Judge: Purdue Workers Should Get Bonuses, but Maybe Not CEO

first_imgPurdue and Landau deny the claims. In court filings, Landau said he had no role in overseeing sales or marketing for much of his career at the company. FILE – This June 17, 2019, file photo shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone. The judge overseeing the bankruptcy case of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma will consider Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 whether the company’s CEO should get a bonus equal to half his $2.6 million salary. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) Drain said officials with the company and other interested parties should continue to discuss whether it’s appropriate for Landau, who has run the company since 2017, to receive a performance bonus on top of his $2.6 million base salary. Drain said on the bench that he wasn’t especially moved by the contention from a group of 24 states that Landau should have his pay docked because of a possibility that he could be held liable in the future. Judge Robert Drain said he would sign an order for all the employees except Landau to get bonuses next year. He said it would contain a provision that it could be withheld from anyone found liable in lawsuits over the toll of the opioid crisis linked to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, is in bankruptcy court as part of an effort to settle more than 2,700 lawsuits it’s facing over the toll of opioids. “Dr. Landau is a star, and he is a star that Purdue should have working for it in this challenging time,” she said. But he said he was concerned when it was revealed at the hearing that the CEO’s base salary was doubled in 2018 shortly after the company hired a law firm to consult on filing for bankruptcy – and that the same year, he received $6 million of the $12 million in retention payments that he had been scheduled to get from 2020 through 2026. FILE – This June 17, 2019, file photo shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone. The judge overseeing the bankruptcy case of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma will consider Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 whether the company’s CEO should get a bonus equal to half his $2.6 million salary. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) There were objections at the hearing only to payments to CEO Craig Landau and a group of nine other upper-level “insider” employees. State governments and a watchdog committee didn’t dispute the company’s contention that bonuses would be needed to keep employees working and the company running – especially after the company agreed to trim many of the bonuses. WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) – More time is needed to sort out whether the CEO of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma should receive a $1.3 million bonus next year, but the company should be allowed to pay about $35 million in bonuses to 682 other employees, the judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy case said Wednesday. In their lawsuits, Colorado and Massachusetts allege that Landau blamed the dangers of opioids on patients rather than the drugs and that he knowingly put patients at risk by having his sales team encourage more prescribing of the drug without disclosing the addiction risks. In the hearing, Landau’s lawyer, Linda Imes, said Landau, a medical doctor who joined Purdue in 1999 and became CEO in 2017 after a stint running its Canadian sister company, was behind a decision last year to stop marketing opioids to doctors. “Purdue should not award bonus payments to Landau before resolving the allegations that Landau committed deadly, illegal misconduct,” those states and others said in a filing this week. Purdue lawyer Marshall Huenber said those changes were not a tricky move to pay the CEO more with the possibility of bankruptcy looming but rather part of bigger changes to his compensation that includes a reduced severance package if he leaves the Stamford, Connecticut-based drugmaker. In Purdue’s case, the company says two dozen employees have resigned since it filed for bankruptcy in September and that replacements are hard to find. “Purdue continues to be a difficult place to work, and retaining and motivating Employees continues to be a challenge,” chief financial officer Jon Lowne said in a court filing this week. “In recent weeks, Employees have received an unprecedented barrage of calls from recruiters.” They say he pushed opioids for elderly patients and those who had never taken them before without disclosing their risks, falsely claimed that a version of OxyContin that was reformulated to make it harder for people to break down and misuse was safe, and pushed doctors to prescribe opioids for a longer period of time. Whether troubled companies should be allowed to pay bonuses to executives and other critical employees is a common topic debated during bankruptcy proceedings. In 2009, a judge ruled that Lehman Brothers, the investment bank, could pay 230 traders bonuses totaling $50 million to keep working through that company’s bankruptcy. This year, a judge approved paying rank-and-file workers for Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. $235 million in bonuses but nixed millions in extra pay for top executives.last_img read more

Sanders introduces College for All Act

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Rep Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced legislation Monday to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for working families and to significantly reduce student debt. “Higher education in America should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few,” Sanders said. “If we are to succeed in a highly competitive global economy and have the best-educated workforce in the world, public colleges and universities must become tuition-free for working families and we must substantially reduce student debt.” “Our young people are forced to make untenable choices: going to college and taking on mountains of debt, or foregoing their college degree to work part-time or minimum wage jobs that simply won’t allow them to build a future,” Jayapal said. “The College for All Act renews our compact with our young people—and really, with our future. We’re going to piece back together the broken promises of a broken American Dream, and give back hope and opportunity to the middle class and working families across this country.”The legislation would eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities for families making up to $125,000 – about 80 percent of the population – and make community college tuition- and fee-free for all.Public colleges and universities are already tuition-free in many advanced countries including Germany, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The College for All Act would also reduce crushing student loan debt loads for students and parents which now exceed Americans’ credit card debt. The bill would cut all student loan interest rates for new borrowers in half; enable existing borrowers to refinance their loans based on the interest rates available to new borrowers – less than 2 percent for federal loans made to undergraduates; and prevent the federal government from profiting off the student loan program. Sanders introduced the bill in the Senate along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). In the House, Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) joined Jayapal as co-sponsors of the legislation.“At a time when college remains out of reach for far too many, this legislation would make college tuition-free for working families, reduce student debt and breathe new life into the American Dream. I am proud to stand with Senators Sanders and Warren as we work to combat our country’s college affordability crisis,” Blumenthal said.“Generations ago, America made a commitment to provide enough free education to every American so that they could obtain a good paying job. At the time, a 12th grade education was enough to compete for a good wage. Today, post-secondary schooling is required in order to survive, and our commitment to public education should reflect that reality,” Murphy said. “My wife and I are still paying back our student loans, but we’re some of the lucky ones who can save for our kids’ futures. Instead, too many families in Connecticut are suffocating under crushing student loan debt. We need to revolutionize the way we think about higher education and ensure colleges share responsibility for the success of their graduates. At the same time, we should make sure that cost is not a barrier to a college degree, just as it isn’t a barrier to a high school degree.”Today, the average student takes on over $30,000 in debt to get a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university. In addition to eliminating tuition, the College for All Act would substantially reduce student debt by allowing existing federal aid to cover the cost of books, housing, transportation and the other costs of college; require the states and tribes participating in the program to cover the full cost of college for their poorest students; and triple federal investment in work study programs.The College for All Act would also support students historically underrepresented in higher education. It would establish a dedicated grant program to eliminate or significantly reduce tuition and fees for low-income students at nonprofit historically black colleges and universities and private nonprofit minority serving institutions. It would also double funding for TRIO Programs and increase funding for the GEAR UP program so more first-generation and low-income students can enroll in and graduate college.The bill has been endorsed by the United States Students Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the American Association of University Professors, the Asian American & Pacific Island Association of Colleges and Universities, the Service Employees International Union, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Nurses United and several other organizations. The estimated $600 billion cost of the legislation would be paid for by a separate bill to tax Wall Street speculation. By imposing a small Wall Street speculation tax of just 0.5 percent on stock trades, a 0.1 percent fee on bonds and a 0.005 percent fee on derivatives, the tax would raise at least $600 billion over the next decade. More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and some 40 countries have already imposed a tax.For a fact sheet on the College for All Act, click here(link is external). For a copy of the College for All Act, click here(link is external).For a fact sheet on the Inclusive Prosperity Tax, click here(link is external).For a copy of the Inclusive Prosperity Tax, click here(link is external).Source: WASHINGTON, April 3, 2017 – Senator Bernie Sanderslast_img read more

How Loneliness Wears on the Body

first_imgThe Atlantic:Every Monday during the summer, some of the residents of Lyme, New Hampshire, gather up fruits and vegetables from their gardens to donate to Veggie Cares, a program that distributes local food to people living alone. Volunteers collect, sort, and package the produce, then head out in separate directions to deliver the food to some Lyme’s most vulnerable, isolated residents.While the stated goal of the program is to provide people with healthy food, Veggie Cares volunteers also deliver companionship. Visits are often more than a quick drop-off—they may involve a shared cup of tea, an offer to replace burned-out light bulbs, or a chance to check in on sick or elderly neighbors.Nine million elderly people currently suffer from food insecurity in the United States, and the produce provided by Veggie Cares is one way to safeguard the health of Lyme residents who may be at risk. But recent research supports the idea that the companionship the volunteers provide may be physically nourishing in its own way.…In other words, the results suggested that people suffering from social isolation may be more prone to inflammation and less able to fight viral infections—which could be one reason why lonely elderly people are more susceptible to illnesses ranging from the common cold to dementia, and why they have higher mortality rates than their peers.Read the whole story: The Atlantic More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

The Wisdom Your Body Knows

first_imgThis has been a golden age for brain research. We now have amazing brain scans that show which networks in the brain ramp up during different activities. But this emphasis on the brain has subtly fed the illusion that thinking happens only from the neck up. It’s fed the illusion that the advanced parts of our thinking are the “rational” parts up top that try to control the more “primitive” parts down below. … … Lisa Feldman Barrett, of Northeastern University, also argues that a main purpose of the brain is to read the body, and to regulate what she calls the body budget. You may see a bully on the playground. Your brain then predicts your next action and speeds your heart rate and breathing to deal with it. You experience these changes as emotion — oh, this is fear or oh, this is anger — because your brain has created an emotion concept to make those physical changes meaningful. Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media > One of the leaders in this field is Stephen W. Porges of Indiana University. When you enter a new situation, Porges argues, your body reacts. Your heart rate may go up. Your blood pressure may change. Signals go up to the brain, which records the “autonomic state” you are in.last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: E coli treatment, antibiotic resistance in EU, flu vaccine in preschoolers, measles-shot warnings, Lyme disease risk

first_imgMar 14, 2012Antibiotic use in 2011 German E coli outbreak may have cut sheddingDuring the large 2011 Escherichia coli outbreak linked to sprouts in Germany, use of azithromycin was associated with less frequent long-term E coli carriage and a shorter duration of bacterial shedding in stool specimens, according to a study in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). These findings contradict recommendations against prescribing antibiotics to treat infections with Shiga toxin–producing E coli (STEC) such as the O104:H4 outbreak strain, the study authors say. The study included 65 patients with STEC illness, 37 of whom had hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal kidney complication of STEC infection. Of those, 22 received azithromycin (on average 12 days after symptom onset), all of them HUS patients, and 43 did not, 15 of whom had HUS. They were all monitored from the day of symptom onset. Rates of STEC carriage were 31.8% in the treated group versus 83.7% in the non-treated group by day 21 of observation, 4.5% versus 81.4% by day 28, and 0% versus 74.4% by day 35.Mar 14 JAMA abstractMar 13 JAMA news releaseECDC says antibiotic resistance in Europe changed little in 2010Antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals, and food was common in 2010 but showed no major changes from 2009, according to an annual report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the ECDC. The report is based on data from 26 European Union members and covers resistance in zoonotic Salmonella and Campylobacter from humans, food, and animals and in indicator Escherichia coli strains and enteroocci from animals and food. Salmonella isolates from humans showed high resistance to ampicillin, tetracyclines, and sulfonamides, but resistance to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones remained low, the report abstract says. Salmonella and E coli isolates from poultry, pigs, and cattle were commonly resistant to tetracyclines, ampicillin, and sulfonamides, but not to third-generation cephalosporins, while Salmonella from poultry showed moderate to high resistance to ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone. “In Campylobacter isolates from human cases, resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, and tetracyclines was high, while resistance to erythromycin was recorded at low to moderate levels,” the report adds. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was found in some animal species and foods of animal origin.Mar 14 ECDC press releaseFull 233-page reportMar 5 CIDRAP News story on US report on resistant bacteria in poultry and meatFlu vaccine requirement for daycare children paid off in ConnecticutA requirement for flu vaccination of all Connecticut children in daycare led to a sharp increase in vaccination coverage and a decrease in flu in the age-group, according to a report presented today at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta (ICEID). The immunization requirement took effect Jan 1, 2012, for all children aged 6 to 59 months who were enrolled in licensed daycare centers, according to the study abstract. Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health and the Connecticut Department of Public Health compared flu data from the 2010-11 season and the most recent season dominated by H3N2 strains, 2007-08. Vaccination coverage in the age-group increased from 53.9% in the 2009-10 season to 85% in 2010-11, they reported. For the age-group, the proportion of all emergency department visits attributed to fever or flu in 2011 was lower than in 2008 (30.4% versus 33.5%, P = .01). Also, children 6 to 59 months old made up a smaller share of all patients hospitalized for flu in 2010-11 than in 2007-08 (2.3% versus 4.5%, P = .04)). Finally, daycare-age children accounted for a smaller proportion of all lab-confirmed flu cases in 2010-11 than in 2007-08 (10.3% versus 13.2%, P = .03).ICEID abstracts (see page 176)Ukraine, Purdue University issue measles vaccination warningsHealth officials in Ukraine say soccer fans who plan to attend the European Championship this summer should be vaccinated for measles in view of the outbreak there, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. Foreigners are also advised to be immunized against tuberculosis, rubella, and other diseases if they haven’t been already, officials said. In a Feb 21 notice, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Ukraine had had 3,000 measles cases since the start of the year. Ukraine is co-hosting the soccer championship with neighboring Poland from Jun 8 to Jul 1, the AP said.Mar 13 AP storyFeb 21 CIDRAP News itemIn other measles news, 484 Purdue University students have provided no proof of measles vaccination, which could keep them from registering for next semester’s classes, the AP reported yesterday. Mar 12 was the deadline for new students to show proof of immunization. Indiana law requires students at state-funded institutions to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria. Jim Westman, director of Purdue’s student health center, said the requirement has drawn increased attention because of Indiana’s recent measles outbreak, with 17 cases since early February. If a campus outbreak occurred, students who have not met the immunization requirement would not be allowed to attend classes or participate in activities for at least a week, Westman said.Mar 13 AP storyNortheastern US may face its worst year for Lyme disease riskOwing to a bumper crop of acorns in 2010, this year could be the worst yet for Lyme disease and other tickborne infections in the northeastern United States, according to Richard S. Ostfeld, PhD, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in East Millbrook, N.Y. Speaking at the ICEID, Ostfeld said yesterday that the acorn crop sparked a 2011 population boom for white-footed mice, which store acorns for winter food and begin breeding earlier when well fed, medical writer Maryn McKenna reported on her blog, Superbug. The mouse population boom intersected with the 2-year life cycle of Lyme-carrying ticks, and this summer could bring a big crop of infected tick nymphs, Ostfeld said. He explained that for several reasons white-footed mice appear to be the best reservoir for Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium. Unusually large acorn crops could serve as an early-warning signal for increased Lyme disease risk, he said.Mar 13 Superbug entrylast_img read more

Citi Industrious surrender

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LondonMetric sells Bishop Auckland retail park for £23.6m

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Plan A provides food for thought

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OpenHydro to Provide Two Tidal Turbines for Paimpol-Bréhat (France)

first_imgEDF has announced the development of a pilot farm comprising two tidal turbines at Paimpol-Bréhat in Brittany (France). OpenHydro, a DCNS company and leader in tidal energy, will supply two new turbines which will be operational from 2015.From prototype to pilot phaseThis new project is a fundamental step in the development of tidal energy in France. It follows on from the successful testing of the tidal turbine L’Arcouest in real conditions between December 2013 and April 2014 at the Paimpol-Bréhat site. These conclusive tests demonstrated the performance of the tidal turbine developed by OpenHydro and validated the principle of the 16-metre diameter prototype, an essential step before the deployment of pilot farms.The two turbines to be installed on the Paimpol-Bréhat site from 2015 will benefit from the feedback of studies conducted on components of the prototype L’Arcouest. These second-generation turbines, with optimised design and performance, will then be adapted for series production to support future calls for tenders for commercial farms.The pilot farm, essential step before commercial deploymentThe development of the Paimpol-Bréhat pilot farm, together with other pilot farm projects which OpenHydro is progressing in France and Canada, are intended to demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of tidal energy sector.At Paimpol-Bréhat, OpenHydro and EDF are going to test the operation of two turbines connected to the grid. The two partners will demonstrate the long-term reliability of a totally innovative technology under real conditions. This pilot phase will pave the way for the deployment from 2016 of pre-commercial farms and the development of a tidal energy industrial sector in France.Thierry Kalanquin, executive chairman of OpenHydro and director of DCNS Marine Energy and Infrastructure Division said: “We are pleased with this announcement, which confirms the performance of the innovative tidal turbine technology developed by OpenHydro. We are eager to begin this new phase of our collaboration with EDF in order to contribute to the development of the tidal energy industry.Press Release, June 04, 2014; Image: OpenHydrolast_img read more

Heavy machinery flies into Kabul

first_imgWith a total weight of 86 tonnes, the consignments were shipped from Istanbul to Afghanistan onboard an Antonov 124, which was chartered by the WWPC’s Canadian member, Albacor Shipping. Airport Handling in Istanbul was undertaken by WWPC’s Turkish member, Smart Lojistics.Pictured, we see the AN-124-100 offloading cargo in Afghanistan.last_img