Thursday’s recall by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil consumer health care unit covers 21 lots of products, including Children’s Tylenol. Those were recalled because of a musty or moldy smell, extending a large Jan. 15 recall tied to a nauseating chemical on shipping pallets.
The company said the new lots were added to the recall as a precaution after an internal review found those lots, shipped and stored before Jan. 15, had been on the same type of wooden pallets.
The new recall includes Tylenol of various formulas, including children’s Tylenol, the painkiller Motrin, and Benadryl allergy tablets. (To find out if a product you have has been recalled, find the lot number and go to www.mcneilproductrecall.com/page.jhtml?id=/include/prd_all.inc.)
An April 30 recall of more than 130 million bottles of children’s and infants’ liquid medicines involved products J&J said “may not meet required quality standards,” may contain tiny metal particles or may have too much active ingredient.
Sales Plunge As New Drug Recall Announced
The string of recalls is an embarrassment for a company that set the standard on how to do it correctly when it rushed to pull bottles of Tylenol — deliberately poisoned by someone who was never caught — off store shelves in the early 1980s.
This time, the culprit appears to be a lack of internal quality control. That’s harder to forgive, particularly given that the public has little tolerance for mistakes or carelessness involving products for children, said analyst Steve Brozak of WBB Securities.
”This is pain by a thousand cuts,” Brozak said of the repeated recalls.
Erik Gordon, a professor and analyst at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said J&J has been too conservative about replacing those responsible.
”Heads should have rolled” and longtime CEO Bill Weldon should be taking responsibility, Gordon said. “If I were on the board, I think I would be looking for his resignation.”
Weldon has turned the gold standard for handling an unsafe product “into the tin standard,” he added.
Data from market research firm SymphonyIRI you Group show sales of New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J’s pain reliever pills fell 56 percent in the four weeks ending June 13, compared to a year earlier.
Its figures show that U.S. sales of pain-relieving tablets, gelcaps and other types of pills, including multiple strengths of Tylenol and Motrin, plunged to $20.9 million in that four-week period, putting the company behind rivals Bayer Consumer Health and Wyeth Labs. Sales of private-label, or store brands, benefited the most from Johnson & Johnson’s fall, jumping 23 percent to $51.9 million.
Meanwhile, sales in the smaller category of liquid pain relievers, such as Children’s Tylenol, fell 96 percent, to just $630,000. Those figures do not include sales at Walmart, gas station stores and club stores.
Together, that amounts to tens of millions of dollars in revenue lost in just one month — and a big hit to the reputation of the maker of iconic products such as Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo and Band-Aids. Gordon said sales of any product with Johnson & Johnson on it will be hurt.
CathyJo Andrews threw out 10 bottles of children’s medicines earlier this summer after a prior recall.
”It scared me,” she said. “It’s my kids.”
Since then the mother of two, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, has received coupons from Johnson & Johnson to reimburse her, but doesn’t plan to use them soon.
Andrews said when her 6-year-old developed a fever and had an allergic reaction, she opted instead to take a trip to the pediatrician.
”I’d much rather pay for a doctor’s visit and a prescription from the pharmacy than have to freak out and worry about it,” the 28-year-old said.
A Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman said the company had no comment beyond its announcement of the latest recall.
Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Elaine Gansz Bobo said the agency continues to work with McNeil on all the product recalls.
”We do not see any serious health risk to the public from this additional recall,” she said.
Gansz Bobo said she did not know of any other company that had eight medicine recalls in less than a year.
”It certainly is quite a few, and something that we hope is not repeated by other companies,” she told The Associated Press.
The repeated recalls are particularly surprising at a company where executives regularly repeat the 67-year-old corporate credo, which begins: “We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.”
Gordon noted that besides the announced recalls, congressional investigators say J&J paid another company to quietly buy up packages of Motrin with potency problems in 2008.
”I think it’s unfathomable that a longtime J&J guy could do something so un-J&J-like,” he said of Weldon.
Gordon said he sees parallels to the repeated recalls by Toyota, another company “renowned for quality having quality problems. You have to wonder if global cost pressures have changed the game even for the best of the best.”
NATICK, Mass. July 9 2010 – A JC Penney employee has been accused of giving friends and family unauthorized discounts at the Natick Collection Mall.
According to police, store security discovered the crime after monitoring the employee.
Police said when security confronted her Friday she admitted to undercharging at the register.
20-year-old Seana Berardi had allegedly given out coupons and discounts totalling $12,000 dollars.
Her alleged 90 percent discounts brought her before a judge on larceny charges, where she pleaded not guilty to cutting the cost for friends and family.
She was released without bail after being arraigned in Framingham District Court.
She is due back in court for a pre-trial conference in the beginning of August.
19-year-old Michael Hylman is facing charges of theft in the case.
He was arrested June 29th after store security said Hylman was observed rolling a shopping cart of merchandise out to his car.
After examining other surveillance tapes they found Walmart Worker other days when the Terre Haute man repeated the drill, rolling a shopping cart load of goods to his car without stopping at the cash register first. Hylman told detectives he wanted to sell the items to pay his bills
Spartanburg SC July 9 2010 A security worker at Target told authorities he saw a woman steal more than $1,300 worth of merchandise on Friday with the help of one of the four young children who was with her.
At about 8 or 9 p.m. Friday, the woman entered the store at 8199 Warren H. Abernathy Parkway with four small children, all younger than age 12, and filled three shopping carts with several items before proceeding to the checkout line, the employee told authorities.
As she was talking to the cashier, an incident report states, one of the children pushed one of the carts out of the store without the items having been paid for.
The woman then told the cashier she had to go to the bank and would be right back, according to the report. The woman then left the store without paying for the items.
Among the items taken, the security worker reported, were a Nintendo DS Lite, a PSP and PlayStation 3 game console, four Nintendo DS games, seven CDs, various cosmetics and nearly $500 worth of clothing.
The security worker provided the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office with surveillance video of the shoplifting.
Security guards told her husband that the bandana could be construed as “gang wear,” Sasha Lattanzi said in an e-mail to the Connecticut Post. “He explained that he wasn’t a gang member, just a dad watching his son, and refused to remove it.”
Lattanzi said that mall security employees cited Section 8 in Westfield’s code of conduct, which states: “Failing to be fully clothed, or wearing apparel that disguises, obscures or conceals the face, including but not limited to costumes, hoods, or masks, other than those necessitated by a medical condition or worn for religious reasons, or wearing apparel or gesturing in a manner which is likely to provoke a disturbance or embroil other groups or the general public in open conflict.”
She said that she asked whether people who wear headscarves while undergoing chemotherapy treatments would also have to remove the coverings.
“As a person who has watched both of her parents and multiple grandparents and loved ones battle cancer, I find this offensive, heartless, and ridiculous,” Lattanzi wrote.
Mall spokeswoman Lee Sterling said Thursday that she looked into the incident and would like to speak to the Lattanzis. “Mall management would be open to speaking to them, as we would any customer with a complaint.”
Sterling said that the code of conduct specifically exempts people wearing head scarves for medical or religious reasons. The mall can’t make policies that apply to specific ages or genders, for legal reasons, she said.
If a security guard approached someone who was wearing a bandanna or scarf to cover hair loss from cancer treatments, “we’d give them the opportunity and they’d just explain,” Sterling said. “We work hard to provide a safe environment for all of our customers.”
Lattanzi said that she is eight months pregnant, and had left her husband and 4-year-old son at the mall’s play area while she shopped for baby clothes. She couldn’t be reached for further comment Thursday.
No arrests were made as a result of the incident.
Authorities say 36-year-old Alice Marie Smith entered the home of Tyler and Suzanne Richbourg early Thursday morning, grabbed the girl, and held her at knife point until she was given the money to leave.
In court, a victim’s advocate spoke for the family.
“When this incident happened, the defendant told the victim that if she called the cops she’d put a hit out on her and she’d be back,” said the advocate.
After receiving the money, officials say Tyler noticed the shoeless Smith left the home with a dog.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they followed a group of footprints to Smith and the dog, who was sitting on the front porch.
Inside the woman’s home they say they found the clothes she was wearing and the knife that she used in the incident.
Smith was arrested at the scene and charged for the incident. She is currently in jail awaiting a bond hearing in September.
FAIRFIELD, IL July 9 2010 - A Fairfield, Illinois, Physical Education teacher is accused of having sexual contact with a teenage student.
Authorities report that 29-year old Haven Kirkpatrick faces eight counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
She was arrested Wednesday afternoon at her parents home in Carmi then taken to the White County Jail.
She’s waiting to be transferred to Wayne County, and is being held on a $100,000 bond.
A legal team representing the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and the child’s parents filed the civil-action complaint Thursday at a federal court in Louisiana. It was filed on behalf of children in the Louisiana Recovery School District, including the child, now 7 years old, who they say was handcuffed and shackled for “minor offenses.”
The school district is a statewide entity administered by the Louisiana Department of Education to manage underperforming schools. Named in the lawsuit are the superintendent of the school district, Paul Vallas, along with school officials and security officers of Sarah T. Reed Elementary School.
Ken Jones, director of communications for the school district, declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said in an e-mail to CNN, “The Louisiana Recovery School District investigated the allegations involving a student at Sarah T. Reed Elementary school last semester. The RSD concluded that this was an isolated incident, the student was not arrested and the employee involved was terminated.”
Thena Robinson, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, said the school’s punishment methods crossed the line.
“The act of forcibly restraining a young child and shackling them to a piece of furniture isn’t just inhumane,” she said in an e-mail. “School officials’ conduct here was so unreasonable and excessively intrusive that it violates clearly established federal and state laws.”
Robinson said the case was “symptomatic” of a school culture that treats students like criminals, an issue that she said contributes to Louisiana’s high incarceration rate.
The lawsuit states that in May of 2010, an armed school security officer took the 6-year-old boy — who had been involved in a shoving match with another student — to the principal’s office, where he was handcuffed and shackled to a chair.
Two days earlier, another guard had handcuffed the boy for his alleged failure to “listen and follow directions,” the lawsuit says.
In the lawsuit, attorneys claim the child’s parents, Sebastian and Robin Weston, said they had spoken to the school’s principal, Daphyne Burnette, who had defended the school’s action.
During the conversation, the lawsuit says, Burnette confirmed it was the policy of the school to handcuff “out of control” students who refuse to calm down. The Westons’ child did not move when she asked him to, she said, and “if the child failed to follow the rules in the future, he would be handcuffed,” the lawsuit claims.
In a written statement, Sebastian Weston said his child’s life has been forever changed by the incident.
“No child should ever be treated the way our son was — especially by the very school we entrusted with him and his education,” he said.
Lexington KY July 9 2010 Police and Fayette County coroner Gary Ginn have confirmed that former UK basketball player Melvin Turpin, 49, committed suicide Thursday at his home in the Masterson Station subdivision in Lexington.
Turpin died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a news release from the Lexington-Fayette County Coroner’s Office. Ginn said Turpin was found by a family friend.
Turpin, a Lexington native who attended Bryan Station High School, was working at UK Hospital as a security guard.
Turpin’s sister, Margaret Burrus, said he had recently be diagnosed with diabetes and that keeping it under control was “rough.”
Burrus also said Turpin’s wife, Kerry, who was away Thursday receiving medical treatment, had heart problems and had undergone several surgeries.
Turpin played basketball at UK from 1981 to 1984 after transferring from a prep school in Virginia. He was part of a duo often referred to as the “Twin Towers” with former UK standout Sam Bowie. He is most remembered for his performance in Knoxville, Tenn., in January 1983 when he scored 42 points in the Cats’ loss to the Volunteers.
Turpin was the sixth pick by the Washington Bullets in the 1984 NBA Draft —the same draft as Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan — but was immediately traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Turpin retired after a tough five seasons in the NBA.
UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart released the following statement: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Melvin Turpin. Our hearts and prayers are with his family and friends as they mourn their loss. The University of Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation will forever remember Melvin and all his contributions to our basketball program.”
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Oakland CA July 9 2010 Scores of people were arrested in Oakland on Thursday night as police tried to wrest control of downtown from looters angry about the BART verdict earlier in the day.
By 11 p.m., the heart of downtown Oakland was a mess. A Foot Locker was smashed when looters took off with shoes and bags of athletic gear. People shoved trash cans into the street and set rubbish on fire.
Men sprayed graffiti on walls and windows on Broadway; one outside Tully’s Coffee read: “You can’t shoot us all.” Large fires billowed out of dumpsters on 20th Street and Telegraph Avenue. Windows were smashed at a Subway sandwich store, a Sears store and the empty former office of Far East National Bank.
At 20th Street and Broadway, a crowd was overrunning police and throwing bottles at officers, so authorities released smoke to disperse them, said Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts.
At least 50 people had been arrested, and more arrests were expected, Batts told reporters at a news conference.
Just before 11 p.m., Batts said there were still disturbances along the 1700 blocks of Broadway and Franklin Street and the corner of Grand Avenue and Broadway.
Batts said there were probably about 100 troublemakers out of up to 800 people who showed up at Broadway and 14th Street after Thursday’s verdict, in which former transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle, a white man, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Oscar J. Grant III, an unarmed black man, at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year’s Day in 2009. Prosecutors had sought a stronger conviction of second-degree murder.
Batts described the troublemakers as “anarchists” who came to Oakland to cause trouble and not peacefully express their views on the verdict.
“This city is not the wild, wild west,” he said. “We will allow people to protest, but we will allow it to be done peacefully.”
Workers in Oakland virtually evacuated the downtown core after news broke that the verdict was to be read, and store owners boarded up windows.
The demonstration throughout the early evening was largely peaceful but tense. People held up photos of Grant as police looked on, equipped with helmets and riot gear. A sign draped over a light post read: “Oakland says guilty.”
As darkness fell about 8 p.m. and most of the demonstrators went home, a group of people dressed completely in black and wearing black masks moved toward police.
“It was clear that they were taking an aggressive posture. … We started taking a number of rocks and bottles,” Batts said. “We then made a dispersal order.”
By 8:30 p.m., the looting began. People broke windows at a Rite-Aid drugstore. A California Highway Patrol car window was smashed, as was the window of a news television van.
Residents could be heard yelling at the younger protesters in the street to “Go home. This is our city. Don’t destroy it.”
The reaction in Los Angeles, where the trial was moved because of intense publicity in the Bay Area, was peaceful.
A group of people upset with the verdict gathered in Leimert Park late Thursday, but the event was so peaceful that even the police left before the end.
The uncle of Oscar Grant, Kenneth Johnson, 48, came out to see the rally but did not stand up to speak. Johnson, who lives in Los Angeles, said he was unhappy with the verdict and thought justice had not been served.
He was, however, glad to see Angelenos rallying for Grant.
“L.A., Oakland, the same things go on both places,” he said.