Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: SEC Whistleblower, Opioids, Tesla Solar Panels

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

08/30/2019

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SEC Awards More Than $1.8 Million to Whistleblower

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of more than $1.8 million to a whistleblower whose information and assistance were critically important to the success of an enforcement action involving misconduct committed overseas. 

After alerting the agency to the violations, the whistleblower provided extensive and ongoing cooperation during the course of the investigation, including the review of documents and the provision of sworn testimony, and continued to provide additional new information that advanced the investigation.

“The whistleblower in this matter provided stellar information and ongoing assistance that resulted in the Commission bringing a programmatically significant enforcement action,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Moreover, the misconduct occurred abroad, and without the whistleblower’s tip and assistance, the violations at issue would have been difficult to identify.” read more »  

Drug makers conspired to worsen the opioid crisis. They have blood on their hands

Johnson & Johnson and others profited from addiction and death – and yet they still don’t think they’ve done anything wrong

Johnson & Johnson came out swinging after an Oklahoma judge ruled this week that the company has blood on its hands for driving America’s opioid epidemic.

The pharmaceutical giant tried to blame Mexicans, doctors and, inevitably, the victims themselves for the biggest drug epidemic in the country’s history. Its lawyers reframed a corporate engineered tragedy that has escalated for two decades, and claimed more than 400,000 lives, as a “drug abuse crisis”, neatly shifting responsibility from those who sold prescription opioids to those who used them. read more »

Tesla Solar Panels Catch Fire, and the Lawsuits Start Flying

Walmart and home insurance companies fault the automaker.

One evening last year, David Burek noticed charred wood and a burning smell in his attic, near his young sons’ bedroom. He climbed a ladder and saw a melted connector wire from the solar panels installed on the roof of his North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, home. Firefighters rushed over and discovered that flames had burned through the shingles, the roof and a support beam. Luckily, a recent rain had doused it.

A month later, a fire broke out on the roof of Ken Tomasello’s home in Waldorf, Maryland, sending a section of the ceiling crashing onto a bed. It ultimately caused so much fire, smoke and water damage that Tomasello and his wife lived in a hotel for more than a year.

The two homes had something in common: SolarCity, now a unit of Elon Musk's Tesla Inc., had installed their rooftop panels. read more »