February 2017


Last October the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sent a letter to hospitals throughout the United States alerting them to a potential serious health hazard related to open-chest cardiac surgeries performed in the hospitals.  Specifically, the CDC notified hospitals that a device known as a Stöckert 3T Heater-Cooler which was manufactured by a company in Germany called LivaNova and shipped to the United States could have contamination which originated in the equipment when it was manufactured in the factory in Germany.

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EPA Update, Partner Steve Knowlton Discusses

President Trump is expected to sign executive orders scaling back the EPA’s climate change and enforcement work, but is reportedly waiting until after his nominee for EPA Chief, Scott Pruitt is confirmed by the Senate.


EPA insiders report that Trump is looking to close the EPA’s Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance Office (OECA) which would significantly reduce civil enforcement of EPA’s orders and mandates.  If accomplished, this action would essentially mirror the tack that Scott Pruitt took in 2011 in trying to close Oklahoma’s Environmental Protection Unit.  When EPA was first formed in 1970 it did not have an independent enforcement arm.  Before EPA’s creation, enforcement was primarily left to the states. The OECA was created in the early 1990’s to centralize reporting and enforcement in a single department of the EPA.  EPA created OECA from the Office of Enforcement & Compliance Monitoring (OECM), which, the source familiar with the plan says, did not identify enforcement cases but acted as more of a vessel to raise cross-cutting issues such as inspections, civil penalty policies, media-related information and contracts. It was only after OECA was formed that enforcement was centralized with consistent messaging from headquarters on priorities and other matters.

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NFL Concussion Settlement – Registration Open

As of Monday, February 06, 2017, registration opened for the NFL Concussion Settlement.  All Settlement Class Members must register with the Claims Administrator in order to be eligible for the benefits as outlined in the settlement.  Settlement Class Members include Retired NFL Football Players, Representative Claimants who have a legal right to act on behalf of the Retired NFL Football Player (i.e. Power of Attorney or Administrators of Estates), and Derivative Claimants who have certain legal rights because of their relationship with a Retired NFL Football Player.

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