Natalie Cone

526 posts

Natalie Cone is a freelance writer from Birmingham, Alabama. As a nature enthusiast and mother of two boys, she publishes articles about all things outdoors and blogs about the mishaps of motherhood. Her fiction short stories have won three first-place contest awards, and have appeared in various magazine publications and anthologies. You can connect with her at, on Facebook at, or on twitter @nataliecone.

Valero Downplayed the Level of Toxic Chemicals Released During Hurricane Harvey

The Valero oil refinery near the border of Manchester, Texas, is accused of downplaying the amount of chemicals released during Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Press says that shortly after the roofs of storage tanks were submerged in flooding waters, releasing massive amounts of benzene and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Valero told officials that they “found no detectable levels of emissions in the community.” Texas Environmental Advocacy Services founder Juan Parras described the odor in the air throughout Manchester as smelling like a gas stove. “I was afraid to even light a match,” said Parras. “I kept thinking everything would burst ... Read More

Manufacturing Plant to Pay Nearly $26,000 Over Worker Death

A New York manufacturing plant has been fined $25,803 by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration over an accident that led to the death of a worker. On Oct. 18 at Fort Miller Fab3 Corporation in Greenwich, New York, 45-year-old Daniel J. Ingram was killed when he became pinned by a 7,000-pound steel box, the Post Star reports. According to the report by OSHA, the box was on a forklift 10 to 18 inches off the ground while workers were removing its wheels to prepare it for delivery. When Ingram stepped out of the forklift through a door, the load became ... Read More

Lawsuits indicate 2015 Study on Celect IVC Filters is Accurate

According to a 2015 study, 43 percent of Celect IVC filters were found to perforate the vein in two months or less. This could lead to the filter leg snaring a nearby organ, such as in the case of one woman whose filter pierced through the vein wall and stabbed through her duodenum. “The Celect filter had a significantly higher rate of strut perforation,” the study concludes. On July 31, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, a new lawsuit was filed against Cook Medical, the maker of the Celect retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, The Daily Hornet reports. ... Read More

Illinois Woman says shattered IVC Filter caused injuries

An Illinois woman filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of her IVC filter, saying she was severely injured by the device shattering inside her body. Pattie H. from Cook County, Illinois was implanted on June 22, 2010, with an OptEase retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filter made by Cordis Corporation, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. In December 2015, Pattie underwent a CT scan that revealed that multiple legs of the filter had pierced through the wall of her inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body in which the filter is implanted. In February 2016, Pattie underwent another ... Read More

Physiomesh Found to be Shredded Inside Woman’s Abdomen

A new lawsuit against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson was filed after a woman’s Physiomesh shredded inside her body. Jo Ann Lax of Lafe, Arkansas underwent a laparoscopic surgery to repair an umbilical hernia on Oct. 27, 2014. The surgeon, Dr. Robert Warner Jr., implanted Lax with Physiomesh 15×15 cm. in size. The mesh was designed to reinforce the tissue affected by the hernia, to allow Lax to return to life as normal. When Lax began experiencing pain at the hernia site, it was determined that the hernia mesh must have failed. On May 28, 2015, Lax underwent an additional surgery to have ... Read More

Dancer Paralyzed by O’Hare Accident Remains ‘Heartbroken’ Despite $148M Verdict

Tierney Darden, the dancer who was paralyzed when a 750-pound pedestrian shelter fell on top of her at O’Hare Airport, is grateful for the $148 million verdict in her favor, but still remains “heartbroken.” When members of the jury found out that the city of Chicago had failed to keep the shelter maintained, they had no trouble ruling in 26-year-old Darden’s favor. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Darden’s verdict is the highest personal injury verdict recorded in Cook County. Until then, the highest had been $127.7 million, which was from a 1991 verdict in a drug company’s product liability case. ... Read More

County Fair Draft Horse Chairman Thrown from Wagon, Killed

Just weeks after the Ohio State Fair incident that killed one and injured several more, another fair has turned deadly. The Meadville Tribune reports that Wednesday afternoon, 64-year-old Charles E. Burns, the chairman of the draft horse competition department, was killed when he was thrown from his horse-drawn wagon as he rode around the horse ring of the Crawford County Fair in Pennsylvania. According to witnesses, Burns was driving a wagon pulled by a team of draft horses when it made a sharp turn, throwing Burns forward beneath the hooves of the giants. The horses became spooked and began bucking. Emergency ... Read More

Ironworker Awarded $1.5 Million Verdict for On-the-job injury

An ironworker in New Jersey has been awarded a $1.5 million verdict over a fall off a ladder while at work five years ago. Marco Moreira, 38, was on the job at a construction site on Dec. 1, 2012, when he was required to climb a tall ladder. Once he reached about 10 feet up, the fell from the ladder onto the concrete floor. reports that Moreira’s injuries included a fractured elbow, ruptured Achilles tendon, and many other traumas that required multiple surgeries. The lawsuit was filed against JSM at Fairways, the company responsible for the construction on the ... Read More

Explosions at Arkema Chemical Plant Raise Health and Safety Concerns

Explosions at a Houston-area Arkema, Inc. chemical plant have raised health and safety concerns about the potential toxicity being released into the air. Arkema makes adhesives found in plastics, car parts, tile, wallpaper, clothing, eyeglasses and diapers. The company also claims to be the third-largest producer of hydrogen peroxide, ABC News reports. The chemical plant, located in Crosby, Texas, lost power as well as backup generators after Hurricane Harvey dumped flooding waters into the Houston area. According to the plant’s operator, the power loss knocked out refrigeration necessary to stabilize organic peroxides. As the temperatures rose, the chemicals became volatile, resulting in explosions. The blasts were followed ... Read More

Colorado UPS Worker’s arm severed in Conveyor Belt Accident

A UPS worker’s arm was severed in an industrial conveyor belt accident in Loveland, Colorado last week. While a UPS employee was utilizing a conveyor belt, his arm became caught in the machine and was detached, according to The Reporter Herald. While Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services and Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) were called to the scene, other UPS workers placed the man in a private vehicle and headed north on U.S. 287. The emergency dispatchers then called the workers transporting the injured man and instructed them to turn around and head the other way, where an ambulance met them on the ... Read More