Author

Kurt Niland

5242 posts

Kurt Niland has been a professional editor and writer for 15 years. He is the author of four books and a number of articles for trade journals, newspapers, magazines, and web blogs. He attended New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico, and Auburn University Montgomery, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English. His lifelong interests in geography, anthropology, political science, literature, and religion fuel his writing and inspire him to travel at every opportunity. Originally from Connecticut, Kurt has resided in Montgomery, Alabama since 1991.

Serious Burn Injuries Can Be Caused By Friction

According to the American Burn Association, U.S. hospitals treat about 468,000 people for burn injuries every year. And, while fire, scald, and chemical burns account for most of the burn injuries doctors treat annually, there are other, lesser known sources of serious burns. Take, for instance, Aly Vendoza, a 5-year-old California girl who suffered second-degree burns on her leg from a treadmill. According to KGET, Aly, a resident of Bakersfield, California, was seriously burned when she became trapped between a moving treadmill and a wall. The friction of the treadmill belt on her leg caused her burn injuries. Aly’s mother told ... Read More

Airplane Crashes Into SoCal Super Bowl Party, Killing Five People

A Sunday evening Super Bowl party turned into a horrific tragedy when a private airplane broke apart in the air, scattering flaming debris over a Yorba Linda, California neighborhood and triggering a house fire that killed four people in addition to the airplane’s pilot. The main cabin and one engine of the twin-engine Cessna airplane crashed through the roof of the suburban Yorba Linda home and burst into flames that immediately enveloped the house. The people inside the home were only identified as two males and two females as of Monday afternoon. The pilot and sole occupant of the 1981 ... Read More

PG&E Files for Bankruptcy as Wildfire Liabilities Mount

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in anticipation of a tidal wave of litigation stemming from the Nov. 8 Camp Fire, which destroyed an entire town and killed 86 people. Bankruptcy court filings show that PG&E’s liabilities after the Camp Fire – the largest wildfire in the state’s history – have topped $50 billion while the utility’s assets are valued at about $71 billion, according to The Washington Post. The bankruptcy announcement has riled people throughout the state, including investors, government officials, and the general public. Likely to suffer most from the filing are the ... Read More

E-cigarette Battery Explosion Severely Burns NY Man

An e-cigarette battery explosion left a New York man with severe burn injuries Monday, Jan. 28, as he and a co-worker arrived at a home to begin some repair work. Jacob Dudhnath, 27, of Mamaroneck, New York, had just arrived at a job in Larchmont when the spare e-cigarette battery in his pocket exploded, engulfing his leg in flames. “All I knew was I had a fire in my pants, and it kept moving down,” Mr. Dudhnath told WABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News. “And it just kept getting hotter, so we just worked on getting it off of me as ... Read More

Parents of Boy Scout Killed at Camp Push for Better Safety

The family of a Boy Scout who was killed during a camping expedition in Georgia has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the scouting organization in an effort to boost safety standards. Fourteen-year-old Elijah Knight of Cypress, Texas, died when a tree fell on his tent during a severe thunderstorm June 28 at the Bert Adams Scout Camp in Covington, Georgia. His parents, Stephen and Courtney Knight, say the Boy Scouts of America failed to take proper measures to ensure the scouts’ safety. According to the lawsuit, which they filed Jan. 8 in a state court in Cobb County, Georgia, ... Read More

Threat of Soy Wiring Rodent Damage Rises in Winter

Did you know that soy wiring inside automobiles attracts mice and other rodents as a food source, potentially rendering your vehicle inoperable? That’s a message the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) wants motorists to hear, especially in winter time when soy wiring damage caused by rodents becomes more common. “Cars and trucks offer ideal places for refuge for rodents to spend the winter. Once inside, they are insulated from the cold and potential predators, and can easily gain access through vents, steering columns and pedal shafts,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Some automobile brands also ... Read More

Carnival Cruise Passengers Injured in Shipboard Accident Sue

A group of Carnival Cruise Line passengers who allegedly were injured when their cruise ship listed to its side due to a technical problem are suing the cruise line. A couple from Georgia and a North Carolina woman filed the lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Line in a South Florida federal court on Tuesday, Jan. 15. They claim cruise line’s negligence caused the Carnival Sunshine to tilt to its side for about a minute just moments after setting sail from Port Canaveral, Florida, on a five-day Caribbean cruise Oct. 28. Several passengers aboard the cruise reported tables, chairs, and other furniture ... Read More

Yuba County Lawsuit Blames PG&E for Cascade Fire Destruction

Yuba County, California, has joined the growing ranks of plaintiffs suing Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) over devastating losses it suffered in the Cascade Fire in October 2017. The lawsuit, filed in Yuba County Superior Court, faults the state’s largest utility company for fires and explosions stretching back to 1981. According to the Appeal-Democrat, the county asserts the disasters stem from “well-documented systemic failures, including lack of safety regulations, inspection, maintenance, and risk management practices …” These failures “caused and/or contributed to causing one of the most destructive and deadly wildfires California has ever seen (collectively, the ‘North Bay Fires’),” the ... Read More

Whistleblower Files Retaliation Complaint Against Texas Mental Health Hospital

A whistleblower who lost her job at an Austin, Texas area mental health hospital allegedly for reporting patient mistreatment to state regulators has filed a retaliation complaint, accusing her former employer of violating Texas whistleblower laws. Plaintiff Nicola Seahorn was hired as the clinical services director at Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute in April 2018. She was on the job just a few months when she became concerned about the mistreatment of patients by hospital staff. On June 26, the chief nurse notified Ms. Seahorn that a mental health tech had punched a patient in the face, an altercation that was ... Read More

Texas School Bus Collides With Freight Train, Killing Student

Authorities investigating a school bus crash that killed one student and injured another student and the bus driver in Athens, Texas, Jan. 25, say they don’t know why the driver took the bus into the path of a Union Pacific freight train. Athens Police said the school bus, driven by John Stevens, 78, came to a stop before the train tracks on North Murchison Street, yet continued for unknown reasons to cross directly in front of the Union Pacific train. The freight train struck the school bus and continued to push it about a quarter of a mile down the ... Read More