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Mississippi 238 articles

Lawmakers target Takata, NHTSA, automakers with scathing inquiries into exploding airbags

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Federal auto safety regulators have again fallen under sharp criticism for their handling of exploding air bags made by Japanese supplier Takata. The defective airbags, which have been installed in millions of U.S. vehicles, are prone to deploying with excessive force, blasting metal shrapnel through the vehicle’s interior, sometimes with deadly consequences. On Thursday Senators Richard Blumental (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-Mass) planned to send “a sternly worded letter,” The New York Times reported, scolding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its lackadaisical handling of the Takata airbag recalls. Specifically, the lawmakers want to know why NHTSA is ... Read More

NHTSA updates air bag defect warning to include another three million vehicles

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Shortly following the U.S. government’s plea to nearly five million car owners to learn more about a life-threatening air bag defect, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has updated its warning to include three million more car owners believed to be driving under dangerous circumstances. According to the safety alert, the NHTSA is making the public aware of inflator mechanisms within the affected vehicles’ airbag systems that may rupture upon impact, triggering an arsenal of metal fragments to violently fly out as the bags are being deployed. Takata Corp., one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers in the world, manufacturing air ... Read More

BP oil spill fine money gives Louisiana coastal restoration plans new hope

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In the last 80 years, Louisiana has lost a football field of land every day to the sea – the fastest known case of coastal erosion in the world and one triggered, then accelerated, by more and more shipping canals carved through fragile wetlands by offshore oil drillers. Today, a push to reverse the erosion and rebuild some of the land that now lies under the Gulf has pinned its hopes on funds that will come from Louisiana’s share of pollution fines BP will pay for violating the Clean Water Act with its 2010 oil spill. Last month, U.S. District ... Read More

Alabama getting $93.8 million for BP oil spill recovery and restoration projects

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Alabama is set to receive $93.8 million in oil spill money for coastal restoration projects in the third and largest installment to come from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which was established to help the U.S. Gulf coast recover from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees made the announcement on Friday that Alabama and the four other Gulf Coast states would soon be receiving their share of $1 billion in funds BP provided as a down payment in April 2011. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas will share $627 million in ... Read More

Cleanup workers sickened by BP oil spill face legal limbo with medical claims

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Cleanup workers and coastal residents who were exposed to crude oil and chemical dispersants from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill may be forced into the same kind of protracted litigation that prevented Exxon Valdez cleanup workers from getting medical assistance and relief from doctor’s bills. Some 20,000 Gulf coast residents and cleanup workers, many of them suffering from chronic health problems that manifested several months after their exposure to the oil and other contaminants, are part of a medical damages settlement class, but find themselves in a legal limbo thanks to, as WWL-TV reported, “a disputed reading of one phase ... Read More

Judge strikes down BP’s efforts to recoup money paid on oil spill claims

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A federal judge in New Orleans overseeing the BP oil spill litigation said that the company will not be permitted to take back hundreds of millions of dollars it paid out to victims harmed by the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill. BP had sought to recoup payments it considered excessive from some oil spill claimants. Those payments were calculated under the accounting methods established by the 2012 settlement agreement, before Judge Carl Barbier ordered the claims administrator’s office last year to implement new accounting procedures BP considered fairer. However, Judge Barbier found in a hearing last week that the payments ... Read More

Halliburton agrees to $1.1-billion resolution of Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims

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Beasley Allen lawyers and other members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) leading the BP oil spill litigation announced they have reached a $1.1-billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services over its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The settlement, subject to approval by a New Orleans federal court, is to be paid into a trust in three installments over the next two years until all appeals have been resolved. Halliburton, an oil-field services provider that cemented the doomed well a mile beneath the Deepwater Horizon rig, agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge last year for destroying evidence ... Read More

Whistleblower tips prompted closure of Mississippi cancer clinic

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Tips from a group of whistleblowers led to the July 2011 closing of a multi-million cancer treatment facility in Summit, Miss., and the prison sentences of its founder and key employees, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported. The Mississippi Health Department shuttered the Rose Cancer Center for its “unsafe infection control practices” after 11 of the clinic’s patients were hospitalized with the same bacterial infection. Subsequent investigations led to the prosecution of Dr. Meera Sachdeva, who started the clinic in 2005 and received 20 years in federal prison for health care fraud and two counts of making false statements. Dr. Sachdeva was ... Read More

New study confirms BP oil spill is destroying deep-sea coral reefs

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BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had a broader, deeper impact on life in the Gulf of Mexico than researchers previously thought, according to a new study conducted by Pennsylvania State University scientists. The researchers documented their discovery of two partially dead deep-sea coral reefs about 14 miles east of BP’s blown-out Macondo wellhead, ground zero for the largest oil spill ever recorded. Before the researchers discovered these damaged reefs, they only knew of one coral reef that had been devastated by the BP spill, but that reef was little more than 8.5 miles from the Macondo well and in ... Read More

Future looks bleak for oyster production after BP oil spill

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Louisiana oyster beds that have yielded rich harvests for generations now produce little more than dozens of “empty, lifeless oyster shells,” the Associated Press reported, underscoring the death blow dealt by BP’s 2010 oil spill to local fisherman and businesses in some parts of the Gulf Coast. Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion released millions of gallons of crude oil into some of the Gulf’s most ecologically sensitive regions. According to the AP, “thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than ... Read More