Air pilots teach surgeons how to defy death
After five years of study, the South Carolina Hospital Association and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health learned that surgery deaths could be avoided by following what airplane pilots have been doing since the advent of flight; namely, bring a checklist into the operating room to assure procedures have been completed. Hospitals experienced a 22% reduction in post-surgery deaths by following a 19-point checklist that, among other things, asked doctors to account for the instruments, sponges and needles they used during an operation.
IRS ready for busiest day
The Internal Revenue Service is girding for an avalanche of federal income tax returns that must be in the mail no later than midnight today. As of April 7, the IRS had received 103.6 million filings from individual taxpayers and was expecting millions more by tonight’s deadline. Also, this year’s tax deadline is also the last day that taxpayers can claim refunds which have been uncollected since 2013. The IRS estimated it will escheat more than $1 billion in uncollected refunds at midnight tonight.
Trust bank violated fiduciary duty
A federal judge held that First Bankers Trust Services Inc., of Quincy, Ill., abandoned its fiduciary responsibilities to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) sponsored by a New Jersey paving and building site preparation company. The bank approved the ESOP’s payment of $16 million for 38% of the sponsoring company’s stock, an amount the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration claimed was overpriced by $9.4 million. First Bankers manages the affairs of more than 200 ESOPs nationwide, and is facing fiduciary-related actions in three more cases, the EBSA said.
Rural county clerk harasses same-sex couple
Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit that accuses a deputy clerk in Gilmer County, W.Va., of verbally assaulting a same-sex couple that applied for a marriage license. AU claimed the deputy clerk ranted at the couple, and said the county’s officials stopped performing marriages when same-sex couples gained marriage equality. Gilmer County is among West Virginia’s most rural with just 8,700 residents, a single traffic light, an interstate highway that runs through the county but has no exit within it, and its largest employer is a federal prison.
Racial hiring case ends after 24 years
The Bank of America N.A. will distribute $1 million in back wages and interest to more than 1,000 black job applicants who were denied entry-level jobs in 1993, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said. The case sat dormant for almost 20 years until, in 2016, DOL’s Administrative Review Board issued a final decision.
Debt collector sued for misrepresenting lawyers
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit against Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, a Cleveland-based debt collection firm, for sending millions of debt collection letters that falsely claimed attorneys had reviewed the consumers’ files to verify their indebtedness. In fact, the CFPB suit claimed, no such review had occurred. The firm collects credit card, mortgage loan and student loan debts nationwide, and pursues collection lawsuits in seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Glock is my co-pilot
A Southwestern Airlines co-pilot was arrested at Albany International Airport, N.Y., when Transportation Security Administration officers found a loaded .380 caliber handgun in his carry-on bag. It was the second apprehension of a loaded handgun at the airport so far this year, tying the total number of passengers who were caught with loaded handguns during all of last year.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Friday, April 14