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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
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Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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A&M welcomes new journalism professors from CNN, Dallas Morning News
A&M welcomes new journalism professors from CNN, Dallas Morning News
Ana Renfroe and Stacy Cox April 19, 2024

At a ceremony honoring Aggie journalists, Texas A&M announced it will welcome three new journalism professors in the fall. New hires will...

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) hits a home run during Texas A&M’s game against The United States Air Force Academy on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Members of the 2023-2024 Aggie Muster Committee pose outside the Jack K. Williams Administration Building. (Photo courtesy of Aggie Muster Committee)
Orchestrating a century-old tradition
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor • April 18, 2024

As Muster approaches, the Aggie Muster Committee works to organize a now century-old tradition. These students “coordinate every facet” of...

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Opinion: ‘Fake Money,’ real change
Eddie Phillips, Opinion Writer • April 19, 2024

Us Aggies live privileged existences: companies beg us to take on tens of thousands in loans.  I know this may sound contradictory, but the...

Drug trust targeted with bogus claims

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A $3.75 billion settlement fund created for people who took the banned diet drug combination fen-phen is receiving thousands of fraudulent heart-damage claims, lawyers argued in a federal court filing.
The Philadelphia-based AHP Settlement Trust has received 71,000 claims, more than eight times the number expected when the fund was formed in 1999. The trust has so far paid about 2,700 claims at an average of $400,000.
The trust was created for people who used the weight-loss drug combination commonly known as fen-phen.
Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth, formerly known as American Home Products, made Pondimin, the fenfluramine half of fen-phen, and a chemical cousin, Redux. Both drugs were pulled from the market in September 1997, after reports that in some patients they had caused heart-valve damage and dangerously high pressure in lung blood vessels.
No problems were linked to phentermine, the other drug in the combination.
Wyeth agreed to a nationwide class-action settlement in 1999.The claims process has been ”hijacked by lawyers stamping out tens of thousands of baseless claims,” Peter L. Zimroth, an attorney for the New Jersey-based Wyeth, said in a court filing late last year.
After the 1999 settlement, Zimroth argues, lawyers paid cardiologists millions of dollars to fill out claims forms with exaggerated injuries after conducting echocardiogram tests.
”The trust has to ensure, as part of its fiduciary obligations, that it is paying legitimate claims,” said Richard L. Scheff, a lawyer for the trust. ”We want to deter bogus claims. We want to recover money that shouldn’t have been paid in the first place. We want claims that aren’t valid to be withdrawn.”
Scheff has asked U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle to suspend an estimated 7,000 claims from Dallas lawyer Kip A. Petroff, and last year sought to suspend all claims connected to EchoMotion, a North Carolina medical testing firm. He said the firm’s tests were not supervised by cardiologists.

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