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TVA hopes to dodge lawsuits filed by coal ash spill victims

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is shelling out billions of dollars as a result of the massive coal ash spill from its Kingston, Tenn., fossil fuel plant that dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge on to a neighboring community. But the nation’s largest utility is hoping a federal district court judge will grant it immunity from mounting lawsuits filed by property owners injured by the spill – a move that would leave those victims footing the bill for their own losses. The coal ash wave that poured down on an east Tennessee community in late December of ... Read More

Big Lots stores announces recall on bunk beds

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in conjunction with Big Lots Stores, Inc., has announced a recall on about 20,000 units of wooden bunk beds sold in Big Lots stores nationwide from May 2008 through February 2009. The beds are being recalled because the mattress support slats and side support railings can break, posing a risk of the bunk bed collapsing. ... Read More

Judge upholds verdict favoring families hurt by massive gas leak

A Circuit Court Judge in Maryland has upheld the verdict of a jury that awarded $150 million to the residents of a Baltimore County community living in proximity to a service station owned by Exxon Mobil Corp. In 2006, an underground pipe at the station leaked 26,000 gallons of gasoline, the equivalent of four tankers full, into the surrounding land. The leak occurred over a five week period and resulted in massive environmental damage. A group of 89 families from Jacksonville, Maryland, took Exxon Mobil to court last year, alleging the leak damaged their property, hurt their property values, and compromised ... Read More

ATV accident claims the life of Ohio teen, seriously injures one other

An all-terrain vehicle accident claimed the life of 15-year-old high school student from University Heights, Ohio, a community east of Cleveland. A report by NBC affiliate WKYC in Cleveland said that Dan Murphy was riding on an ATV with 3 other students from St. Ignatius High School, A preparatory school in Cleveland run by the Jesuits. According to the WKYC report, the four boys were riding the ATV in a wooded area near the Cleveland Metroparks South Chagrin Reservation when the accident occurred. Police in the nearby Solon community received a call reporting the accident around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday ... Read More

CPSC urges parents to prevent child injury and death

Young children are naturally curious, playful, and eager to pull themselves up onto anything that offers them a chance to stand upright. Too often, however, heavy pieces of furniture, appliances, television sets, and other heavy objects tumble down onto young ones, causing serious injury and in some cases death. To help lessen the number of household accidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a statement yesterday urging parents to safeguard their homes against these potential tragedies. The CPSC estimates that 16,300 children age 5 and younger received treatment in emergency rooms for injuries caused by TV, furniture, and appliance ... Read More

Yaz lawsuits consolidated in Pennsylvania

Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits filed against Bayer Healthcare in Pennsylvania state courts were consolidated into a mass tort last week by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge Sandra Mazer Moss, who appointed 3 Pennsylvania attorneys to serve as liaison counsel for the plaintiffs. All of the lawsuits allege that Yaz and Yasmin caused adverse events attributable to the ingredient drospirenone (DRSP), which has been linked to blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, gall bladder disease, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other serious reactions, including sudden death. The suits assert that Bayer knew about the risks but failed to disclose them ... Read More

Toxic coal ash generates income, jobs – but at what price?

It will bring millions of dollars of civic improvements to the tattered community of Roane County, Tenn., and will generate much-needed revenue and jobs for the poor, black Perry County in Alabama. But the toxic-laden coal ash sludge that is bringing so much benefit to the two Southern communities comes with a steep price – a serious risk of life-threatening health conditions and the looming threat of devastating environmental disaster. Last fall, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant in Kingston, Tenn., was far from the minds of Roane County residents. The community welcomed long-time rural residents, retirees and those ... Read More

ATV rollovers contribute to Nebraska farming injuries and deaths

Prompted by the accidental death of a former Nebraska state senator and lifelong farmer, Omaha’s World-Herald published a report about the dangers of farming. The profession, which is a way of life in the rural state, is also one of the most dangerous in the United States, the World-Herald points out, thanks in part to all-terrain vehicles and their propensity to crash. “Tractors and all-terrain vehicles that can roll over. Machines with fast-moving parts that can tear off a limb. Animals that can gore, crush or bite. Chemicals that emit toxic fumes,” the article begins, underscoring the dangers that threaten ... Read More

Environmental groups file intent to sue notice against EPA

Three environmental groups have filed a notice of intent to sue against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not limiting toxic discharges from coal power plants or revising any of its effluent standards for coal combustion products or other effluents since 1982. The threat of a lawsuit, filed by the Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Integrity Project, comes as part of the wave of criticism on how coal-firing plants are regulated. That debate was spurred by last year’s coal ash spill in Kingston, Tenn. Coal ash, which is produced and stored at coal-firing plants, is not ... Read More

Virtual colonoscopy shows promising results

A study by a group of Italian researchers shows that virtual colonoscopies that use computer tomography scans are almost as effective at detecting tumors and precancerous lesions as standard colonoscopies, which requires threading a camera through the colon. The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that the new procedure may offer an alternative to people who are too embarrassed or afraid to undergo a standard colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer has the second highest overall cancer death rate. But it is easily treated if caught early. The best way to screen for colorectal cancer is through regular ... Read More