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Investigation of Deadly Tesla Crash Focused on Lithium Battery Fire

Two Florida high school students were killed and a third seriously injured when their fully electric 2014 Tesla Model S crashed in Fort Lauderdale, causing an intense lithium battery fire that reportedly consumed the vehicle before two of the occupants could escape. Barrett Riley and Edgar Monserratt Martinez, both 18-year-old seniors, were killed when the Tesla Model X spun out of control on a road in Fort Lauderdale known as “Dead Man’s Curve.” The all-electric vehicle slammed into a concrete wall, causing its lithium batteries to burst into flames. A third student, Alexander Berry, also 18, was traveling in the ... Read More

Worker deaths, serious burn injures lead to OSHA fines

After the tragic workplace deaths of five employees working at a power plant, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to Tampa Electric Co. and Gaffin Industrial Services. The total projected fines owed by these companies are just over $160,000. Immediately following the reports of the five fatalities, which took place at the Big Bend River Station power plant in Apollo Beach, Florida, OSHA opened an investigation. During the investigation, OSHA officials concluded that the employees were fatally burned when the door inside a fiery furnace broke loose and sprayed massive amounts of scolding ... Read More

Florida Framing Contractor Cited for Fall Protection Violations

Desouza Framing Inc., a residential framing contractor based out of Jacksonville, Florida, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for exposing its employees to potentially dangerous fall hazards. The company now faces projected penalties of nearly $200,000. After some of its employees were spotted engaging in construction activities on a roof more than 11 feet tall without proper fall protection, OSHA officials conducted an investigation and found that the company was exposing its employees to fall hazards regularly. Just a couple months after the investigation, OSHA began another inspection at a worksite ... Read More

Six states sue OxyContin maker for exacerbating opioid epidemic

Six states have filed new lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, accusing the company of using deceptive marketing to increase sales, causing overdose deaths and economic damages while fanning the flames of the nation’s opioid epidemic. The lawsuits were filed by the attorneys general of Texas, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Tennessee, and accuse Purdue – makers of the powerful opioid OxyContin – of overstating the benefits of the drug while downplaying the risks, including its high addiction potential. The states seek significant penalties and measures to stop future harm to citizens and communities. “My office is holding Purdue Pharma ... Read More

E-Cigarette Explosion Suspected In Florida Man’s Death

Authorities in Florida believe a St. Petersburg man died from blast injuries he sustained from an e-cigarette malfunction Saturday, May 5. According to the Miami Herald, the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue unit responding to a fire just north of downtown St. Petersburg found the 38-year-old man, identified as Tallmadge D’Elia, dead in his 19th Ave. North home with “multiple injuries to his face.” The explosion reportedly started a fire in a room of the house. Investigators said they are uncertain whether Mr. D’Elia died from injuries he suffered directly in the explosion or from the resulting fire. If authorities confirm ... Read More

Tesla on Autopilot Slams into Tractor-Trailer in Utah

The driver of a Tesla Model S that slammed into the back of a firetruck in South Jordan, Utah, while traveling at 60 mph said the vehicle was operating in autopilot mode. The 28-year-old driver, a woman from Lehi, Utah, told crash investigators that the Tesla Model S was operating in autopilot – a semi-autonomous mode with crash-avoidance technology – when it collided with the firetruck. Eyewitnesses said the car never slowed down or swerved before impact. Incredibly, the woman escaped the high-speed crash with only a broken ankle, USA Today reports. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose company faces growing ... Read More

Summer Heat Increases Risk of Tire Failures

How Hot Pavement and Soaring Temperatures Can Cause Dangerous Tire Damage Tire maintenance is important all year long, but summer introduces special conditions that subject your vehicle’s tires to extraordinary stress, making summertime tire care a critical part of safe driving. Summer heat and hot pavement subject tires to extra stress and pressure, causing tire treads to degrade more rapidly than in cooler seasons. Tires with excessively worn treads and underinflated tires are especially prone to fail in the hotter months. Friction against scorching-hot pavement and heat buildup inside the tire dramatically accelerate the breakdown of tire rubber. Such degradation ... Read More

Salmonella Infections Linked to Eggs Continue To Rise

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella infection tied to eggs continues to grow, triggering an expansion of a recall on eggs originating from Rose Acre Farms. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contaminated eggs from Rose Acre, which were packaged and sold under a variety of brand names, have sickened at least 35 people, resulting in 11 hospitalizations. The recalled eggs were distributed to stores and restaurants in nine states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the original recall ... Read More

Permanent injunction sought against two stem cell companies

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filed complaints in California and Florida federal courts to stop two stem cell clinics from advertising their treatments without FDA approval and for putting consumers’ lives at risk. “Cell-based regenerative medicine holds significant medical opportunity, but we’ve also seen some bad actors leverage the scientific promise of this field to peddle unapproved treatments that put patients’ health at risk,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a News Release. “In some instances, patients have suffered serious and permanent harm after receiving these unapproved products.” The permanent injunction is being sought against US Stem Cell ... Read More

Whistleblower will be compensated by roofing contractor for Wrongful Termination

A whistleblower who lost his job with a Georgia roofing contractor because he cooperated with federal safety authorities investigating the company will receive back wages and other compensation. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) filed a lawsuit against Jasper Contractors Inc. of Kennesaw, Georgia on behalf of a former safety director who claimed he was fired after he cooperated with an OSHA investigation by providing the agency with a statement and safety documentation. The federal agency was investigating safety-related issues concerning work the company was performing in Florida. OSHA alleged the roofing company violated the whistleblower or anti-retaliation ... Read More