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Securities Fraud

OSHA Memo Highlights Employer Actions That Discourage Injury Reports

OSHA Administrator Richard Fairfax has released a memo to guide whistle-blower investigators in regard to employer actions that discourage employees from reporting on-the-job injuries. The memo tells OSHA regional administrators and whistleblower program managers to look out for potentially discriminating policies that employers may have towards employees who report such injuries, including • Taking disciplinary action regardless of the injury’s circumstances. • Disciplining an employee for not adhering to a company rule about the time or manner of reporting injuries and illnesses. • Disciplining an employee for an injury that was the result of the employee’s violation of a safety rule. • Providing incentives not...

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Scaffolding Safety Among Top Ten OSHA Violations

According the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 65 percent of construction workers - about 2.3 million - work frequently on scaffolding. And although scaffolds are used to provide a stable platform for elevated work, scaffolding still makes OSHA’s top ten list of safety violations each year. Why this is so is not clear. Some accidents can be prevented through training and regulation, but workers may ignore what they’ve learned. Workers still fall from scaffolding almost every day. Many injured workers point to planking or support giving way, or to slipping, or being struck by falling objects. Others note the environments that...

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What Constitutes Misconduct by a Bankruptcy Trustee?

Trustees in a bankruptcy situation are expected to conduct themselves in a fair and professional manner, especially to the creditors and bankruptcy inspectors involved in the process. To do otherwise can be costly. A trustee may argue that he or she can be duty bound to take a position detrimental to a major creditor. However, this can’t be simply for tactical purposes. A trustee is not considered in the same light as a typical litigant in a strictly adversarial proceeding. The trustee must conduct him or herself in a fair, impartial and even-handed manner at all times, following principles set out...

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Don’t Get Struck!

It’s always a good idea to review safety rules, especially when around equipment that could seriously injure or kill. Following is a safety checklist from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for preventing “struck-by” injuries. Struck-by dangers can involve objects ejected from a power tool, such as a nail gun, as well as rolling, moving or sliding objects, such as a moving vehicle. Here we cover the latter. Heavy equipment •    Stay away from heavy equipment in operation, and keep track of its location,     even if it’s not in use. •    Remain outside the swing radius of cranes and backhoes. •    Stay clear...

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Starr Austen & Miller Suspects the JOBS Act could Lead to Fraud Against Lay Investors

Mario Massillamany of the Indiana law firm of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, announced an alert to the public today regarding upcoming changes in 2013 to private offerings laws with the recent enactment of the JOBS Act. The JOBS Act, formally known as the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, was signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012. According to Forbes, this Act has been heralded by many proponents as a way for small business owners and entrepreneurs to have more access to funding opportunities and to gather capital which can help them grown their businesses, and as a...

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OSHA Fall Protection Training – Keeping it Interesting and Memorable

Regulations about falls by employees working at heights can be dull stuff when employers are trying train employees. But nothing could be more important. Employers need to keep the training interesting, keep employees engaged and, in so doing, keep them safe. When conducting training, employers need to boil down the main messages from the mass of regulatory words. Here are a few snippets of some OSHA requirements employees should know: • 1910.23(b)(1): Every wall opening from which there is a drop of more than 4 feet shall be guarded...

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What is Carrier Liability?

Liability is a key issue when common carriers, such as buses, trucks, and taxicabs, are involved in collisions. These carriers serve upon reasonable demand by those using their services.  They are expected to uphold a high standard of care for the persons and properties they are entrusted with. Common carriers are also limited to incidental damages for breach of duty. Because bus companies, truck companies, and taxicab companies know these issues, such enterprises quickly respond when accidents happen. On the other hand, an individual or individuals involved in an automobile accident, especially one who has been injured, may not immediately respond...

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Should Aggregate Settlements Be Subject To Judicial Review?

An aggregate settlement and a class action settlement are often mistaken for the same thing in non-legal circles, since they both involve settling the claims of multiple plaintiffs all at once. However, a large distinction between aggregate and class action settlements is the requirement that class action settlements must be subjected to judicial scrutiny, while aggregate settlements do not. The underlying facts from the recent case of Johnson v. Nextel Communications, Inc., 660 F.3d 113 (2d Cir. 2011) questions the wisdom of this distinction, and begs the question, should aggregate settlements be subjected to judicial review too? An aggregate settlement is one...

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Call The SEC About Suspected Financial Fraud

You may have seen the recent public service announcements with Michael Douglas, channeling his famous role from the movie Wall Street, where he played Gordon Gekko, encouraging anyone knowing about insider trading, or other suspected financial fraud, to report this crime to the FBI. If not, here’s the public service announcement. While we encourage anyone knowing of insider trading or other financial fraud to contact authorities to share what you know about these crimes, it most likely is not in your financial best interest to share your tips, as a whistleblower, with the FBI. That is because when you become a whistleblower...

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Court Sends Message That Form Doesn’t Trump Substance

One of the things that aggravate many people is that high priced corporate lawyers seem to find legal loopholes in almost any regulation designed to protect the public or investors. Then, they use these loopholes to make it appear they are following the rules, but it is only in form, not in substance. We, as securities fraud attorneys, understand that aggravation. However, a recent case in Delaware, the home of many corporations, appears to be saying enough to to these legal shenanigans, if the recent case of In re Southern Peru Copper Corporation Shareholder Derivative Litigation is any indication. In that case...

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