ADA announces campaign to expand Medicare coverage of audiologic services

PHOENIX—The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) unveiled a new campaign last week during its annual meeting that will advocate for changes in the Social Security Act (SSA) to improve audiologic care for Medicare beneficiaries. Among its objectives is to finally achieve audiology’s unfulfilled goal of providing Medicare patients with direct access to audiologic treatment.…

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AG accuses Ohio hearing aid dispensing businesses of ripping off consumers

CLEVELAND–Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed lawsuits last week against two hearing aid dispensing businesses in northeast Ohio, accusing them and their owners of multiple violations of consumer law, including misrepresenting products and services. Named in the October 24 announcement were American Hearing Centers Network LLC, owned by Joseph Boles, and Southland Hearing Center, owned…

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Court upholds firefighters’ claims of hearing loss caused by company’s siren

CHICAGO—Nine Chicago firefighters won a victory last week when an Illinois appeals court sustained verdicts in their favor in their suit against Federal Signal Corporation. The ruling upheld the awards of $445,000 to the nine plaintiffs, while rejecting the company’s appeal of the jury’s decision in a 2009 trial. In their suit, the firefighters said…

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Sued by state, Cinemark will equip theaters to serve Arizonans with hearing loss

PHOENIX–Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced last week that his office reached a settlement with a national chain of movie theaters that will improve access for hard-of-hearing patrons in six theaters in that state. The agreement resolves a lawsuit that the state brought against Cinemark Holdings Inc., in June 2011. Cinemark, which is based in…

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Patient sues ENT; claims he overlooked warning sign of acoustic neuroma

CHARLESTON, WV—While the $9 million suit against Justin Bieber for allegedly causing a woman to lose her hearing is getting a lot more attention (see this week’s Hearing View), a much less publicized case in West Virginia may have more serious implications for hearing care providers and consumers alike. As reported in The West Virginia…

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ADA and ASHA resolve one dispute, but the legal battle continues

By David H. Kirkwood PITTSBURGH–The Academy of Doctors of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) have reached an agreement on one of the issues raised by ADA in a suit filed August 2, 2011 against ASHA in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. However, other issues remain unresolved and the legal…

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Siemens Hearing faces class action over HearUSA acquisition

WASHINGTON–A class action lawsuit filed on January 18 charges Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc., with engaging in a fraudulent scheme to drive down the price of HearUSA common stock in an attempt to acquire the assets of the Florida-based network of hearing care practices for less than their fair market value. The action was brought by…

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Court upholds FDA effort to curb marketing of ear candling

For decades, manufacturers and retailers have been promoting ear candles as an effective way to remove cerumen from the ear canal. This alternative medicine practice involves lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear. Proponents say that the flame creates negative pressure, which sucks the heat-softened wax and…

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Man sues Delta Airlines for $2 million; charges noisy flight damaged his ears

PORTLAND, OR—Many passengers have complained about the loud, sustained roar of a long plane flight. However, Kent J. Neilson, an Oregon man, decided to go beyond simply complaining. He filed a $2 million lawsuit against Delta Airlines,  charging that an April 28, 2010, flight from Minneapolis to Portland caused him to suffer permanent binaural hearing…

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