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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

Life-threatening birth defect linked to opioid use

A potentially deadly birth defect in which a baby’s abdomen doesn’t develop properly and his intestines poke outside the body may be tied to the mother’s opioid use during pregnancy, according to an analysis published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The defect, called gastroschisis, occurs early in pregnancy. Researchers don’t know what it is about opioids that may cause this defect, just that there is “a higher prevalence (of the defect) in areas where opioid prescription rates were high,” the report said. Gastroschisis is more often seen in teen mothers and mothers who drink and smoke. ... 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

FDA takes unprecedented step to support OTC naloxone

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking unprecedented steps to support the development of over-the-counter naloxone to reverse the effects of opioids in an effort to reduce opioid overdose deaths. “With the number of overdose deaths involving prescription and illicit opioids more than doubling over the last seven years to nearly 48,000 in 2017, it’s critical that we continue to address this tragedy from all fronts,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a statement. When someone overdoses on opioids, they can lose consciousness and their breathing may become shallow or stop altogether, which can quickly lead to ... Read More

Activists allege EU used Monsanto-funded studies to approve Roundup use

A key study used to show the safety of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup to persuade the European Union to approve its use may have been plagiarized in part from Monsanto-funded studies, an alliance of activists alleged. Green members claim that they found “clear evidence” of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)’s “deliberate pretense of an independent assessment, whereas in reality the authority was only echoing the industry applicants’ assessment.” The German regulator issued reports in 2014 and 2015 concluding that available data didn’t show that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was carcinogenic. However, in 2015, the ... 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

J&J argues talc litigation should be tried one plaintiff at a time

It’s been six months since Johnson & Johnson was hit with a staggering $4.69 billion verdict in a case brought by 22 women who alleged the company’s talcum powder products contained cancer-causing asbestos that contributed to their ovarian cancer diagnosis, but the sting has yet to fade. Earlier this month, the consumer health care giant urged the Missouri Supreme Court to force St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison to unbundle a similar trial involving 13 women with ovarian cancer, saying it was unfair not to try the cases one plaintiff at a time. The state’s high court agreed to ... Read More

Fruit Recalled in Several States Over Listeria Concerns

Concerns of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination in fresh produce have prompted ALDI, Costco, Walmart, and other retailers to recall bags of peaches, nectarines, and plums from stores in several states. Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness and death. The recalled produce was distributed by fruit distributor Jac Vandenberg Inc. of Yonkers, New York. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the recall affects 1,727 cartons of fresh peaches, 1,207 cartons of fresh nectarines, and 365 cartons of fresh plums. ALDI said in a recall announcement that it has removed recalled peaches, nectarines, and plums ... Read More

22 accidents were not investigated by NTSB during shutdown

Twenty-two accidents, including 15 aviation accidents with 21 deaths, railroad accidents with two deaths, two highway accidents with seven deaths, and three marine accidents went uninvestigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) during the 35-day-long partial government shutdown, and there’s a chance not all will get their due diligence, according to the NTSB. The NTSB is an independent U.S. government investigative agency that is charged with investigating aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine accidents, pipeline incidents and railroad accidents to determine probable cause and issue safety recommendations as needed. During the government shutdown, ... Read More