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New Orleans 182 articles

Louisiana man sues maker of acid reflux medication Reglan

A Louisiana man is suing the manufacturer of the acid reflux medication Reglan (metoclopramide) alleging the medication caused him to develop a debilitating nervous system disorder known as tardive dyskinesia. Isreal Bennett of Jefferson Parish filed the suit against Qualitest Pharmaceuticals on June 11, 2010, in federal court in New Orleans. Tardive dyskinesia is a disorder that causes involuntary movements, especially in the lower face. Symptoms include facial grimacing, jaw swinging, repetitive chewing and tongue thrusting. It is a serious side effect from long-term use of antipsychotic drugs as well as metoclopramide, but sometimes the condition occurs with short-term use ... Read More

Oil laps land, brings despair, suicidal thoughts to small communities

Much press has been given to the dire threat BP’s oil slick poses to the coastal ecosystems, marine environment, and the economies that depend on the health of both. But now another tragic extension of the oil disaster is becoming apparent – a feeling of hopelessness and abandonment that threatens ways of life and cultural traditions that give the Gulf Coast its own unique, irreplaceable personality. According to New Orleans’ WGNO News, BP’s still-uncontrolled gush of oil has begun to invade the fragile wetlands that sustain Louisiana’s $3 billion seafood industry, and the situation has become so dismal that some ... Read More

Tourism in Gulf Coast states already taking a hit from oil spill

As the Deepwater Horizon oil slick looms in the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles south of the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Northwest Florida coasts, the area’s tourism industry has already felt an enormous impact. Except for parts of Louisiana by the Mississippi River Delta, no oil has washed ashore in the threatened area, but already the hotels are swamped with reservation postponements and cancellations, sport fishing and scuba diving boats sit idly in marinas, and hundreds of restaurants and shops are burdened by empty tables and vacant aisles. Some Pensacola, Florida, business owners say that all of the negative ... Read More

Group uses hair and animal fur to clean up oil spills

As the massive oil slick spreads throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico, a number of grassroots organizations that focus on oil spill cleanup are coming to light. Matter of Trust, for instance, is a San Francisco-based charitable operation that finds uses for manmade and natural surpluses in healthy, environmentally friendly ways. One of the surpluses Matter of Trust uses is human and pet hair, which the organization’s workers convert into oil recovery mats and booms used to combat oil spills. Human and animal hair (including waste wool clippings) and feathers are naturally extremely oil absorbent, so they are the perfect ... Read More

Is the Gulf oil leak the result of deliberate negligence?

With more than 700 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico sucking fuel from the beneath the sea bed, many people might think it was just a matter of time before something catastrophic happened. Something like a blowout from a riser pipe a mile below the surface and a resulting gush of oil that can’t be stopped for weeks. Considering the astonishing number of offshore oil platforms along our southern coastline, you might think that safety would come first and that oil companies would put enough redundant systems in place to make a disaster such as the Deepwater Horizon accident ... Read More

BP Oil leak approaches Louisiana coast, containment efforts escalate

David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the Associated Press that the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is “of grave concern” to him. “I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling.” Long stretches of the crude oil have been creeping north from the leak, situated about 50 miles south of Venice, Louisiana and a mile under the surface after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank last week. The ... Read More

Judge awards plaintiffs $2.6 million in first Chinese drywall trial

In the first of a series of bellwether trials involving toxic Chinese drywall, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ruled last week that Taishan Gypsum Co. must pay $2.6 million to repair seven damaged Virginia homes and replace their damaged contents. The case, which was tried in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans, will help determine the scope and outcome of pending and future litigation involving homes ruined by the drywall. Thousands of homeowners throughout the U.S. but mostly in Florida and other Southern states allege that the drywall installed throughout their homes, imported from China during the ... Read More

Long term use of heartburn drugs can be dangerous

Millions of people turn to medication to treat the annoying and painful symptoms of heartburn. But doctors say that people who use medications to treat their symptoms should use them with caution and limit use if at all possible. One popular choice in acid reflux treatment are pills known as Proton-Pump Inhibitors. “The dark side of Proton-Pump Inhibitors, because we’ve used so much of them for such a long period of time, is beginning to emerge,” says Dr. Henri Roca of LSU Health Sciences Center’s Family and Integrative Medicine during a interview with WWL-TV in New Orleans. Proton-Pump Inhibitors are ... Read More

Trials to proceed against unresponsive Chinese drywall company

Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., the company accused of producing and then exporting toxic, sulfuric wallboard to the United States, was found to be in default during a preliminary trial in New Orleans after it failed to respond to a lawsuit filed by an Alabama home builder in June. The Mobile-based Mitchell Company, a builder of residential and commercial properties, alleges it used Taishan’s toxic drywall extensively in its homes. The company filed a motion earlier this month asking the court for a default judgment against the company. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon told the Mitchell Company that ... Read More

New Orleans is ‘Ground Zero’ of national wage theft epidemic

Hurricane Katrina, a powerful storm surge, and a system of inadequate levies teamed up in 2005 to create an unprecedented level of disaster in the United States. In the wake that followed, New Orleans (along with many other coastal communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) resembled a sea of destruction. New Orleans relied heavily on day laborers to clean up, repair, and rebuild. Sadly, however, recent surveys found that 80% of the Hispanic workers had been cheated out of compensation. The rampant injustice plaguing manual laborers compelled New Orleans City Council President Arnie Fielkow to promote an ordinance that would ... Read More