3M Combat Arms Earplugs

Defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs

From 2003 until 2015, 3M Company sold and distributed millions of pairs of Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), to the U.S. military. The 3M earplugs were used by U.S. service members, including combat veterans who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2018, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million dollars to settle allegations that it knowingly sold defective earplugs to the Department of Defense for use by U.S. servicemembers.

What is a 3M Combat Earplug?

3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs were originally manufactured by 3M’s predecessor, Aero Technologies. The earplugs were designed and marketed by 3M as being dual-purpose. They had a yellow end, and a olive green/black end. One end was designed to block all sounds including gunfire and explosions The other end was intended to block some sound, while allowing soldiers to hear commands and communicate with each other on the battlefield. 3M won the exclusive contract to sell these earplugs to the U. S. government from 2003 until 2015, when they were discontinued.

A Whistleblower Lawsuit Alerted DOJ to the Defective 3M Combat Earplugs

A rival earplug manufacturer filed a False Claims Act suit against 3M in 2016 in which the whistleblower alleged that Aero’s testing showed that the earplugs only reduced noise by less than half the rating required by the military and advertised by 3M. The DOJ intervened in the whistleblower’s suit, alleging defect on slightly different grounds. The DOJ claimed the earplugs were too short and couldn’t be properly inserted into the user’s ears. 3M was allegedly aware that the earplugs were too short for proper insertion into soldier’s ears causing them to gradually and imperceptibly loosen putting servicemembers at risk for hearing loss.

DOJ Settled the Whistleblower Lawsuit

The 3M settlement with the U.S. government was for $9.1 million dollars. The settlement was announced on July 26, 2018.

What Injuries May Be Caused by 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?

Hearing loss and tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears, were the two most common service-related disabilities as reported by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) in 2017. Service members exposed to dangerous levels of sound while in combat and as part of military service can incur hearing loss if not properly protected.

What Can You Do?

If you have hearing loss, tinnitus or other health problems you believe are connected to 3M Combat Earplugs, you should contact your health provider for medical care. Current and former military servicemembers who served at any time from 2003 to 2015 may be entitled to compensation from 3M for related hearing loss or tinnitus. Please call our toll free number at 888-491-9726 for a free consultation with one of our 3M Combat Earplugs lawyers. Or tell us your story using  this contact form  to discuss your potential legal options with an experienced products liability attorney.

We are not bringing claims against the U.S. military or the U.S. government. The claims will be brought against 3M Company, a private corporation that sold the defective earplugs.

Talc Powder and Cancer

Talc Powder and Cancer

Powder made from talc has been implicated in the development of cancer.  Talc, the softest of all the minerals, has been used for centuries for cosmetic purposes.  Crushed, it is used to protect the skin by absorbing moisture and keeping the skin dry, reducing friction and discomfort, and to perfume the skin.  It was sold as medicated powder, foot powder, cosmetic powder, aftershave talc, and most notably, baby powder.

Talc is a mineral consisting of the elements magnesium, oxygen and silicon. Like all minerals, talc ore is often contaminated by other minerals. In recent years the presence of asbestos in talc has been extensively studied and tested. Asbestos is a carcinogen, meaning that it causes cancer.

Talc is also used for industrial purposes, which you can read about more here.

Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Using talcum powder in the genital area  may raise a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to studies conducted since 1982.  Scientists are not exactly sure how talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, but in many cases of ovarian cancer, talc is found in the ovarian tumor itself.  Advertisements by many talc manufacturers including Johnson and Johnson recommended women sprinkle talcum powder in their pelvic area, on underwear, and on sanitary napkins. The ads discussed preventing chafing and covering up any odor of the vaginal area so a woman would feel “fresh”.  Used in these areas, talcum powder can travel into the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, and uterus.

Talc and Mesothelioma

Because talc often contains asbestos fibers, using talc powder can expose the user to airborne asbestos fibers.  Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Because talcum powder is used dry and often applied by shaking, asbestos fibers can float in the air and can be breathed in as talc powder is sprinkled. Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling those microscopic asbestos fibers.

Cosmetic talc and baby powder

There are many kinds of talc powders that have tested positive for the presence of asbestos fibers. Talc powders that have tested positive for the presence of asbestos include:

  • Baby powder (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Cashmere Bouquet powder ( Colgate)
  • Desert Flower Dusting Powder (Shulton, Inc.)
  • Kings Men Luxury Talc (Kings Men)
  • Old Spice Aftershave Talc (Shulton, Inc.)
  • Pinaud Clubman talcum powder (Clubman)
  • Shower to Shower powder (Johnson & Johnson)

In research begun in 1973 and released in 1976. Mt Sinai Hospital examined 19 kinds of cosmetic talc . They found asbestos present in 10 of those samples. Products which tested positive for asbestos in Mt. Sinai’s tests:

    • ZBT Baby Powder with Baby Oil
    • Cashmere Bouquet Body Talc
    • Coty Airspun Face Powder
    • Rosemary Talc
    • Bauer & Black Baby Talc
    • Faberge Brut Talc
    • Yardley Invisible Talc
    • Yardley Black Label Baby Powder
    • Mennen Shave Talc, and
    • English Leather After Shave Talc

What Can You Do?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer, and you believe it may be related to your use of talc powder products, call the talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm 1-888-491-9726 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or tell us your story online here. Like all legal claims, talc cancer claims have short, strictly enforced time limits.  The legal time limits, called the statute of limitations, begin running as soon as you are diagnosed with cancer. Call today to protect your legal rights.

DePuy Attune Knee Replacement

DePuy Attune Knee Replacement Lawsuit

DePuy Attune Knee Problems

The DePuy Synthes Attune total knee arthroplasty (TKA) system has been the subject of hundreds of complaints to the FDA about the knee device’s problems. The DePuy Attune Knee was introduced in 2010 and a recent study finds a higher than normal device failure rate. The failure seems to be related to the cement which holds the device in place.

Study of Attune Knee Replacement FDA Reports

The study,  published by the Journal of Knee Surgery, examined Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience reports (MAUDEs) made to the FDA by manufacturers, hospitals,  doctors, patients, and consumers.  In particular, it studied patients who received a DePuy Attune TKA, and later required revision surgery. In looking at three hospitals, the study found 15 cases of tibial loosening of the cement on the implant.  Further, the study authors noted that there were 21 cases of tibial loosening reported to the FDA within the last two months alone. “Numerous other tibial failures” were reported without specifying how the failure occurred.

510(k) Fast Track Approval – Without Product Testing

The DePuy Attune knee system was fast-tracked by the FDA as DePuy represented to the FDA that the Attune knee system was “substantially similar” to  devices on the market. The 510(k) FDA approval process allows manufacturers to skip doing clinical trials on a product because it is so close to a product already on the market. DePuy submitted to the FDA that the Attune knee system was substantially equivalent to the following existing knee system devices:

  • PFC Sigma© Knee System (cleared as the Darwin Knee System), K943462
  • Sigma Patella (cleared s the Darwin Knee System), K950010
  • PFC Cruciate Retaining System, Size 1.5, K961685
  • Sigma Co-Cr Tibial Trays, K032151
  • Sigma XLK Tibial Inserts, K040166
  • Sigma CR 150 Femoral Components, K082500
  • Zimmer NexGen CR Knee System, K933785
  • AMK© Fixed Stem Tibial Tray, K922620

Attune Knee Problems

Despite DePuy’s claim  to the FDA that the Attune knee system was an improvement over existing knee replacement devices, Attune implant recipients began complaining about problems with their Attune knee systems. Problems reported by DePuy Attune knee implant recipients include:

  1.  Pain in the joint especially when weight bearing
  2.  Loosening of the joint
  3.  Heat or warmth in the knee
  4.  Joint instability
  5.  Grinding in the knee joint
  6.  Joint swelling
  7.  Water on the knee (effusion)
  8.  Dislocation of the device
  9.  Debonding of the device’s cement
  10.  Decreased range of motion (ROM)
  11.  Attune knee joint out of alignment
  12.  Nerve damage
  13.  Fracture of knee system components
  14.  Debris release from knee
  15.  Fracture of femur or tibia

FDA Attune Component Recall 2015

The Attune device was subject to a Class II FDA recall in 2015. The Attune  Knee Tibial Articulation Surface Instruments – tools used to implant the Attune knee implant – were recalled. One component of these, called a Balseal, contained a wire spring coil that could break off inside the patient without the doctor’s knowledge. That DePuy knee recall was terminated by the FDA on November 12, 2015.

Trust Our Massachusetts Attune Knee Implant Attorneys To Help

If you have experienced problems with an Attune knee replacement system, or with any other knee replacement, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim for damages. You may be compensated for medical expenses from surgery to revise and replace your implant, and money damages for the pain, suffering, physical injuries, and any other losses, such as lost income,  that you suffered as a result of your injuries.

Call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405  or contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or for a confidential, no-cost consultation with a specialist in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. If you have had problems with an Attune knee implant,  you should seek legal advice as soon as possible, as courts apply strict time limits to all claims. Contact us today for a thorough, fair consideration of your legal claim.

Actemra (Tocilizumab)

What Is Actemra?

Actemra is prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis. It is a biologic drug, known as a monoclonal antibody. It is administered by injection every 1 to 2 weeks, or by intravenous infusion once a month. It is manufactured by Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche.

Why Is It Prescribed?

The FDA has approved Actemra as a medication for the following conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (moderate to severe)
  • Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA)
  • Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (PJIA)
  • Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA)

How Does Actemra Work?

In rheumatoid artrhtis and other auto-immune diseases, the body’s own immune system begins to attack and destroy joints and tissue. Actemra works to suppress the immune system by blocking the protein interleukin-6, thereby preventing chronic inflammation.

Actemra, Heart Failure, and Pancreatitis

When Actemra was first approved, Genentech advertised the drug as “unique”, a breakthrough medication that didn’t carry a lot of the risks of other rheumatoid arthritis drugs. But a recent study published by STAT found over 1100 reports of deaths from heart or lung complications after using Actemra.

STAT analyzed more than 500,000 side-effect reports on rheumatoid arthritis drugs, and found clear evidence that the risks of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and other conditions were as high or higher for Actemra patients than for patients taking some competing drugs.

However, neither the manufacturer or the FDA has moved to inform patients of these serious health risks by adding them to the label of Actemra.

Actemra Side Effects and Injuries

The STAT investigators analyzed more then 500,000 side effect reports to the FDA and found that the risks of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and other conditions were higher for patients taking Actemra than for patients taking other rheumatoid arthritis drugs. Experts who examined the STAT data said the FDA should consider immediately adding warnings of the risk of heart failure and pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that has a high risk of death.

A 2016 study released by the  American College of Rheumatology in 2016 found that Actemra users had a 1.5 times greater risk of heart attack than patients taking Enbrel, a competing rheumatoid arthritis drug.

The FDA has also received reports of interstitial lung disease (lung scarring), strokes, gastrointestinal holes and tears, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), tremors, and other side effects of Actemra.

What Can You Do?

If you or someone you love has taken Actemra and suffered heart failure and/or pancreatitis, you may have a legal claim for damages against the manufacturer. Call our Massachusetts Actemra lawyers toll free at 1-888-341-1405, or tell us your story using our online contact form.

Trust Our Massachusetts Actemra Lawyers to Help

Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case.

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder

Use of talcum powder on the genitals and perineal area, including on sanitary napkins, may raise a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to scientific studies conducted since 1982. Millions of women have used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and Shower to Shower talc powders for years because J&J advertised them as safe for feminine hygiene use. Despite being aware of the studies linking talcum powder use and ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson has never placed warning labels on its talc powder products, even today. And they have failed to take the easy step of removing the talc powder from the market and selling the cornstarch powder they already produce.

What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder contains talc, a naturally-occurring, very soft mineral made up mainly of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talcum powder has been sold for many years for use on babies and marketed to adults as a cosmetic and hygienic product.

How does talcum powder cause ovarian cancer?

Scientists are not sure exactly how talcum powder causes ovarian cancer. However, in many cases of ovarian cancer, talc is found in the ovarian tumor itself. Through its advertising, Johnson and Johnson advised that women sprinkle talcum powder in their genital area, and on underwear and sanitary pads. This was recommended to keep the vaginal area dry, to prevent chafing, and to cover up any odor of the vaginal area. Used in these areas, talcum powder can travel into the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries.

Is it safe to use talcum powder?

Many pediatricians recommend against using talcum powder on babies. The American Pediatric Association recommends against using any powder on a baby, no matter the ingredients because inhaling powder can cause an inflammatory reaction in the lungs. The American Cancer Society advised in 1999 that women use cornstarch powder, rather than talcum powder, in the genital area.

Lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson and its talc suppliers

May, 2016:  A St. Louis jury awarded $72 million dollars to the family of a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for many years. The jury awarded $10 million dollars in compensatory damages and $62 million dollars to the family of an Alabama woman. Plaintiff Jackie Fox died of ovarian cancer on October 6th. She had used Johnson & Johnson baby powder and “Shower to Shower” talcum powder for 35 years.

Fox’s family submitted expert medical testimony that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer. Statistical evidence presented at trial also showed that 1,500 women per year die from the association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

May, 2016: A South Dakota woman was awarded $55 million dollars against Johnson & Johnson for developing ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J talcum powder products. The jury awarded $5 million dollars in compensatory damages and $50 million dollars in punitive damages.

The plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 after using J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder as advertised, on her genital area, for almost 39 years. She is in remission after undergoing a full hysterectomy. Her lawsuit charged Johnson & Johnson of failing to warn of the cancer risk of using talcum powder or failing to remove talc from the powder and replace it with cornstarch which has similar soothing properties. The jury found in her favor after one day of deliberations following a three-week trial.

October, 2016:  A St. Louis jury awarded a California woman $70 million dollars in her lawsuit claiming that years of using Johnson & Johnson’s talc baby powder caused her ovarian cancer.

The 63-year-old plaintiff, Deborah Giannecchini, used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for feminine hygiene for four decades before she was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer in 2012. She has undergone multiple surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy to treat cancer. Evidence was introduced that she has an 80% chance of dying in the next two years.

What can you do?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, you may have a claim for damages. Contact the defective product lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a free, confidential evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story here for a free and thorough evaluation of your legal rights.

Trust our Massachusetts defective product attorneys to help

Contact Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick and tell her your story online or call her at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts defective product litigation. You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case.

Monsanto Roundup and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Monsanto and Roundup Weed Killer Health Injuries

Thornton Law Firm was among the first law firms to sue Monsanto Company for significant health injuries as a result of Roundup® exposure.   In 2012 our firm first filed lawsuits on behalf of 125  children with significant birth injuries as a result of their parents’ using Roundup weedkiller on farms in Argentina.  As a result of this longstanding litigation in Delaware state court,  we have collected extensive information on Roundup, including research conducted by Monsanto on the risks to human health from glyphosate, the principal active ingredient, and the adjuvants also contained in Roundup weed control.

Roundup Classified As A Probable Carcinogen

In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conducted an extensive review of glyphosate toxicity and concluded the chemical is a probable human carcinogen. Specifically, IARC found a positive association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Furthermore, IARC’s review included agriculture health studies which found associations with other hematopoietic cancers (cancers of the blood cells), including multiple myeloma, hairy cell leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  The well-known California Proposition 65 list of chemicals now includes glyphosate as an agent known to cause cancer.

Thornton Law Firm Holds Manufacturers Responsible for Toxin-Induced Cancers and Diseases

Thornton Law Firm is in a unique position to represent the victims of Monsanto’s worldwide campaign to promote Roundup weed killer who has developed these cancers. The firm since the 1980s has represented workers with leukemia and lymphoma from occupational exposure to benzene which, like glyphosate, is strongly associated with blood cancers. We have longstanding relationships with many of the leading oncologists. occupational exposure, and other medical and scientific experts in the Boston area with whom we have worked on these cases.  When combined with the experience of our ongoing litigation with Monsanto over other health problems caused by exposure to Roundup weed control, our firm is well positioned to take on this pesticide giant and obtain the compensation for farm, landscape, construction and other workers with heavy use of Roundup who are suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other blood cancers.

What Kinds of People Are Exposed to Roundup?

  • Farmers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Landscapers
  • Lawncare service workers
  • Pesticide applicators
  • Forestry workers
  • Construction workers
  • Children and family members living with Roundup-exposed workers
  • People living near farms where Roundup is used
  • Greenhouse and nursery workers
  • Homeowners with heavy Roundup use

Trust Thornton Law Firm’s Monsanto Roundup Attorneys To Help

Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm online or at 1-888-491-9726 for a free consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys who specialize in toxic tort litigation:

David Strouss

Brad Mitchell

Evan Hoffman

Leah McMorris

Led by David Strouss, Thornton Law Firm’s team of toxic tort lawyers represents hundreds of plaintiffs in lawsuits against chemical companies for birth defects, cancers, and other injuries caused by occupational exposure to chemicals. The consultation is free and you will receive a fair and accurate assessment of your case from a recognized leader in toxic tort and birth defect litigation.

Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and Aortic Aneurysms

Aortic Side Effects From Fluoroquinolones

Widely prescribed antibiotics Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox have been linked with aortic aneurysms and dissections, which are potentially fatal side effects. Fluoroquinolones are very strong antibiotics that are often prescribed for common infections like bronchitis, sinusitis, and urinary tract infections. Recent epidemiologic studies have shown significantly increased risk of serious aortic injuries in patients who have taken fluoroquinolone antibiotics. The FDA issued new warnings changing labeling of these drugs to reflect its advice “that fluoroquinolones should be reserved for these conditions only when there are no other options available due to potentially permanent, disabling side effects occurring together.”

What are Fluoroquinolones?

Fluoroquinolones are the most widely prescribed antibiotics in the United States. More than 26 million Americans are prescribed these antibiotics every year. The FDA Drug Safety Communication issued on May 12, 2016 (reemphasized in a second alert on July 26, 2016) strongly discourages the use of these antibiotics in uncomplicated infections. Finding the risks outweigh the benefits, the FDA recommended medical professionals avoid prescribing fluoroquinolones for sinusitis, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and gynecological infections, unless there are no other treatment options.

The three most often prescribed fluoroquinolones are ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR); levofloxacin (Levaquin) and moxifloxacin (Avelox). Other drugs in this class are very infrequently prescribed: Factive (gemifloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin) and Noroxin (norfloxacin).

What Are Aortic Dissection and Aneurysms?

The aorta is the main artery of the human body, beginning in the left ventricle of the heart and going down to the abdomen, where it branches into two smaller arteries. The aortic wall is tough, but studies link fluoroquinolones to damage to the lining of the aorta. An aortic dissection is a tear in the aortic wall. An aortic aneurysm is a weakness or a bulge where the aorta has become weak. Both conditions can lead to leaks, or rupture, which can be fatal.

Studies Link Fluoroquinolones and Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2013 found that use of fluoroquinolones was associated with a two-fold increased risk of developing aortic dissection or aneurysm within 60 days of exposure. The study authors advised: “[C]linicians should continue to be vigilant for the appearance of aortic aneurysm and dissection in high-risk patients treated with fluoroquinolones.” The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a subsequent study which found that in over 650,000 patients taking fluoroquinolones, the risk of aortic aneurysms was almost tripled. That study concluded that reducing either fluoroquinolone prescriptions or prolonged courses of treatment might have prevented more than 200 aneurysms in the population studied.

What Can You Do?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with aortic dissection or aneurysm after taking a fluoroquinolone prescription, you may have a claim for damages. Contact the defective drug attorneys at Thornton Law Firm for a free, confidential evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story using our online contact form.

Trust our Massachusetts Defective Drug Attorneys to Help

Contact the Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick online or at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts defective drug litigation. You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case.

Class Action

Committed to protecting consumers from financial and physical harm

The consumer class action attorneys at Thornton Law Firm LLP understand the emotional and financial toll a corporate misrepresentation or fraud can have. Through numerous cases, we have helped victims obtain justice against companies and industries that prey on consumers:

  • Manufacturers
  • Conveyancing/lending settlement service providers
  • Insurance companies
  • Automobile manufacturers
  • Retail chains

The firm pools individual claims from around the country into powerful class actions that hold companies accountable for their conduct.

Our attorneys have extensive experience pursuing complex individual, nationwide class action, and multi-district litigation (MDL) claims in state and federal courts.

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, our attorneys can help keep you out of harms way. Call 1-888-491-9726 or contact us online for a free consultation on how we can help you today.

Changing the way companies do business, one lawsuit at a time

Thornton Law Firm is experienced in a wide range of consumer law cases:

  • Violation of state trade practice laws
  • Disregard for consumer protection laws
  • Flouting privacy laws
  • Insurance bad faith
  • Defective products
  • Defective drugs and medical devices
  • Personal injuries
  • Toxic torts
  • Asbestos
  • Tobacco

The firm is involved in the following litigation:

  • Claims in various jurisdictions against The Travelers Insurance Company (and other related companies), OneBeacon America Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Century Indemnity Company, and others alleging violation of consumer protection and insurance bad faith laws.

These claims arise out of underlying asbestos personal injury or wrongful death claims against various asbestos defendants who were insured by these companies. In response to the personal injury and wrongful death claims, the insurers— on behalf of the asbestos defendants— asserted an unfounded state-of-the-art defense. Because of this, the plaintiffs were forced to spend time litigating, delaying the ultimate resolution of their claims against the asbestos defendants. This delay caused the plaintiffs damages.

  • Claims against National Real Estate Information Services, Inc., ATM Corporation of America, First American Signature Services, Inc., Trans State Closers, Inc., Liberty Title & Escrow Co., Inc., and Service Link, Inc. alleging their use of settlement service agents who are not Massachusetts attorneys, or use of Massachusetts attorneys who have been divested of all meaningful responsibility and oversight, violates Massachusetts law.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants and their agents are engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. As a result of these practices, Massachusetts attorneys who properly participate in and supervise the conveyancing process, such as plaintiffs and class members, have been and continue to be excluded from serving as conveyancing attorneys, which has resulted in lost business and lost revenues and profits.

  • Claims against various micro-chip and memory card manufacturers arising from the companies’ participation in a conspiracy to restrain the trade for and sale of static random access memory (“SRAM”). The plaintiffs allege that the defendants violated numerous laws, including consumer protection and anti-competition laws.
  • Claims against NVIDIA Corp., Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., and ATI Technologies, Inc. alleging that the defendants conspired to fix graphics processing unit/card prices and to wrongfully allocate those to certain customers and markets. Plaintiffs allege that these companies engaged in conduct that violates various laws, including engaging in conduct that amounts to a conspiracy in restraint of trade. The plaintiffs have sought injunctive relief.
  • A class action seeking payment from Philip Morris for CT scans for long-time pack-a-day smokers. The scans, which are not covered by insurance, detect lung cancer when it is still treatable. The case does not seek any monetary damages.

Thornton Law Firm class action attorneys

Trust our Massachusetts class action litigation attorneys to help

Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or at 1-888-491-9726 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in consumer litigation.  You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case.

Whistleblower Litigation

You have a story to tell. Something is wrong at work. You know it. You know that what is happening isn’t right and isn’t fair. Someone should do something about it. You. With the help of an experienced whistleblower litigation lawyer, you can bring fraud to light without endangering yourself and without having to pay legal fees.

Fraud is known by many names and comes in many forms: False claims, overbilling, upcoding, unbundling, kickbacks, and false certification. But they all have one thing in common. The individuals and companies that commit fraud are cheating federal and state governments. And when that happens, we all pay the price.

At Thornton Law Firm LLP, we listen to you. Call 1-888-491-9726 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in whistleblower litigation. You can also contact us online to see how we can help you.

Kinds of fraud

Although federal and state governments are the victims of numerous kinds of fraud, the majority of fraud cases involve Medicare, Medicaid, healthcare, and defense contracts. Bad actors in these fields commonly take advantage of complicated billing schemes or large contracts to hide their fraud.

But big or small, fraudulent claims add up. Hundreds of cases are filed with the federal government each year, leading to more than $10 billion in recoveries.

Anti-fraud laws

Those who report fraud, known in legal terms as relators (rhymes with “relay”), and commonly as whistleblowers, have some of the most powerful and effective laws in the country on their side. The Federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, which provides the legal framework for claims alleging fraud against the federal government, does several important things for a whistleblower:

  • Provides specific protection for the whistleblower from discharge, demotion, suspension, threats, or other harassment or discrimination that the whistleblower may encounter due to lawful actions were taken in the furtherance of a whistleblower claim, if the employee still works for the employer; 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)
  • Provides for filing a whistleblower complaint under seal, which means that no one other than the government, not even the defendants alleged to have committed the fraud, can know of the complaint until after the government has investigated the claims; 31 U.S.C. §3730(b)(2)
  • Allows the whistleblower to share from 15 percent and up to 25 percent of the entire government’s successful recovery. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d)

Eleven states and the District of Columbia also have their own false claim acts that closely resemble the federal act.

What you need to know

Contingent fee representation

Whistleblower laws allow for the contingent fee representation of whistleblowers. What’s more, the Federal False Claims Act also provides that whistleblower attorney fees are paid by the entity that committed the fraud in the event of a government recovery. This means that you pay no out-of-pocket expenses to have an attorney represent you. We are only paid if we recover on the claim.

Who can be a whistleblower?

Anyone. It is possible for anyone who knows of fraud against the government to become a whistleblower. Typically, individuals who know about fraud are employees or former employees of the companies committing the fraud.

Employees or former employees may have the best evidence to support their claim.

Only the first whistleblower to file can recover

There can only be one whistleblower claim based on specific information. The first to file a claim about a particular fraud preempts other whistleblowers and their claims. In addition, you cannot bring a whistleblower complaint if information about the fraud becomes public before you bring a claim.

Thornton Law Firm whistleblower litigation lawyers

Trust Massachusetts fraud attorneys to help

Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm online or at 1-888-491-9726 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in whistleblower litigation. You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case.

State and Federal False Claims Act

What is a whistleblower lawsuit?

A whistleblower lawsuit is filed under the federal False Claims Act or a similar state statute. False claims acts allow people who know fraud is being perpetrated against the government to file lawsuits to stop the fraud. People who file claims are commonly referred to as whistleblowers or relators.

Whistleblowers are entitled to compensation for stopping fraud against the government. Only the first whistleblower who files a claim for a particular fraudulent act or scheme is entitled to compensation, so it is important to act quickly if you know the government is being defrauded.

Call 1-888-491-9726 or contact us online to discuss suspected fraud against the government.

Common types of fraud against the government

The federal False Claims Act, codified at 31 U.S.C. Sections 3729-3733, prohibits the following:

  • Knowingly presenting or causing to be presented a false claim for payment or approval
  • Knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used a false record or statement used in a fraudulent claim
  • Conspiring to violate the False Claims Act
  • Falsely certifying the type or amount of property used by the government
  • Certifying government receipt of property on a document without being certain the information is correct
  • Knowingly buying property for government use from an unauthorized vendor
  • Knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used a false record to avoid or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit property to the government

Knowingly presenting a false claim for payment and knowingly making false statements to support a claim are the two most common violations of the False Claims Act.

IRS fraud is another common form of fraud against the U.S. government, and special rules apply encouraging IRS whistleblowers to come forward and file a claim. People with information about large tax underpayments, including accounting errors, tax fraud or evasion can receive up to 30 percent of the money recovered by the government based on the whistleblower’s information.

SEC whistleblowing is another area where special rules apply. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission program also compensates informants with up to 30 percent of the amount recovered, but the recovery ordered must exceed $1 million for the whistleblower to receive compensation. The informant must have provided the information voluntarily, and individuals are excluded from participation in the program if they were convicted of violating related U.S. laws. The purpose of the restrictions is to avoid awarding those who participate in fraud from later profiting from their actions.

Call 1-888-491-9726 or contact us online to discuss suspected fraud against the government.

Federal False Claims Act

The legal term for a person who reports fraud against the government is “relator.” The Federal False Claims Act shields relators from retaliation and provides a formula for compensating them. The provisions are as follows:

  • Protection for the whistleblower from discharge, demotion, suspension, threats or other harassment or discrimination against the whistleblower by the employer if the whistleblower still works for the employer under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)
  • Confidentiality for the whistleblower to file a fraud complaint under seal, which means that the defendant employers are not notified of a complaint until after the government investigates the claim under 31 U.S.C. §3730(b)(2)
  • Compensation for the whistleblower to share from 15 to 25 percent of the government’s successful recovery under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d)

State false claim acts

Besides the obvious incentive to root out fraud in state governments, the federal government provides an additional monetary incentive for states to pass false claims acts similar to the federal statutes. Under section 1909 of the Social Security Act, states with qualifying similar laws receive a 10 percent increase in their share of amounts recovered from whistleblower lawsuits.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted false claims acts:

  • California
  • Iowa
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • Louisiana
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • Oklahoma
  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan
  • Rhode Island
  • Florida
  • Minnesota
  • Tennessee
  • Georgia
  • Montana
  • Texas
  • Hawaii
  • Nevada
  • Virginia
  • Illinois
  • New Hampshire
  • Washington
  • Indiana
  • New Jersey
  • Wisconsin

Contact Massachusetts false claims act lawyers today

Thornton Law Firm LLP is dedicated to providing personalized service to clients across the nation. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay legal fees. Call 1-888-491-9726 or contact us online to discuss suspected fraud against the government. Remember that the first person to file a whistleblower lawsuit is the person entitled to compensation if the government recovers money based on the information.

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