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Starr Austen & Miller Files Suit Against Companies Responsible For Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Mark S. Fryman, of the Indiana law firm of Starr Austen & Miller, LLP, announced today that the firm, along with the firm of McNeely Stephenson Thopy & Harrold, have commenced a lawsuit against New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., d/b/a New England Compounding Center (“NECC”), and two of its closely related companies, as well as these companies officers, in regard to the recent multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak, linked to tainted vials of a contaminated steroid injection which has harmed Plaintiff, Natalie S. Copass. The case is entitled “Natalie S. Copass v. New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. d/b/a New England Compounding...

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Fall Protection Equipment Requires Regular Inspection

Deterioration of fall protection is one reason why injuries and deaths from severe falls at work sites go up. Factors include: • Deterioration of equipment with repeated use and exposure. • Equipment is not inspected enough for wear and tear. • No proper training provided. • Wrong equipment is selected for the job and not worn properly. It’s likely that a big percentage of equipment used on job sites throughout North America fails to meet safety standards. For example, shock-absorbing lanyards were voluntarily removed from job sites for safety qualification, and 85 percent of the samples failed standard safety tests using ANSI standards. Lanyards from...

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A Few Simple Ways to Prevent Bad Investments

Investments need to match your goals and tolerance for risk. Brokers are legally responsible for putting you in investments appropriate for your experience, net worth, annual income, investment objectives and other factors. Brokers, however, may abandon their obligations, given a chance to make themselves a profit. For instance, they may tout high-risk investments that are not suitable for older investors, but provide brokers with great commissions. To prevent such investment failures, investors need to be actively involved in determining investment suitability. Some tips from the Philadelphia Securities Commission: • Be completely honest when providing information to determine your investments. Don’t try to impress...

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Fiduciary Liability: CGL Policy Enough or Not?

The Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been considering a change in the definition of “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and its amendments. In the light of this possible change, an insurance question arises: Who qualifies as a fiduciary and who needs to have fiduciary liability insurance? This question often comes up when agents do exposure reviews with commercial clients and prospects. Firms that provide employee benefits and retirement accounts are accountable for ensuring that employee premiums and investments, along with contributions pledged by the employer, are all dutifully managed and...

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IOSHA’s Top Ten Most Violated Health and Safety Workplace Standards

Is your workplace a safe and healthy place to be? Sometimes workplaces don’t follow all the necessary standards. Here are the top ten most violated health and safety standards from 2,300 inspections conducted by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) in 2010. The inspections resulted from formal employee complaints, referrals made by the media and other agencies, workplace fatalities, catastrophes and random inspections. Work sites inspected included factories and foundries, doctors ‘offices, grocery and convenience stores, and construction job sites. 10.  Fall protection training Employers must develop and implement fall protection training for any employee exposed to fall hazards (77...

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Managing Distractions is a Major Part of Truck Safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has commissioned two studies on commercial truck driver safety in 2012. The studies will look at some long-standing safety issues, with a focus on growing problems like distracted driving. One study will focus on loading dock wait times and their effect on driver fatigue. The other will examine possible links between driving behavior and how drivers are compensated. Whether such compensation is by load number or mileage numbers is believed to affect driver performance. How automobiles behave around trucks is also a safety issue. Distracted driving is increasingly a problem for all drivers, and can compound...

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401(k) Plan Sponsors Not Jumping Onboard With New Longevity Annuities

The Department of the Treasury and the Department of Labor have proposed new regulations focused on providing 401(k) plan participants more choices to invest in annuities that guarantee a stream of lifetime income. However the proposals aren’t enough to persuade plan sponsors to offer such "longevity annuities," experts contend. These annuity products give people the option to defer up to 25 percent of their account balances into an annuity that starts paying out further into retirement, such as age 80 or 85. A recent Aon Hewitt survey reported only 16 percent of plan sponsors offer such a choice. Martha Tejera, a...

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PTSD Happens in the Workplace as Well as on the Battlefield

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not just for soldiers. When people are seriously hurt in on-the-job injuries, it can leave mental as well as physical scars, and the mental trauma can be just as tough to deal with. Other workers who knew the victim, or witnessed a serious or fatal incident, can also experience symptoms of traumatic stress. After such an event, people may have difficulty concentrating, show signs of irritability, become hyper-alert to danger, have an exaggerated, startled response, or feel edgy. This is a normal reaction following a traumatic event. However, if these symptoms continue beyond 30 days,...

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State And Local Governments Get New Securities Protection

State and local governments issuing bonds will now receive more information regarding the risks involved with complex financial transactions along with potential conflicts of interest from municipal securities underwriters. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has set down new regulations for underwriters designed to make sure state and local governments have the necessary information to make good decisions with securities transactions. Underwriters for negotiated offerings of municipal securities must now disclose to clients that are state and local governments the risks of complex financial transactions, along with potential conflicts of interest and compensation received from third-party derivatives and investments providers. The new rules,...

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How Do I Know if Investment Offers in Gold Stocks are Legit?

When the price of gold bullion goes up, so does interest in gold investments. A flood of marketing is unleashed throughout social media sites and the Internet in general about gold and gold stocks. But some of the golden opportunities being hailed actually have little value, and others are simply frauds. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has brought legal action against various precious metals firms engaged in schemes involving gold, silver and other precious metals, including a Florida firm that bilked investors out of more than $23 million. Clearly, there are prudent and not-so-prudent ways of taking advantage of gold investments....

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