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New website monitors how corporations, lobbyists are eroding our Constitutional rights

Alarmed by the corporate lobby’s aggressive efforts to undermine the U.S. civil justice system, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) has launched a new website and blog called Take Justice Back. The aim of the website is to keep U.S. citizens informed about how their rights and protections, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, are being eroded by powerful corporations and lobbying groups trying to escape accountability. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars, these corporate interests have infiltrated Congress and are using their financial might “scheming up ways to avoid accountability when they hurt someone,” the AAJ says. The “Tort ... Read More

Family of deceased player Derek Boogaard sues NHL over his injuries, early death

The family of professional hockey player Derek Boogaard has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the National Hockey League (NHL), accusing the organization of subjecting Mr. Boogaard to severe trauma and then loading him up on potent, highly addictive prescription painkillers. Mr. Boogaard died in May 2011 while taking Oxycondone and drinking alcohol at the same time. He had been playing for the New York Rangers for one year at the time of his death after having spent his first five season with the Minnesota Wild. He was 28 years old. Medical researchers at Boston University performing a posthumous analysis of ... Read More

New Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuit blames electronic throttle for horrific crash

A lawyer representing the family of a woman who died when her 2009 Toyota Camry sped out of control and sank into a California River hopes the case will be tried as a bellwether case ahead of about a hundred other sudden unintended acceleration lawsuits against Toyota pending litigation in California state courts. The plaintiff’s lawyer believes his client’s case, filed April 18 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, closely parallels the high-profile case of Mark Saylor, a California Highway Patrol officer who was killed with his family in August 2009 after the Lexus he was driving suddenly sped out ... Read More

Peanut Corporation of America executive indicted by Grand Jury on charges stemming from Salmonella Outbreak

The owner of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), where one of the deadliest Salmonella outbreaks in U.S. history originated, has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury on 76 criminal charges. A group of employees and associates of the now-defunct company have also been arraigned in connection to the 2009 outbreak, which killed 9 people and sickened more than 700. According to the indictment, unsealed this week, PCA’s former owner, Stewart Parnell, 58, is charged with committing criminal fraud and conspiracy for allegedly selling and shipping out peanut products known to be contaminated. The Salmonella-tainted peanut butter and other peanut-based ... Read More

Prescription drug deaths rise for 11th consecutive year

The number of prescription drug-induced deaths rose for the 11th straight year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis. Most of the drug deaths were accidents involving potent painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. “This is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. Prescription drug deaths continue to rise despite efforts to raise awareness of the risks among doctors and patients. The CDC reported a total of 38,329 drug-overdose fatalities nationwide in 2010. Nearly 60 percent of those deaths involved medicines, most of them prescription drugs. In 2009, the ... Read More

Huntsville company faces steep fines, lawsuit after ordering worker into unsafe trench

HUNTSVILLE, ALA—Federal regulators are suing a Huntsville, Alabama-based house-moving company for allegedly firing one of its workers when he refused to enter a 15-foot deep trench because it was inadequately protected against cave-ins. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that DKS Structural Services, a company that specializes in structural relocation, foundation repair, and leveling, ordered an employee to work in trenches that ranged from 6 to 15 feet deep at a Huntsville worksite. The walls of one trench, measuring about 15 feet deep, began to slide and cave in, breaking the ladder that was used to get into ... Read More

Fatal Bronx bus crash driver on trial for manslaughter

The driver involved in a horrific 2011 bus crash on a Bronx, New York, highway that left 15 people dead and several others injured is on trial facing manslaughter charges. A prosecutor told jurors that Ophadell Williams, 41, was a professional bus driver with years of experience and should have known better than to drive a busload of passengers while in a fatigued state. The March 12, 2011, crash happened on Interstate 95 at daybreak as Mr. Williams was driving a busload of passengers to Manhattan’s Chinatown from the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn. The bus crashed just feet ... Read More

Toppled TV kills Arizona boy

PHOENIX, AZ – Police officials say that a 5-year old boy died in Phoenix Monday after a television set apparently fell on top of him. According to a report from CBS5 in Phoenix, Isaiah Hernandez was watching television by himself in a back room of his house while on a fall break from school. After a couple of hours, the boy’s mother and grandmother went to get him and found him pinned underneath a 165-pound television set. Police described the TV as an “old-style picture tube” that appeared to have been perched on top of a nightstand, about two feet ... Read More

Deadly Reno air crash blamed on worn lock nuts, unsafe plane modifications

A September 2011 airplane crash at a Reno, Nevada, air show that killed 11 people and injured more than 60 others was the result of worn-out and poorly maintained parts that came apart under the pressure of flying the plane at an unprecedented speed, federal investigators concluded this week. According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) report, several lock nuts on the airplane’s left trim tab, a section of the tail, had not been replaced in at least 26 years. The weathered nuts failed to keep the tail screws secure, a condition that investigators said may have threatened the ... Read More

Traumatic brain injury victim on road to recovery after state fair stage collapse

A woman whose skull was crushed in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse last August is showing remarkable signs of recovery after the traumatic brain injury she received left her in a coma and on life support. According to the Associated Press, 30-year-old Andrea Vellinga of Pendleton, Indiana, may attribute her recovery to a traumatic brain injury experiment called SyNAPSe, in which her family enrolled her hours after the falling stage crushed her skull. The SyNAPSe trial uses progesterone, a pregnancy hormone, to help reduce brain swelling and improve memory in patients suffering from a traumatic brain injury. However, according ... Read More