A 19th century Australian nun slated to be canonized a saint later this month was once excommunicated for blowing the whistle on a child-abusing priest, and attempting to bring him to justice. Although the priest was investigated and removed from his post, the nun also endured punishment in the form of exile from the church for several months. Not until 2009 -- one hundred years after the nun's death -- did the church issue an apology for her wrongful punishment. Her story calls attention to the several women who were antagonized by church authorities before going on to be appointed to sainthood.
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The New York Times: Shady Secrets
This masthead editorial raises excellent points about the federal government's misuse of the state secrets doctrine in order to cover up embarrassing or illegal actions. Most recently, the Obama administration cited the doctrine in its outright dismissal of the Anwar al-Awlaki lawsuit, even though plaintiffs could have proven their case without disclosing protected information.
The Legal Intelligencer: Novartis Agrees to Pay More Than $422 Million to Settle Disputes Over Off-Label Marketing
Novartis Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay more than $422 million in order to settle civil as well as criminal allegations relating to its misbranding of Trileptal®. A series of whistleblower suits revealed that Novartis was allegedly engaged in illegal marketing practices, including offering payments to health care providers in exchange for prescribing the company's drugs.
Wall Street Journal: Beef Safety Tests Aren't Being Used
Food safety advocates are pressuring the government to move more quickly to broaden its testing for E.coli in beef. Currently, only one strand of the bacteria is officially considered a contaminant, even though there are six strands that the government says are dangerous. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims it is ready with tests for four of the six strains, it is unknown when these tests will be implemented.
Allstate Insurance Company was informed last week that it is being charged in a whistleblower lawsuit filed against the company more than three years ago. The suit, brought by the federal government, alleges that Allstate violated the False Claims Act by knowingly exaggerating insurance documents in order to "decrease its own claims payments and inflate flood losses at the expense of the federal government."
Lindsay Bigda is Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower advocacy organization.