of Dodge and Chrysler owners have filed a complaint in New York against the car conglomerate, Fiat Chrysler or FCA US LLC ("FCA"), for allegedly hiding a tire defect in Chrysler Town and Country minivans, Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, and Jeep Liberty and Dodge Journey SUVs. However, FCA argued, in its motion to dismiss, that almost none of the named plaintiffs had bought their cars in New York. The one plaintiff who had purchased in New York was also involved in a similar suit that already surpassed dismissal, which caused him, FCA argued, to be a "fraudulent joinder." Therefore, FCA urged the court to dismiss the tire defect claims because New York was the inappropriate court for the plaintiffs to file their lawsuit.