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Miami 142 articles

Families of victims killed in Oklahoma truck crash settle for $63 million

A civil lawsuit over a tractor trailer crash that killed 10 people on an Oklahoma interstate last year has been settled for nearly $63 million, according to attorneys for both sides. Attorneys representing eight of the victim’s families announced that a $62.7-million settlement had been reached on Wednesday, October 7, and covers those eight wrongful deaths and one personal injury claim. A lawsuit for family of the two other victims was settled previously. The crash happened on June 26 of last year when 76-year-old Donald Creed, a driver for Kansas-based Associated Wholesale Grocers, drove his tractor trailer into a number of ... Read More

Miami company willfully overexposed its workers to toxic levels of lead

Miami, Florida company E.N. Range Inc. has been slapped with more than $2 million in penalties for willfully exposing its employees to lead and for other violations that seriously threaten the health and safety of company workers. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found that the company knowingly neglected to protect its employees, who clean gun ranges, from dangerous overexposure to lead. The company also dispensed non-FDA-approved treatments for lead exposure to the employees without the proper medical supervision. OSHA cited E.N. Range with more than 50 violations with penalties totaling $2,099,600. Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin that can impair ... Read More

FAA fines show companies routinely ignore hazmat shipping regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been cracking down on shipments of hazardous materials and has published a notice of civil penalties issued against 11 companies. The FAA issued the fines in response to improperly packaged, marked, classed, described, or labeled hazardous materials. The penalties total $720,000 and range from $54,000 to $91,000. Hazardous cargo that is shipped in violation of federal rules and regulations poses a grave risk of injury and death to anyone in the vicinity of the package. Most of the packages were discovered by shipping company staff, customs officials, and airport personnel because they were leaking. ... Read More

Federal oil spill lawsuits will be consolidated in New Orleans

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has ordered hundreds of lawsuits filed against BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to be heard in New Orleans federal court. The decision represents a boon to plaintiffs and a drawback to the oil giant, who asked the cases be heard in oil-friendly Texas. In May, BP asked the judicial panel to consolidate the lawsuits, then numbering nearly 100, under U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of the Southern District of Texas in Houston. The Texas City serves as London-based BP’s North American headquarters, and is also the home ... Read More

Currents may spread oil mass to the Keys, Atlantic seaboard

Though surrounded by land on nearly all sides, the Gulf of Mexico is by no means a stagnant body of water, which means that BP’s massive oil leak could easily move beyond Gulf Coast communities and hit the eastern United States. The Gulf of Mexico Loop Current is fed by water moving into the Gulf from the channel between Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. The current stretches into the Gulf near the U.S. coast, where it loops around and moves southeast to meet the Florida current and merge with the Gulf Stream. The fast-moving current then travels across the Florida ... Read More

Toyota may use “smart pedal” to fix unintended accleration problem

A safety feature common in most German vehicles, which reduces the likelihood of an unintended acceleration, could have prevented the injuries and deaths of people caught in runaway Toyotas. According to a report published by the New York Times, the technology isn’t new. It just hasn’t been adopted by most automobile manufacturers outside of Germany. Toyota, however, is reportedly considering implementing this technology as a solution to the acceleration problems in up to 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota announced last month that it would soon issue a vehicle recall over concerns that the driver’s side floor mats can ... Read More

What should you do in a car that speeds out of control?

Toyota is telling drivers of certain Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks to remove their driver’s side floor mats immediately until the company can develop a solution to its floor mat problem. The company announced in its September 29 safety advisory that the accelerator pedal may become jammed in full open position when an “unsecured or incompatible floor mat” is used, causing the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally. Previously we have reported on this web site that some of the drivers who became caught in a runaway car were unable to remedy the situation. There’s the story of Bulent and Anne Ezal, ... Read More

Latest Toyota recall vindicates CA man accused of causing fatal crash

Guadalupe Gomez was driving his new 2007 Toyota Camry south on interstate 280 in San Jose, California, when his car began accelerating out of control. Racing down the busy highway at speeds of more than 100 mph, Gomez did all he could to avoid a catastrophic collision. He held down on his horn, pushed the ignition button repeatedly, kicked the accelerator, and switched gears — all while dodging traffic. Unfortunately, Gomez’s car didn’t stop until it collided with Troy Edwin Johnson’s Honda Accord. Johnson, a 39-year-old father of 5, burned to death when his car went up in flames. The ... Read More

Unintentional acceleration problem is an old one for Toyota

Floor mats are behind Toyota’s most recent safety warning affecting some 3.8 million vehicles. But the problem isn’t a new one. A report in the New York Times says that both Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have known about the problem for more than two years. Toyota Motor Corp., according to the Times, has been investigating the potential for floor mats to interfere with the gas pedal since March of 2007. The problem has caused some vehicles to accelerate unintentionally, prompting Toyota to look for solutions. No recalls of the affected vehicles have been announced yet. While a ... Read More

Toyota Motor Corp. announces massive recall

Toyota Motor Corp. announced it would recall 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. in response to reports of sudden and unexpected acceleration in several car and truck models. Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believe that removable floor mats are responsible for the runaway acceleration. The mats can shift and interfere with the gas pedal, causing the vehicle to race forward. The recall was prompted by the tragic death of four family members in San Diego County, California late last month. Mark Saylor, a 45-year-old California Highway Patrol officer was driving along state route 125 in the ... Read More