Medtronic sued for alleged $210 million in payouts to surgeons

Do not use the “B” word … .  Martin Moylan of MPR says: “Humana, one of the nation’s largest health insurers is suing Medtronic, alleging that the medical device maker violated federal racketeering laws by paying influential doctors to promote unapproved uses of a bone-growth treatment. In the suit filed last week in federal court in Tennessee, Humana charges that Medtronic paid at least $210 million to leading spine surgeons. Humana claims that compensated physicians minimized the dangers and exaggerated the effectiveness of the product.” Who moves product by mere word of mouth?

Officially “we” want 2019 or 2020. Nick Woltman’s PiPress story on “our” NCAA Final Four bid says, “Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that the state will compete to host the 2019 or 2020 Final Four men’s basketball tournament. To spearhead Minnesota’s effort, Dayton named Health Partners CEO Mary Brainerd and Mortenson Construction Co. president David Mortenson co-chairs of the Final Four steering committee, which will be assigned to make the state’s pitch to the NCAA.”

Who wouldn’t want to spend their summer in Syria … ? Amy Forliti of the AP says: “The FBI in Minneapolis said Tuesday it is investigating the possibility that some men have recently left Minnesota to join rebels fighting in Syria, and it is reaching out to the state’s large Somali community to try to prevent others from making the trip. FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said authorities have indications that some individuals have recently left Minnesota and traveled overseas. He did not elaborate or release an estimated number of people involved, citing the active investigation.”

In the annals of the obvious … . The AP reports: “Anthony Cotton, the attorney for one girl [in the Wisconsin stabbing incident], said a judge rejected his request Monday to have the girl transferred to a mental health facility, but he will renew that request when she returns to court next week. ‘From what I know, we’ve got a young girl here who has no previous criminal record at all, and if the record is accurate, probably suffers from very serious mental health issues,’ said Cotton, who planned to meet with the girl later Tuesday.”

Patrick Condon of the Strib follows Doug Grow’s coverage here of veteran DFLer Andy Dawkins Green Party run for Attorney General. “Dawkins said his dissatisfaction with Democrats has grown along with the clout moneyed interests increasingly wield in major party politics. What gets pushed aside, he said, is genuine change on issues like climate change and surveillance of private citizens. ‘I love Democrats,’ Dawkins said. ‘I’m married to one. But I need to see some action.’”

No sale of Essar Steel … officially speaking. Evan Ramstad of the Strib says: “Essar Steel Minnesota LLC said Tuesday that its parent company does not plan to sell it, trying to quell concerns rooted in the financial condition of the bigger firm.  Media reports gained international scope on May 22 when Bloomberg News reported that Essar Steel Minnesota was one of several assets that might be sold … . Essar’s decision a year ago to increase the size of the plant led to the halt in construction in October.”

And they got it camera … . WCCO-TV’s story on the semi that roared passed — on the shoulder — nearly hitting a kid getting on to a school bus says: “The bus driver had turned the flashing lights on and had put the stop arm in position when a semi truck drove at a high speed between the bus and the shoulder. Witnesses say the student was almost struck by the semi, but no one was injured. A dashboard camera on the bus was able to capture the moment.”

A TV potboiler twist, if true … . Trisha Volpe of MPR reports: “Newly discovered DNA evidence may prove that a man known as a Minnesota serial killer might be innocent and that the real killer is someone else. Attorneys for Billy Glaze, 70, filed court documents late Tuesday asking that his conviction be thrown out and that he get a new trial in light of the DNA evidence. Glaze is serving three life sentences for the murders of three American Indian women in Minneapolis in 1986 and 1987. Kathleen Bullman, Angeline Whitebird Sweet and Angela Green were raped, murdered and mutilated in similar ways, leading police to search for a serial killer.”

Some guys just have it in their blood … . Tom Scheck of MPR writes, “In a last minute surprise, former state Rep. Matt Entenza announced he’s challenging Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto in the DFL primary. Entenza filed his paperwork just 15 minutes before today’s filing deadline. He said there’s more to being state auditor than balancing the books.”

Given the animus certain sorts have for high-speed trains, it’s unlikely — but possible — that St. Paul might have something on Minneapolis … someday. Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports: “High-speed rail someday might roll from Rochester, Minn., into St. Paul or the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport — but not into Minneapolis. ‘Target Field Station in Minneapolis is no longer a primary destination for this corridor,’ Praveena Pidaparthi, planning director for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told the Ramsey County Board on Tuesday.”

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