Archive for August, 2014

The False Claim Act’s “First to File” Rule

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Any whistleblower who is considering reporting fraud under the False Claims Act should be aware and have a basic understanding of the “first to file” rule.  This rule makes it imperative that whistleblowers file their action before any other potential whistleblower, as doing so is a necessary and critical part of any potential recovery.

The False Claims Act is set out in 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5).  The law provides that no person other than the Government can intervene or bring a related action based on the facts in the underlying pending action.  The “first to file rule” bars later allegations of fraud based on the same basic facts or allegations of fraud as already set out in a previous action.

The Purpose of the First to File Rule

There are several reasons behind the adoption of the first to file rule.  First, the rule is intended to provide motivation to individuals who promptly alert the government to the facts of a fraudulent scheme.  The whistleblower that first reports the fraud to the government will be the only one who can recover a monetary award for providing such information.  By encouraging the whistleblowers to report the fraud as soon as possible, the rule also serves the interests of the government in recovering money paid out as a result of the fraud.

Second, the first to file rule under the False Claims Act discourages the filing of additional lawsuits based on the same facts that have already been or are being litigated in earlier filed petitions because this would not enhance the government’s ability to investigate and uncover fraud.  Once the government is aware of the fraud after the filing of the initial action, allowing additional lawsuits would only drain government resources with no potential for additional recovery.

The First to File Rule Bars Related Actions

In examining the first to file rule, most courts have interpreted the meaning of “related action” based on the underlying facts of the pending action quite broadly.  The facts of the second qui tam do not have to be identical for the suit to be barred under the first to file rule.  Most courts instead look to whether the claim involves the same type of fraud, the same essential elements, or the same material elements of fraud.

Courts will look to two central questions: 1) Does the second qui tam suit allege a different type of wrongdoing based on facts different from those presented in the first suit? 2) Does the second action give rise to a separate and distinct recovery by the government?  Looking at all these factors, the court will determine whether the second action is barred by the first to file rule.

Key Points to Take Away from the First to File Rule

Potential whistleblowers should glean from the first to file rule that it is absolutely essential they bring their claim as early as possible to ensure it will not be barred. Additionally, whistleblowers should also takeaway the importance of retaining an experienced qui tam attorney who will help them bring this complex action.

Barrett Law PLLC: Representing False Claim Act Whistleblowers in Mississippi

The experienced Mississippi Qui Tam Lawyers at Barrett Law PLLC understand the importance of being the first to file in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act.  We have guided countless whistleblowers through the filing of qui tam actions under the False Claims Act.  We understand what it takes to bring a successful action from our over 75 years in the industry.  At Barrett Law PLLC, we offer a free consultation to all new clients and operate on a contingency fee basis.  For representation of unmatched excellence, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

 

 

What to Do At the Scene of a Mississippi Truck Accident

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

The victims of truck accidents often report that they regret not being better prepared for what to do at the scene of their Mississippi truck accident.  Many found themselves confused and in shock, and failed to perform tasks that could later have helped their case.  To this end, this list briefly reviews some important steps you should take at the scene of a truck accident.

  1. Stay calm and assist anyone who has been injured: Do not panic if you have been involved in a truck accident.  Assess the situation and make sure you are in a safe location.  If you are in danger of being further injured, move your vehicle to the nearest safe location if you are able to do so.  Look to see if anyone has been seriously injured in the crash.  Immediately call 911 to obtain assistance for the injured crash victims. Do not move injured passengers as you could add to their injuries.
  2. Call the police: Even if no one has been seriously injured, you should contact the police so that a police report is generated.  This report can prove vital to your later claim.
  3. Document your injuries: It often takes some time for serious injuries to become apparent following a crash.  Write down any pain or injuries you are experiencing in the aftermath of the accident.  If you were carrying passengers, instruct them to do the same.
  4. Take down as much information as possible:  You should attempt to document all you can about the crash so if there is a dispute later on concerning the facts, you have detailed information to back up your position.  Errors can also appear in the police report, which your documentation could refute.  If possible, make note of the following:
    • A list of injuries to all passengers
    • The location of the accident
    • The time, road conditions, weather conditions, and direction of the other vehicles
    • A description of how the accident occurred
    • Damage to all vehicles involved
    • Write down statements made by any other drivers, passengers, or witnesses
    • The names, drivers license information, insurance information, phone number, and address of all other parties
    • The name, phone number, and badge number of all police officers involved
    • Your observations as to whether drugs or alcohol or driver distraction played a role in the crash
  1. Photograph the scene: If you have a camera or cell phone camera, photograph the scene of the accident.  Photograph any skid marks, damage to vehicles, injuries, etc.
  2. Cooperate with the police but do not discuss fault before talking to an accident attorney:  Do not speak to anyone besides the police and your truck accident attorney about the accident.  Provide the police with the information they request concerning the crash but do not make statements about liability without consulting with your attorney first.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys Obtaining You Justice

Being involved in a truck accident is a frightening experience, likely leaving you in shock, injured, and unclear as to what actions you should take.  The Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC hope that this guide will help you be prepared in the event of a crash.  As soon as possible after your truck accident, contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  We will immediately begin investigating and gathering evidence to support your claim, seeking a full recovery for the injuries you sustained.  For legal assistance of unmatched excellence, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577.

 

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Back Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of individuals are injured in car accidents each year.  Back injuries are among the most common of injuries sustained following an automobile crash.  Even accidents that seem minor can inflict serious back injuries due to the jarring motion experienced by one’s body in a crash.  The spinal cord is not intended to absorb such a jar, even at low speeds, and this often causes damage.  Minor back injuries can impact your ability to perform daily living tasks, while major injuries can entirely debilitate, preventing you from performing work duties or self-care activities.

Types of Injuries Following a Crash

The human spinal cord can be divided into three different regions: the cervical vertebrae which comprises the neck; the thoracic vertebrae which comprises the upper back; and the lumbar vertebrae which makes up the lower back.  Each segment of the back contains ligaments, muscles, nerves, discs, and tendons that if injured will cause significant pain and sometimes permanent damage.

  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Some of the most serious car accident related back injuries involve the spinal column.  The spinal cord controls much movement and sensation and is a vulnerable part of the back.  Injuries to the spinal cord can vary from bruising to permanent damage.  Spinal cord injuries can cause partial or total paralysis, loss of feeling in certain regions of the body, and loss of reflexes.  Treatment for these serious injuries will include surgery, medication, and lots of physical therapy. Permanent disability often results.
  • Thoracic Spine Injuries: High speed crashes most often cause injuries to the upper back.  The upper back connects the spine to the ribs, making injuries to this region extremely dangerous.  Permanent nerve damage can result from thoracic spine injuries.
  • Herniated Discs: Discs act as cushions within the spine, separating the vertebrae and insulating the spine from injury.  A herniated disc occurs following a car accident when the disc is displaced.  This displacement places pressure on the spinal cord and causes intense pain along with numbness in the legs.
  • Lumbar Spine Injuries: The lower back is a vital area of support for the entire body, providing stability due to the many muscles located here.  A sprain or strain on the lower back can be extremely painful and slow to heal.  Fractures to this region can result in swelling, tenderness, and limited range of motion.  These injuries will leave accident victims unable to perform work and living tasks.

After a car accident, your back injury should be evaluated to determine its severity and, in turn, its required treatment.  Back injuries can be diagnosed through an array of tests, including MRI, CT scans, x-rays, myelograms, and bone scans.  Most back injuries will require treatment with medication, rest, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.  More serious injuries may require surgery.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys Fighting for Victim Rights  

Car accidents caused by negligent drivers can cause serious and sometimes permanent back injuries.  The back is a sensitive area of the body that is easily injured in a crash.  Back injuries usually require months or even years of treatment in order for hopes of a full recovery.  For some individuals, the back pain never subsides.  The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC will fight zealously for you to obtain full compensation following a car accident.  For over 75 years, we have helped countless car accident victims find financial relief and we wish to offer the same excellence of legal services to you. Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

The Most Common Workplace Injuries in Mississippi

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Each year, over 4,500 American workers are killed on the job, while millions more sustain serious but non-fatal injuries.  Over 3.3 million employees suffer a workplace injury that will lead to permanent disability, pain, or other lasting effects.  Most workplace accidents are entirely preventable and occur as a result of an employer’s failure to maintain a safe work environment.

The following is a look at some of the most common types of workplace injuries in Mississippi and across the nation.  This list is intended to help employees stay safe and assist employers in identifying common areas of concern.

  • Slipping/Tripping Accidents: Slip, trip, and fall accidents are the number two cause of workplace injuries. These accidents occur when employees slip on wet or slick surfaces or trip over objects on the floor.  Employers have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe work environment in Mississippi, which includes keeping the work area free of known slipping and tripping hazards.
  • Overexertion Injuries: Overexertion injuries generally occur as a result of lifting, holding, carrying, pulling, throwing, or pushing activities at work.  These injuries are extremely common and the most expensive of all workplace accidents.  Overexertion injuries account for $3.4 million in benefit costs each year.
  • Falling from Heights: Falls that occur from heights include falls from ladders, roofs, stairways, and any other elevated surface.  Falling from heights accidents can be caused by slipping, tripping, or faulty equipment, to name a few possibilities.  Employers can reduce the risk of such accidents by ensuring employees use proper personal protection gear, training all employees thoroughly, and supervising employees with vigilance.
  • Reaction Injuries: Reaction injuries occur when an employee slips or trips but does not fall.  These injuries can cause body trauma, muscle damage, and other medical issues.  They are hard for an employer to prevent.
  • Falling Object Injuries: Objects that fall from roofs, ladders, shelves, or other elevated surfaces can cause serious injuries.  Head injuries most often stem from falling objects.  The use of proper personal protective gear, such as a hard hat, can greatly decrease the chance of serious employee head injuries.
  • Vehicle Accidents: Employees who drive as a part of their job can be involved in car or truck accidents.  Depending on the nature of the crash, serious or even fatal injuries can be inflicted.  Employers can diminish the chance of accidents by educating employees on safe driving practices and providing adequate training.
  • Machine Entanglement Injuries: Particularly in factories, employees can become trapped in machinery if their clothing, hair, fingers, shoes, feet, or any other object is entangled. The use of proper protective guards on machines and other safety equipment can diminish the risk of these serious injuries.
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries: Repetitive motion injuries develop slowly over time as a result of an employee repeating certain motions.  Carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, strained muscles, and vision problems are all examples of repetitive motion injuries.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys of Excellence 

The Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have assisted injured workers across the state for over 75 years.  Our veteran team of workers’ compensation attorneys will fight to see that you receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, ongoing disability, and more in the event you are injured in the course and scope of employment.  For over 75 years, were have helped injured workers navigate the complex workers’ compensation maze towards a full recovery.  If you have questions about your workers’ compensation rights following an accident or need assistance with your workplace accident case, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys Discuss Brake and Tire Failure

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Thousands of truck accidents occur each year due to mechanical failures.  Brake and tire failures account for the largest percentage of such crashes.  In one study published by the Department of Transportation (DOT), it was revealed that 30% of all commercial truck accidents involved brake related issues, most often brake failures or brakes that were out of adjustment.

Anyone who has been injured in a truck accident should learn the common causes of brake and tire failure so that they can determine whether either mechanical issue played a role in the accident.  An experienced truck accident attorney will provide a more accurate assessment of fault after thoroughly assessing your crash.

Who is Liable for Defective Brakes?

When the brakes on a truck cause an accident, the liability can be placed on several different parties.  Sometimes, more than one party can be deemed responsible.  Possible liable parties include:

  • The party responsible for maintenance of the brakes, most often the trucking company or the owner-operator
  • The manufacturer of the brakes
  • The truck driver
  • The company that loaded the truck

When a serious accident occurs involving defective brakes, the trucking, leasing, and hauling companies will often argue among themselves as to whose insurance will compensate the victim.

The Brake Manufacturer

Commercial truck brakes are subject to stringent federal regulations.  The brakes must have a certain braking force, be able to go from 20 mph to a complete stop at a certain rate, and meet automatic brake adjustment system requirements.

If the brakes on the truck that caused your accident do not comply with federal regulations, you could have a claim against the manufacturer.  Your claim could be based on the premise that the brakes were improperly designed or that they were initially properly designed but a defect occurred during manufacturing.

Trucking Companies and the Driver

Sometimes trucking companies or truck drivers can be responsible for brake failures. Truck companies are required to complete routine maintenance and keep a log of inspections.  If the trucking company fails to maintain a truck’s brakes, the brakes can fail.  Truckers or trucking companies also occasionally depower the front brakes in order to save wear and tear on the brakes.  This dangerous practice can lead to accidents as it forces the truck to rely solely on the trailer brakes.

Tire Failures That Cause Truck Accidents

When tires fail on a commercial truck, major accidents can ensue.  Truck tires fail due to defects with the tire or the failure of the truck driver and trucking company to inspect and maintain the brakes.  If you are in an accident caused by a blown truck tire, you could be able to receive compensation from the trucking company, truck driver, or tire manufacturer.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys Obtaining You Justice

Mechanical failures such as brake and tire failure are a leading cause of truck crashes.  All too often, brake and tire failures can be attributed to negligence on the part of the trucking company, truck driver, or part manufacturer.  The Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have fought for the recovery of truck accident victims for over 75 years.  We offer legal services of dedication and excellence.  Our years of experience in the industry provides us with an in depth knowledge of the distinct area of truck accident law and the many federal regulations that abound in this field.  If the negligence of the truck driver, trucking company, or manufacturer caused your accident, we will fight to see that you recover for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  To schedule your free initial consultation, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577.

 

Elderly Drivers Pose a Hazard on the Roadways

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The U.S. population is aging each year and the hazard posed by elderly drivers who cling to their licenses long after they have lost their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle continues to grow.  The fatality rate for drivers begins to climb after the age of 65.  Between the ages of 75 and 84, the fatality rate among senior citizens is the equivalent to that of teen drivers.  Drivers over the age of 85 have a shocking fatality rate four times that of teens.

These figures concerning elderly drivers are especially alarming in light of the U.S. Census Bureau projections that predict there will be 9.6 million people over the age of 85 by 2030.  Road safety experts now predict that by the year 2030, the aging baby boomer population will cause 25% of all fatal crashes.  This number is a sharp incline from the current estimates that this age group causes just 11% of fatal accidents.

States across the country are struggling to address the approaching boom of elderly drivers.  Several states have passed measures that require more frequent vision and behind the wheel exams for drivers over the age of 79.  Currently, however, Mississippi is among 17 states that does not have any driving restrictions on the elderly.

Researchers are still studying the dangers posed by older drivers and the measures intended to diminish them.  Thus far, the only laws that seem to have a measurable impact on reducing senior citizen crash rates are those that require elderly drivers appear in person at the DMV and pass vision and road tests frequently. Most states have not passed laws that meet these requirements.

Normal aging often diminishes one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.  Reflexes, memory, visual acuity, flexibility, and the ability to focus all decline with age.  Further, medications designed to treat a number of ailments associated with old age can make it more difficult for the elderly to focus, and can also come with side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired perception.

Elderly drivers are most often involved in side impact crashes.  These accidents generally occur at intersections when the senior driver misses a stop sign or turns left in front of oncoming traffic.  The side impact crash is now being termed an old person’s accident in the same manner that roll over crashes are usually considered a young person’s crash.  Seniors are less likely, however, to be involved in high speed crashes or accidents stemming from alcohol use.

Studies show that most elderly drivers elect to stop driving on their own accord.  Each year, more than 600,000 drivers over the age of 70 decide to stop driving.  Despite this high number, the problem of dangerous elderly drivers seems to endure.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Auto Accident Attorneys of Distinction  

The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are concerned by recent studies showing the dangers of elderly drivers who do not have the memory, reflexes, or vision to safely operate a motor vehicle.  We hope that Mississippi and other states will enact more measures that would require senior citizens pass road and vision tests more often to ensure both their safety and the safety of other road users.  In the meantime, we will continue to fight for the recovery of accident victims injured by negligence senior drivers as we have for over 75 years.  For these automobile accident victims, we will zealously seek to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to providing you with excellence of legal services.

Important Facts About Qui Tam Suits Filed Under the False Claims Act

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

The False Claims Act, also known as the Lincoln Law, imposes liability on individuals or companies who defraud the U.S. government or one of its programs.  This Act also includes a qui tam claims provision that allows individuals, known as relators or more commonly whistleblowers, to file actions on behalf of the government to expose the fraud.  Whistleblowers are entitled to receive a portion of the funds recovered as damages.

Qui tam actions under the False Claims Act are complex and involve several legal intricacies.  The following is a look at some facts that anyone considering whistleblowing should know concerning qui tam actions and the False Claims Act.

The False Claims Act Contains a First to File Rule

Under the False Claims Act, only the first plaintiff to file his or her case will be able to continue the action and recover damages.  The first to file rule is broadly interpreted so that any actions that contain the same essential facts or allegations of fraud as set out in previously filed claims will be barred.

When you file your action, you will not know what similar cases have been filed because qui tam cases are initially kept under seal.  The important thing to take away from this rule is that the early you can reasonably file your claim, the better your chances are of being able to proceed and potentially recover down the road.

False Claims Act Cases Cannot be Based on Information in the Public Domain

The qui tam provision within the False Claims Act is intended to encourage those with insider knowledge of the fraud occurring against the government to come forward.  Therefore, cases cannot be based on information that is in the public domain unless the plaintiff was the original source of that information.

Qui Tam Cases are More Likely To Succeed When the Government Joins the Case

After a qui tam case is filed in court, a copy of the complaint and a disclosure statement with all the facts will be sent to the Department of Justice.  The DOJ will conduct a lengthy investigation and decide whether it wants to intervene or join in on the case.  If the government elects not to join in, the plaintiff can still continue with the action.  The government could intervene at a later date.

While the case can succeed without the government’s action, having the government intervene can increase your chance of success.  The government has tremendous resources, investigatory powers, and an ability to impose sanctions that can obtain the results you desire.

False Claims Cases Are Typically Under Seal for Some Time

Qui tam cases are initially filed in federal court under seal and are not served on the defendant.  The purpose of this is to allow the government some time to investigate the claims without the government’s knowledge.  Typically, the claim will remain under seal for 60 days but complex actions can be sealed for far longer.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Qui Tam Attorneys of Distinction

Bringing a qui tam action under the False Claims Act is complex and requires the assistance of an experienced whistleblower attorney.  The seasoned Mississippi Qui Tam Lawyers at Barrett Law PLLC have over 75 years experience guiding whistleblowers through the filing of qui tam actions.  We have the knowledge and skill to bring even the most complex of actions and will fight for the success of your action.  At Barrett Law PLLC, we offer a free consultation to all new clients and operate on a contingency fee basis.  For representation of unmatched excellence, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

New Study Shows the Footprint of the BP Oil Spill May Be Worse Than We Thought

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Biologists at Pennsylvania State University have made an alarming finding that the BP Oil Spill has had a deeper impact on marine life than previously predicted.  The 2010 Gulf Oil Spill has captured the world’s attention for polluting the waters in the Gulf of Mexico.  The spill additionally shut down business across the region, including fisheries and beaches, and severely contaminated marshes and wetlands.  Three companies were responsible for the spill: TransOcean, which operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig; oil company BP; and Halliburton.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found two partially damaged and dying deep sea coral reefs far to the east of the oil spill site.  Up until now, scientists only knew of one reef that was damaged by the oil spill.  That reef was closer to the surface and to the scene of the spill which sent 210 million gallons of oil pouring into the Gulf for 87 days.

Charles Fisher, who led the study, stated that the footprint of the oil spill on coral communities is deeper and wider than previous studies indicated.  BP issued a published response stating that the researchers have prematurely linked the dead coral reefs to the 2010 oil spill.  BP urged the reef’s destruction could have come from other sources including natural oil or gas seeps or underwater landslides.  PSU biologists defended their study, emphasizing that their testing proved the oil found on the reefs was the same as the oil from the 2010 BP oil spill.

The study presents two theories as to how these distant reefs were damaged by the oil spill.  The first is that a cloud of oil droplets traveled under the sea deeper and in different directions that scientists previously believed.  The second is that the oil traveling on the surface of the water sunk and landed on the reefs.  This sort of oil is called “toxic marine snow.”  Scientists believe toxic marine snow is formed when chemical dispersants used to clean up the oil cause the oil to form droplets that then fall hundreds of feet below the surface.

Deep sea coral reefs are a crucial part of the ocean ecosystem.  They provide a habitat for dozens of species and participate in nitrogen and carbon cycling processes, as well as sheltering fish and shark eggs.  Charles Fisher emphasizes that the discovery of these dying reefs indicates the deep sea is still experiencing the effects of the oil spill.  He warns that it could be awhile before the full impact of the spill is realized in the wider Gulf.

Just like the ocean floor, individuals and businesses continue to be impacted by the BP oil spill.  Many more are still struggling to receive payouts from BP for their damages sustained.  Contact a BP Oil Spill Attorney today for help with your claim.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Continuing to Assist Victims of this Disaster

This new study showing the ongoing and even greater than previously thought impact of the BP Oil Spill is alarming and serves to illustrate the need for continued litigation against the companies responsible for this disaster.  It has been four years since the oil spill that pumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf, devastating many Gulf coast residents, business owners, and the environment.  While it has been years since the spill, the effects are ongoing and litigation continues.  If you have been or may have been impacted by the BP oil spill, the experienced Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

 

CDC Whistleblower’s Claims Ignite Controversy

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Recently, a CDC whistleblower released highly controversial information that has sent the autism community and the public into an uproar.  The information has not yet been verified but already the public responsive is explosive.

A well respected researcher working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with Dr. Brian Hooker of the Focus Autism Foundation, allege that the CDC has manipulated vaccine research data in an attempt to cover up the MMR and autism link.

The data that has allegedly been covered up or manipulated demonstrates a higher incidence of autism in African-American boys who received their MMR vaccine according to the CDC schedule.  The study in question was published in the journal Pediatrics. The study examined children with and without autism by examining the age at which they first received the MMR shot.  It used a population based study in Atlanta.

Dr. Hooker states that he acquired documents relating to the supposed cover up via a Congressional request from the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Record Committee.  Hooker, citing the two sources, has accused the CDC of widespread manipulation of scientific data concerning the safety of the MMR vaccine.

According to the whistleblower team, the study showed that there was actually a 3.36 fold increase risk for autism in African-American boys who received the MMR vaccination before the age of 36 months.  This flies in the face of the studies presented findings that no risk exists in obtaining the vaccine on time, and the CDC’s general public message that the MMR vaccine is not linked in any way to autism.

The whistleblower and Dr. Hooker claim the CDC knew of the risks that accompanied the shot as early as 2003, prior even to the study’s publication.  The whistleblower initially remained anonymous but has since identified himself as Dr. William Thompson who does work at the CDC and is considered a well respected professional.

Thus far, the CDC has not responded to allegations, nor has a statement been issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Families of children with autism have taken to social media sites demanding answers and the infliction of punishment, while others have sharply refuted the claims of the whistleblower.

While the ultimate result of this whistleblower’s claims remain to be seen, we can glean from this case the difficulties inherent in being a whistleblower.  The doctor that has brought this information to light no doubt risks his career and standing in the medical community.  His claims have already gathered much media attention and will continue to do so.

Though being a whistleblower is undoubtedly difficult, it is of the utmost importance to the American public as a whole.  Without some of the brave whistleblowers of the past, much fraud would never have been uncovered and dismantled.  Whistleblowers are vital, and with the assistance of an experienced whistleblower attorney, they too can be protected in bringing their action.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Attorneys Assisting Brave Whistleblowers

The experienced Mississippi Qui Tam Lawyers at Barrett Law PLLC understand that being a whistleblower is never easy.  It involves speaking out and often facing much criticism, along with the potential for retaliation.  The whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC respect the decision of whistleblowers to put their livelihoods on the line and will do all we can to see that your case is successful and you experience none of the potential negative repercussions that can accompany whistleblowing.  At Barrett Law PLLC, we offer a free consultation to all new clients and operate on a contingency fee basis.  For representation of unmatched excellence, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.