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  November 4, 2013

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Judge OKs $1.3M Settlement in KC Priest Lawsuit

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A Jackson County judge has approved a $1.35 million settlement in a civil lawsuit involving a Kansas City priest who is serving 50 years in prison for producing child pornography. A Jackson County Circuit Judge approved the settlement in the lawsuit filed in 2011 by a girl and her parents against the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, Bishop Robert Finn and the Rev. Shawn Ratigan. Ratigan was sentenced in September to 50 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to five child pornography counts, one charge for each of five victims.
Associated Press, St. Louis Post Dispatch 11/04/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Lawsuit Filed Against UConn Over the Sexual Assault of Four Women

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Four women, three students and one graduate, have filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Connecticut alleging that the university did not adequately protect them or provide them with assistance after they were raped or sexually assaulted. In addition to filing the federal lawsuit, the women filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights asserting that their rights had been violated when the school failed to protect them or provide them with assistance after the assaults. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages to the plaintiffs for their emotional distress and to revise the school's policy, procedures and practices concerning sexual assault and rape.
Kathleen Megan, The Hartford Courant 11/01/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Florida Abuse Victim Wins $5M Lawsuit Against DCF

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A young victim of sex abuse at the hands of an older foster child has won a $5 million lawsuit against the Florida Department of Children and Families. Attorney Howard Talenfeld said this week that the next step for the victim known as "Junior" is to seek a $5 million claims bill from Florida's Legislature.
Associated Press, AP Wire 11/04/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2B to End U.S. Probes: Source

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Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2 billion to the U.S. government to end civil and criminal investigations into kickbacks to pharmacists and the marketing of pharmaceuticals for off-label uses, a person familiar with the settlement said on Monday. The settlement with the company and its subsidiaries covers the marketing of schizophrenia treatment Risperdal and of heart drug Natrecor, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
David Ingram, Reuters 11/04/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Lawsuit Over Contaminated Water Supply in NC

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A non-profit environmental group has filed a lawsuit over the contaminated water supply which affects 400 people in a community in North Carolina called Flemington. In September, the non-profit filed suit against the energy company responsible for dumping chemicals which have leaked into the water supply. Several weeks later, the energy company responsible for the contamination agreed to pay for most the costs associated with a $2.25 million project to run public water lines to Flemington. Though the contaminated ground water has not yet affected the water supply of Flemington, it is inching closer.
Bertrand M. Gutierrez, Winston-Salem Journal 11/02/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Yelp Reviewers Claim They Are Owed Wages

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A group of reviewers have filed a lawsuit against against Yelp claiming that they did not receive payment for their vital contributions to the website. In their class-action lawsuit filed against the company, the plaintiffs refer to themselves as "writers and non-wage paid employees" and assert that Yelp owes them large sums of money for their reviews. “The practice of classifying employees as ‘reviewers’ or ‘Yelpers’ or ‘Elites’ or ‘independent contractors’ or ‘interns’ or ‘volunteers’ or ‘contributors’ to avoid paying wages is prohibited by federal law, which requires employers to pay all workers who provide material benefit to their employer, at least the minimum wage," the lawsuit states.
Lydia O'Connor, The Huffington Post 10/31/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem

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Using a test called DNA barcoding, a kind of genetic fingerprinting that has also been used to help uncover labeling fraud in the commercial seafood industry, Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies. They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice. Consumer advocates and scientists say the research provides more evidence that the herbal supplement industry is riddled with questionable practices. Industry representatives argue that any problems are not widespread.
ANAHAD O’CONNOR, The New York Times 11/04/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Law to Keep Ammonium Nitrate Facilities Secure May Put Texans at rRsk

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More than half of all facilities licensed last year by Texas to carry ammonium nitrate lacked either secure fencing or locked storage areas for the potentially explosive chemical compound. But the state didn’t consider them a security risk. The News’ review of the Office of the Texas State Chemist and six years of its inspection reports revealed that: Sixty-two of 115 facilities registered to handle ammonium nitrate in fiscal 2013 lacked either secure fencing or locked storage areas.
JAMES DREW and MATT JACOB , The Dallas Morning News 11/04/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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$117.5M Farmers Insurance Settlement in Works for Texas Homeowners

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Hundreds of thousands of Texas homeowners may be poised to share a $117.5 million settlement between the state and Farmers Insurance, more than a decade after the company first clashed with regulators in court over its rates. Under the agreement, the company would issue refunds or premium reductions to current and former customers. It would also get credit for past premium cuts. The total would be one of the largest insurance settlements in state history. Farmers admits no wrongdoing in the proposed settlement, which a judge is set to review in January. A leading consumer group, Texas Watch, said the new proposal is just as unfair to Farmers customers as the one that drew objections in 2003.
TERRENCE STUTZ , The Dallas Morning News 11/04/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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