Arkansas Will Receive $216 Million of a $26 Billion Opioid Settlement

rkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Friday (July 23) a $26 billion agreement with pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors of opioids.

The agreement includes Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures and markets opioids. The settlement requires significant industry changes that will help prevent an opioid crisis from happening again, she said. The agreement would resolve investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic.

Drug overdoses, fueled by opioids, has been the second leading cause of accidental deaths in Arkansas in the last decade. In the last three years, opioid deaths have been declining, but they are still high on a per capita basis.

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Sutter Health Closes in on a $575 Million Settlement in an Antitrust Case

More than 18 months after Sutter Health agreed to a tentative settlement in a closely watched antitrust case joined by the California Attorney General’s Office, the judge presiding over the case indicated she would sign off on the terms, pending agreement on attorney fees. The nonprofit health care giant, based in Sacramento, stood accused of violating California’s antitrust laws by using its market dominance to drive up prices. 

The settlement is expected to have nationwide implications on how hospital systems negotiate prices with insurers. 

“These plaintiffs are among the first, but will not be the last, to successfully challenge dominant health care systems who undertake land grabs to mark up prices at the expense of patients and employers,” Leemore Dafny, a Harvard Business School professor who studies the industry, wrote in an email. “This settlement has provided a marker for the rest of the nation.” 

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UPMC Settles Data Breach Allegations for $2.65 Million

UPMC has reached a financial settlement with thousands of employees whose personal information was hacked in 2014 and used to file phony income tax returns.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Philip A. Ignelzi on Thursday signed an agreement that will give $2.65 million to cover losses, including up to $200,000 in administrative costs, for about 66,000 employees whose personal information was stolen. The employees filed a class action lawsuit against UPMC, saying the health system giant had failed in its duty to protect their data from misuse.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that UPMC had a responsibility to protect personal employee data from hackers. UPMC denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Read the source article at Pittsburgh Post

A Tennessee Opioid Lawsuit Reaches a $35 Million Settlement

A drug manufacturer announced Thursday that it has reached a $35 million agreement that would settle a Tennessee lawsuit by local governments and a child born dependent to opioids over the company’s role in the opioid epidemic, though steps remain to finalize the deal.

The announcement by Endo would resolve the northeast Tennessee lawsuit by nine counties, 18 cities and towns and the plaintiff known as “Baby Doe” on the eve of a trial that was set to start Monday over how much to award the plaintiffs.

A judge already ruled the opioid firm was liable in April without holding a civil trial over its role in the epidemic, a rare default judgment he said he entered because of a “coordinated strategy” by the company and its attorneys to delay proceedings, deprive plaintiffs of information and interfere with the administration of justice.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

A Judge Approves Distribution of a $192 Million Nuclear Reactor Settlement

Investors who lost fortunes in the failure of a multi billion-dollar nuclear reactor construction deal in South Carolina will soon begin to see their portions of a $192 million settlement, under a recently approved distribution.

Last week, a federal judge signed off on a plan to disperse the funds among former shareholders in SCANA Corp., the former parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas. The settlement itself was the largest securities class action recovery obtained in South Carolina when a judge approved it last year, according to attorneys for the investors.

The utility company became embroiled in controversy after announcing in summer 2017 that it was shuttering a nuclear reactor construction project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, about 30 miles north of Columbia, following the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

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A Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Nurses Settles for $5.5 Million

A class-action lawsuit brought by thousands of nurses who said they weren’t properly paid for lunch and other breaks has settled with Kitsap County’s main health care system, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

Under the $5.5 million settlement, nurses will receive an average payment of $510, their attorneys said. The actual amounts depend on wages and other factors, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The case filed by a nurse at the former Harrison Medical Center included more than 7,000 employees of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. The lawsuit, filed in 2019, accused the health care system of violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state law.

The suit claimed nurses who worked shifts of 12 hours or more, “experience significant amounts of pre- and post-shift off-the-clock work, including unpaid, on-duty time preparing for their days before clocking in as well as completing charting and patient paperwork after clocking out.”

Read the source article at Associated Press News

Indiana Dedicates $5.5 Million of Its Multi-Billion Dollar Volkswagen Settlement to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

If you build it, they will come. At least that’s what the state of Indiana and its utilities are hoping for when it comes to charging stations and electric vehicles. 

Indiana is behind on infrastructure for plug-powered cars, while some of its Midwestern neighbors and other states across the country speed ahead with installing charging networks. 

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg issue: Without more people driving electric vehicles, companies don’t want to invest in installing stations and building out the infrastructure. But without the infrastructure, drivers don’t know if they can get from A to B and are hesitant to buy electric vehicles.

“I would say the state of Indiana has been lacking in EV infrastructure, and I don’t think anyone would argue with that,” said Kerri Garvin, executive director of Greater Indiana Clean Cities, a nonprofit focused on advancing alternative fuel vehicles. “That’s a big deal.” 

Read the source article at IndyStar

AMC Agrees to a $200 Million ‘The Walking Dead’ Profit Settlement

AMC Networks has reached a $200 million settlement deal with Frank Darabont and CAA in the long-running profit participation lawsuit over “The Walking Dead.”

The deal calls for AMC Networks to pay Darabont and CAA a total of $200 million. They will continue to receive a share of future profits from streaming deals tied to “The Walking Dead” and spinoff “Fear the Walking Dead.” But for all other “Walking Dead”-related content, the settlement buys out the plaintiffs’ rights.

AMC Networks disclosed the settlement in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday. Representatives for Darabont and CAA declined to comment. AMC Networks did not elaborate beyond the SEC filing. AMC had to disclose the payment because it will essentially wipe out the company’s free cash flow for 2021, a big change from the $200 million that AMC executives forecast for full-year 2021 to Wall Street analysts during an earnings call in May.

Read the source article at Variety

Pfizer Proposes a $345 Million Settlement Over EpiPen Price Hikes

Pfizer Inc. and two other companies have agreed to pay $345 million to resolve long-running litigation over EpiPen price hikes.

In documents filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, the companies asked the court to grant preliminary approval to the settlement, which would end the litigation against the three companies.

The proposed settlement comes just three weeks after U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree granted summary judgment to another defendant, Mylan, on the plaintiffs’ racketeering claims and some antitrust claims. But he allowed other antitrust claims against Mylan to proceed to trial.

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The New York State Public Service Commission Settles With Multiple Utilities for $86.3 Million

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Public Service Commission has accepted the terms of settlements valued at $86.2 million regarding alleged violations committed by four New York utilities—Consolidated Edison of New York, Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, and Frontier Communications of New York, Inc.—for failing to adequately prepare for and respond to emergencies, including Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020. 

“The size of these settlements should make it abundantly clear that New York utilities are obligated to prepare for severe weather and to develop robust emergency response programs,” Governor Cuomo said. “If they fail to adequately do the job that’s required of them, we will hold them accountable and we will force them to improve the way they do business — and their shareholders will pay the price.”

For failing to adequately prepare for and respond to the TS Isaias, as well as failures related to the 2019 Brooklyn/Manhattan outages, and a steam outage in 2018, Con Edison and O&R will pay $82.05 million. For failing to adequately prepare and respond to TS Isaias, Frontier and Central Hudson will pay $2.7 million and $1.5 million, respectively.

Read the source article at Home | Department of Financial Services