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May 26, 2020

Automatic fire suppressant systems on school buses desperately needed to protect children

School buses are essential (under normal circumstances, when students are not at home during a pandemic) for many parents and for students who don’t otherwise have a way to school, after school activities or sports games. For many, they bring up fond memories of riding to school with friends and neighbors, but for others, buses have been the source of harm or even deadly outcomes. One reason is that most school buses don’t contain the types of automatic fire suppressant systems and protections we’ve come to expect, making a school bus one of the worst places to be during a fire.

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May 19, 2020

Whistleblowers are on the front lines of America’s COVID-19 pandemic

History teaches that as in previous national crises, the funds appropriated through the CARES Act will be beset by fraud of every kind imaginable. America’s workers, and particularly the essential healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic, are uniquely situated to witness, detect, prevent and report COVID-19-related fraud on the government by taking advantage of the rights and protections afforded whistleblowers by the False Claims Act (FCA).

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May 15, 2020

2020 to date brings record number of SEC Whistleblower Awards

Since the beginning of this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (OWB) has issued approximately $64 million in whistleblower awards to 12 whistleblowers who reported information to the SEC that either caused it to open an investigation or substantially assisted in an ongoing investigation.

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May 4, 2020

Workers’ Memorial Week: Anticipating risk, listening to workers crucial to save future lives

Over the course of last week, we explored how past work-related tragedies shaped and were often a catalyst for safety policies, many of which continue to protect workers to this day. We also examined the challenges and limitations that affect today’s workers – especially now as the world continues to find its way through this unprecedented pandemic. Now that Workers’ Memorial Week 2020 has come to a close, we’re reminded just how uncertain the future remains for workers.

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May 1, 2020

Worker knowledge is power in the fight for workers’ rights

In the workplace, employees’ knowledge of their rights not only empowers them, but helps to promote transparency, safety regulations and their civil liberties. In honor of Workers’ Memorial Week it is important to apply the lessons we have learned in the past and exercise workers’ rights, especially now as medical personnel, food plant workers and others are facing increased risks from COVID-19 and, in some situations, a lack of adequate personal safety equipment and appropriate working conditions.

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April 2, 2020

Childhood sexual abuse litigation FAQ: “Lookback window” laws give voice to victims

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will suffer sexual abuse by an adult before they turn 18, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. For many, their abuse is a secret that weighs heavily, well into adulthood, even as abusers walk free and the institutions that enabled the abuse are not held accountable. New “lookback window” laws enacted in several states throughout the country seek to give adult victims of childhood sexual abuse a stronger voice and an opportunity to hold their abusers and abuse enablers accountable in civil court.

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March 19, 2020

Proposed CFPB whistleblower program a plus for consumers

Recognizing the success of the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently proposed that Congress amend the Dodd-Frank Act to add a whistleblower program that rewards whistleblowers who provide information regarding possible consumer protection law violations.

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February 26, 2020

Decade in Review: Plaintiffs’ Litigation Highlights

2010-2019 taught all of us a great deal, and changes over the course of the decade shape the way we practice law today. Advancements in technology modernized the judiciary and have helped to expedite certain parts of the litigation process, such as discovery. The speed in which information is shared online would have been unfathomable when Ron Motley and I first started litigating asbestos cases.

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February 14, 2020

SEC’s proposed rules are bad news for whistleblowers

Proposed amendments to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program rules include expanding the types of resolutions covered by the program, giving the SEC discretion in modifying awards, eliminating potential double recovery, adjusting the claims review process, and barring individuals who submit false information or make repeated frivolous claims.

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December 3, 2019

SEC whistleblower office reports another promising year, reaffirms commitment to whistleblower protection and enforcement actions

Eight years after its inception, the SEC’s Whistleblower Program continues to have a significant, positive impact in protecting not only whistleblowers, but investors, markets and by extension, the public. In addition, the Whistleblower Program allows the SEC to bring enforcement actions in considerably less time, using fewer resources.

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November 12, 2019

Dangerous vehicle defects may put millions of Americans at risk

We put a lot of faith in auto manufacturers. As our vehicles become loaded with technological advancements, we have trust the manufacturers have installed these features to help protect us. We often assume that manufacturers tested and vetted this technology appropriately. And, we trust these features will actually work as intended and save us from harm during an accident. But are we too quick to make this assumption?

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October 1, 2019

Asbestos is still a threat

As Mesothelioma Awareness Month comes to an end, I am often reminded that asbestos remains a constant threat. Take the news from just last month that several top aides were evacuated from the White House so that asbestos could be removed from the ceilings and attic spaces in the West Wing’s second floor. The U.S. General Services Administration described this as a mere “precautionary measure,” but I think that’s putting it mildly as asbestos is a dangerous, deadly carcinogen.

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August 19, 2019

FDA’s push for transparency long overdue

Generally speaking, manufacturers are required to submit individual reports to the FDA for each patient who sustains an injury or complication caused by a medical product. Established in 1997, Alternative Summary Reporting Program allowed manufacturers to bypass that standard by submitting quarterly summaries for cases that involve “well-known” complications. The FDA claims that this policy allowed the agency to “more efficiently review reports of well-known, well-understood adverse events.” However, the public was largely kept in the dark because this massive database was kept hidden, available only to the FDA – until now.

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