From Hell To Veins

April 9, 2010

The ‘Little Gal’ Beats Big Bad Pfizer Over GM HIV Contamination Suit!

My Comentary:
Talk about attacking the messenger! The cards were stacked against Becky McClain as Pfizer. OSHA and big media were all piling on the woman who WOULD NOT BACK DOWN. Sadly, the suit itself is ONLY in regards to her right to blow the whistle on the recklessness by Phizer concerning contaminating their staff with genetically modified HIV viruses. If this is how they treat their staff AND CAN GET AWAY WITH IT, just think how they are contaminating you EVERY DAY! This is no big deal to Phizer a million + in dollars is chump change to them and they know they will NEVER actually be held accountable for the contamination itself.

From: The Raw Story Click for ALL links.
By Daniel Tencer
Friday, April 2nd, 2010 — 4:51 pm

In what is being hailed as a major victory for workers in the biotech and nanotech fields, a former scientist with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer has been awarded $1.37 million for being fired after raising the alarm over researchers being infected with a genetically engineered “AIDS-like” virus.

Becky McClain, a molecular biologist from Deep River, Connecticut, filed a lawsuit against Pfizer in 2007, claiming she had been wrongly terminated for complaining about faulty safety equipment that allowed a “dangerous lentivirus” to infect her and some of her colleagues.

The Hartford Courant describes the virus as “similar to the one that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.” Health experts testified that the virus has affected the way McClain’s body processes potassium, which they say causes McClain to suffer complete paralysis as often as a dozen times per month, the Courant reports.

McClain’s lawsuit (PDF) asserted that Pfizer had interfered with her right to free speech, and that she should have been protected from retaliation by whistleblower legislation.

Pfizer challenged her assertion, claiming McClain only started complaining about safety problems once her employment was terminated, the Associated Press reports. Pfizer also claimed to have investigated McClain’s claims about safety violations and found them to be untrue, according to the New London Day.

On Thursday, a jury in a US District Court in Connecticut disagreed with Pfizer, granting McClain the $1.37 million, as well as punitive damages, meaning the total amount could be much greater.

The WorkersCompensation.com Web site says the ruling is being “considered the first successful employee claim in the biotech and nanotech industry.”

Workers’ rights advocates are pointing to the McClain lawsuit as “evidence that risks caused by cutting-edge genetic manipulation have outstripped more slowly evolving government regulation of laboratories,” reports the Courant.

McClain’s lawsuit says she was exposed to the experimental virus repeatedly between 2002 and 2004, and when she lodged complaints about it, her supervisor said he would “falsify her future performance reviews and he told her they would be negative, and he threatened her in an aggressive fashion following the plaintiff’s repeated complaints regarding safety. He forcibly backed the plaintiff into a wall during one encounter.”

‘TOO BIG TO NAIL’

A report at CNN about a separate legal matter involving Pfizer states that the Department of Justice considered Pfizer to be “too big to nail” in an investigation of the company’s illegal marketing of the painkiller drug Bextra.

CNN reports that, if Pfizer had been prosecuted over the drug, the company would have been excluded from doing business with Medicaid and Medicare. But because federal officials considered the company too big to be exempted from working with the government health programs, a dummy corporation — Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. — was set up, and that dummy corporation then pleaded guilty to the crime.

“P&UCI sold no drugs and had no real employees, and its creation was simply a figleaf to allow a Pfizer entity to take the rap without harming Pfizer itself,” explains Jim Edwards at the Bnet business blog.

Pfizer is the world’s largest drugmaker, with annual revenue around $44 billion.

RELATED:
Ex-Pfizer Worker Cites Genetically Engineered Virus In Lawsuit Over Firing

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March 14, 2010

Ex-Pfizer Worker Cites Genetically Engineered Virus In Lawsuit Over Firing

Special thanks to Lab Virus.com for retrieving article.

My Comment:
Wow! Where do you even start by addressing this. You have, God knows what in vaccines. You have the establishment brainwashing the public in press releases saying… “Well, you know, college universities are creating ‘genetically modified viruses’ all the time…” As if to say… “Potential problems? What potential problems could there possibly be?” Now, this maybe out of my area of expertise but, I do know, this was the very reason bio level 4 on up facilities were created in the first place! Did the person who said “no big deal” to the issue of GMV’s (genetically modified viruses) in vaccines ever see the movies ‘Outbreak’ or the ‘The Andromeda Strain’? Good Lord!

For other great GMO ‘food‘ information see ‘Seeds of Deception’.

My question is…
What in the hell are these pro vaccine people going to be ‘shedding’ onto the rest of us in the future?
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Ex-Pfizer Worker Cites Genetically Engineered Virus In Lawsuit Over Firing
By EDMUND H. MAHONY The Hartford Courant
http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-pfizer-virus-lawsuit-0314.artmar14,0,1763939.story
March 14, 2010

Medical experts will be watching closely Monday when a scientist who says she has been intermittently paralyzed by a virus designed at the Pfizer laboratory where she worked in Groton opens a much anticipated trial that could raise questions about safety practices in the dynamic field of genetic engineering.

Organizations involved in workplace safety and responsible genetic research already have seized on the federal lawsuit by molecular biologist Becky McClain as an example of what they claim is evidence that risks caused by cutting-edge genetic manipulation have outstripped more slowly evolving government regulation of laboratories.

McClain, of Deep River, suspects she was inadvertently exposed, through work by a former Pfizer colleague in 2002 or 2003, to an engineered form of the lentivirus, a virus similar to the one that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Medical experts working for McClain believe the virus has affected the way her body channels potassium, leading to a condition that causes complete paralysis as many as 12 times a month.

“If a worker in a plant as sophisticated as Pfizer is becoming infected with a genetically engineered virus, then I think the potential is everywhere,” said Jeremy Gruber, president of the Council for Responsible Genetics, a public interest group created to explore the implications of genetic technologies.

“Genetically engineered viruses are commonly worked on at your average university,” Gruber said. “The public has a right to know what regulations are in place and what regulations are required to fix an industrywide issue. We need to have a conversation about this. Ms. McClain’s attempt to do that has been hampered at every turn, by the courts and by regulators.”

Pfizer disputes all of McClain’s claims and says it fired her in 2005 because she refused to come to work. The global pharmaceuticals manufacturer, with research labs in southeastern Connecticut, defends its safety practices and denies that McClain’s physical disability is related to exposure at its Groton lab. The company says she did not link her disability to workplace exposure until after she was fired.

As a molecular biologist, McClain studied cells on a molecular level, manipulating genetic codes in an effort to develop vaccines. During the period at issue in the suit, McClain worked in Pfizer’s Human Health Embryonic Stem Cells Technologies, Genomic and Proteomic Sciences and Exploratory Medicinal Sciences Group.

Hostile Exchanges
The sharp disagreement between McClain and her former employer mirrors a half-dozen or so years of hostile litigation leading to Monday’s jury trial in Hartford before U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant. McClain will argue that she was wrongfully dismissed and is entitled to unspecified damages. In the run-up, Pfizer attacked McClain’s legal claims, and she questioned the company’s corporate integrity.

On the advice of her lawyers, McClain would not discuss her suit last week. Neither would her lawyers, nor those representing Pfizer.

But McClain has claimed in her suit and in earlier public statements that she was fired after experiencing symptoms of illness and after complaining to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration about safety in her Pfizer lab.

OSHA dismissed McClain’s complaint. In a decision published after McClain’s termination, the agency criticized her for refusing to return to work in spite of “Pfizer’s substantial efforts” to address her concerns. In a speech last year to a labor safety group in California, McClain said she was told by an OSHA investigator that the federal agency’s legal authority has not kept pace with developments in sophisticated medical research.

A series of angry, pretrial exchanges developed over McClain’s efforts to compel Pfizer to give her precise information about the DNA sequencing of the engineered lentivirus she suspects infected her. Pfizer says it responded to all of McClain’s requests, in accordance with the law. Her advocates called Pfizer’s assertion preposterous and claimed the company has not produced — perhaps because it is subject to trademark — the sequencing data that could enable scientists to engineer a genetic cure.

Over the course of pretrial argument, the number and breadth of McClain’s legal claims against Pfizer have been reduced from eight to two. Last month, Bryant dismissed the most significant of the eight claims: that willful and wanton misconduct by Pfizer resulted in lax laboratory procedures. McClain claimed laxity contributed to her exposure.

McClain’s advocates point to language in Bryant’s ruling that suggests the misconduct allegation was dismissed, at least in part, because state law requires such claims to be resolved by state workers’ compensation rules. But Pfizer says Bryant’s ruling is another vindication of its assertion that no evidence exists to support McClain’s contention that she was infected by a viral exposure at Pfizer.

“We have thoroughly investigated Ms. McClain’s claims and our investigation concluded that her workplace was safe and that she was not infected by any virologic materials while she was employed by Pfizer,” company spokeswoman Elizabeth Power said.

Bryant’s ruling means the trial will move forward under McClain’s two remaining claims, both of which involve free speech protection. She says Pfizer fired her in violation of Connecticut’s whistle-blower law after she raised questions about Pfizer lab safety to OSHA. And she claims her dismissal also was in retaliation for questions she raised in discussion with Pfizer colleagues about safety practices. In addition to performing her research duties, McClain served on a lab safety committee for at least part of the nine years she was employed by Pfizer.

Medical Evidence
Pfizer has taken the position that Bryant’s ruling in March means no evidence will be admitted at the trial concerning McClain’s health or her claim that it was destroyed by bad lab procedures. McClain’s advocates, again, disagree. Because McClain is suing under a whistle-blower claim, they believe she will be allowed to present evidence about why she figuratively blew the whistle. If her health and safety are the reasons, they say, the judge could allow jurors to hear evidence in those areas.

In her suit, McClain says that Pfizer hired her in 1995 and that, in 2000, she became involved in human cellular research associated with vaccine development. She later learned, the suit says, that colleagues in her lab were working with infectious, genetically engineered viruses, including the lentivirus she suspects causes what her physician calls “acute intermittent paralysis.”

The suit describes lab events that McClain suggests could have infected her.

The first involved the possible malfunction of a “laminar hood,” a system designed to contain materials being subjected to scientific manipulation and to purify the air circulating around the materials. She said the hood began emitting a noxious odor at the same time she and several colleagues developed symptoms of illness, including nausea.

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