A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a proposed settlement agreement between Pilot Flying J and several trucking companies that had sued over allegations of fuel rebate fraud, reports the News Sentinel. U.S. District Judge James M. Moody signed the order on Tuesday. Several plaintiffs had previously filed a memo in U.S. District Court in Arkansas highlighting a proposed deal that was also supported by the Knoxville-based truck stop chain.
Tom Ingram, a spokesman for Pilot, said Tuesday the company was aware that the deal was being considered by a judge, “but we can’t comment until and if he rules.”
In addition, Nashville attorney Aubrey Harwell, who is representing Pilot, on Tuesday guessed that the total rebates owed by Pilot to all of its customers — not just the plaintiffs involved in the latest settlement — could be as much as $35 million.
A memo filed on Tuesday by attorneys for the plaintiffs in the settlement deal said it was “an extraordinarily good result for the class.”
It said the deal involves full repayment by Pilot of any amount owed, plus 6 percent interest. In addition, Pilot would pay all attorneys fees plus an “incentive award” to each plaintiff.
“All accounts will be audited, and the auditors will be audited, all at the expense of Defendants,” the memo said. “Moreover, Defendants will submit to an injunction to prohibit these underpayments from occurring in the future.”
According to the judge’s order, Horne LLP will review the work performed by Pilot’s auditor in calculating the compensation to be paid to eligible class members in the deal.
Parties to the agreement include National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, Edis Trucking, Townes Trucking and R&R Transportation….Pilot said that as of Tuesday, it is aware of at least 13 other lawsuits pending in other courts based on substantially similar allegations.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee will receive a portion of a $500 million settlement with generic drug manufacturer Ranbaxy.
Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper announced Thursday that Tennessee will receive more than $5.5 million. The settlement resolved claims that Ranbaxy sold inferior drugs and made false statements about how they were made.
The claim sprang from a whistleblower complaint that alleged the company manufactured, distributed and sold generic pharmaceuticals that failed to meet Food and Drug Administration standards for strength, purity and quality.
The 26 products in question were made at two plants in India between 2003 and 2010.
A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units conducted the settlement negotiations with Ranbaxy on behalf of the states.
— Note: The attorney general news release is below.
News release from attorney general’s office:
Attorney General Bob Cooper today announced that Tennessee and 45 other Attorneys General have reached a $120 million multistate agreement with a national loan default servicing company and its subsidiaries.
Tennessee will receive approximately $2.3 million as a result of its complaint and agreed final judgment with Lender Processing Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries, LPS Default Solutions and DocX, which are being filed today in Davidson County Circuit Court.
The agreement resolves allegations that LPS, which primarily provides technological support to banks and mortgage loan servicers, was “robo-signing” documents and engaging in other improper conduct related to mortgage loan default servicing. The judgment requires LPS and its subsidiaries to reform its business practices and, if necessary, to correct documents it executed to assist the homeowner.
Former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist and his ex-wife Karyn finalized their divorce last week, reports The City Paper, which also reviews court documents laying out the marital dissolution agreement. Karyn filed for the divorce due to “irreconcilable differences” in November. Documents filed in Davidson County Circuit Court reveal that she will receive a $2.1 million lump sum of cash, along with a split of other assets.
The ex-senator will retain the couples’ vacation homes in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Nantucket, Mass., while Karyn has the option of occupying the “marital residence” on Bowling Avenue for the next five years. Bill, however, must allow his ex-wife access to the Nantucket home for a quarter of the time over the summer months during the next five years. If he gets remarried, he’ll have to provide her comparable alternative housing at the beach.
The former couple will also split assets from the homes, with Bill gets the mounted buffalo head from the Nashville home, among other personal items from his time in the U.S. Senate. Karyn will receive art and furnishings from the homes — and even the bathroom door from the Nantucket home.
They will also divide up various stocks and investments, but financial details were not disclosed in the filing.
See also the Washington Post, which has a number of details. For example, the house is valued at $8 million but legally owned by three trusts set up to benefit the couple’s sons. And there are actually six country club memberships involved in the settlement.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and his estranged wife Allison have struck a deal to settle their divorce, court records show.
Further from Jamie Satterfield’s News Sentinel report:
Under the terms of the deal, Burchett walks away with the marital home and half its contents. Allison Burchett currently is living in that home but must vacate it in 30 days.
Each had alleged the other was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. Allison Burchett’s attorney, Martha Meares, had not filed any document specifying her claim against the mayor.
Burchett’s attorney, Albert Harb, however, did file a specific claim alleging Allison Burchett had cheated on her husband during the marriage.
News release from state attorney general’s office:
Tennessee will receive approximately $4.5 million as part of the largest ever multistate consumer protection agreement with a pharmaceutical company for alleged deceptive marketing practices.
Attorney General Bob Cooper announced that he and 35 other Attorneys General reached a record $181 million agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. The multistate group alleges that Janssen improperly marketed the atypical (second generation) antipsychotic drugs Risperdal, Risperdal Consta, Risperdal M-Tab, and Invega.
The States allege that Janssen engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it marketed Risperdal for unapproved or off-label uses. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Janssen promoted Risperdal for off-label uses to both geriatric and pediatric populations, targeting patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety, when these uses were not FDA-approved and for which Janssen had not established that Risperdal was safe and effective.
News release from attorney general’s office:
If you purchased E-Books over the past two years, you may soon be eligible for restitution as the result of a multistate agreement to resolve price-fixing allegations, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today. Tennessee is expected to receive approximately $1.2 million as part of the agreement.
The announcement comes after Attorney General Cooper and 54 attorneys general in other states, districts and U.S. territories have reached an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States. Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. have agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books (E-books). They have also agreed to change the way they price E-books in the future.
The agreement occurs in conjunction with a civil antitrust lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in New York against Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, which alleges that they and two non-settling publishers (Macmillan and Penguin) along with Apple conspired to fix prices for E-books. Specifically, the complaint states, the publishers agreed to increase retail E-book prices for all consumers and to eliminate E-book retail price competition between E-book outlets regardless of where the consumers bought their E-books.
After nearly three years of denying guilt, Gibson Guitar acknowledged Monday that it bought and imported ebony wood illegally from Madagascar in violation of a federal law protecting endangered species, and it will pay a $350,000 penalty.
From the Tennessean: The case had sparked rallies and protests against federal authorities by Gibson Guitar supporters and led to efforts by Tennessee congressional leaders to tweak federal law so it doesn’t make criminals of musicians who own prized guitars that might contain components made with rare foreign woods.
“This is a watershed moment in the battle to stop illegal logging around the world,” said Alexander von Bismarck, executive director of the private Environmental Investigation Agency, who said he led the probe of Gibson’s ebony purchases in Madagascar and turned over findings to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
“It was our private investigation, and we handed it to the authorities,” von Bismarck said. “We published two reports of the investigation and named the key timber barons in Madagascar and their trading partners, and tracked the wood wherever it went. In the United States, it went primarily to Gibson.”
News release from state attorney general’s office:
Tennessee will receive at least $13.5 million as part of one of the largest healthcare fraud agreements in U.S. history, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to pay $3 billion to the federal government and participating states nationally to resolve allegations that GSK engaged in various illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of drugs it manufactures.
As part of the agreement, GSK will pay the federal government and participating states a total of $2 billion in damages and civil penalties to compensate various federal healthcare programs, including Medicaid, for harm allegedly suffered as a result of the illegal conduct. In addition, GSK has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges relating to illegal drug labeling and FDA reporting and has agreed to pay a $1 billion criminal fine in connection with those allegations.
A spokesman for Tennessee Secretary of State Tré Hargett and state Election Coordinator Mark Goins said Sunday both welcome a settlement reached last week in a legal dispute involving state voter files, reports the Chattanooga TFP. Tennessee Democratic Party officials say their data experts found full or partial voter histories missing for about 11,000 state-maintained voter files they obtained last month. The assertions were introduced in federal court Friday in a lawsuit filed by Democrats and former Democratic U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis, who was turned away from the polls in the March primary.
“We’re actually very happy with this settlement,” spokesman Blake Fontenay said in a telephone message on behalf of Hargett and Goins, both Republicans.
“Just like we offered to let you look at voter files to verify they’re not missing, we’re happy to let a special master come in to do that and we welcome the opportunity. … We want to be transparent.”
Judges sometimes appoint special masters in complex civil cases where their expertise would assist the court. The Times Free Press reported Sunday that U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp requested both sides agree to a proposed consent decree. They did so Friday night, and it will be submitted to the court this week.