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persoanl injury 13 articles

Nuclear waste leak in Washington much worse than originally feared, officials say

Last week, Washington state officials announced that one of the 177 underground storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the state’s south-central region is leaking radioactive nuclear waste at a rate of 150 to 300 gallons per year, threatening the water table and nearby Columbia River. Further inspections, however, reveal the problem to be much worse. In meetings Friday, Washington governor Jay Inslee learned that six of the tanks containing hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive sludge were found to be leaking. Combined, the tanks contain some 53 million gallons of nuclear waste, a byproduct of the federal ... Read More

Nuclear waste leak threatens Washington State’s groundwater, rivers

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and other state officials sounded an alarm Friday over a leaking underground storage tank at south-central Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation, a former plutonium production facility that is already the nation’s most contaminated nuclear waste site. The leaking tank contains hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive nuclear waste and is one of 177 World War II-era tanks at the site designed to last 20 years. Gov. Inslee said that officials estimate the tank could be leaking 150 gallons to 300 gallons of nuclear waste over a year and that the long-term threat to the state’s groundwater ... Read More

Alabama farming company faces steep fines for combustible dust and other safety hazards

DECATUR, ALA–Alabama Farmers Cooperative Inc. has been hit with nearly $200,000 in proposed penalties after an investigation conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found a number of serious and life-threatening safety and health hazards, including extremely high levels of combustible dust. The company, headquartered in Decatur, provides a range of agricultural supplies and services to farmers in the state. According to OSHA, the company was cited for two willful safety violations involving its improper handling of combustible dust. OSHA inspectors found the company failed to establish a housekeeping program to reduce the accumulation of combustible dust and ... Read More

Exxon Valdez a deadly precedent for health of BP oil spill victims

When plaintiffs’ lawyers came to an agreement with BP in March, they wanted to make sure that coastal residents and cleanup workers facing medical problems tied to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would be covered now and in the future. The settlement was divided into two classes, with one class devoted to economic claims and the other covering medical claims and setting up special programs to monitor and enhance the health of Gulf Coast residents, especially in some of its underserved communities. One of the key aspects of the medical agreement stipulates that coastal residents and oil-spill cleanup ... Read More

California man sues DePuy after two failed hip implants

A California man’s hopes to live a better life turned to hardship and agony after he was implanted with DePuy replacement hips, and now he is taking the device’s manufacturer, DePuy Orthopedics, Inc. to court. The patient received a total hip replacement in June 2007, using DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System. That device is one of the artificial hip systems recalled last August by DePuy, a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson, for defects that very frequently lead to early failure and metal poisoning. Months after the original surgery, the Calfornia man’s hip implant came loose from his pelvis, causing ... Read More

Wrongful-death suit involving Mazda seatbelt may proceed, Supreme Court rules

In a unanimous decision that surprised many across the political spectrum, the U.S. Supreme Court gave a wrongful-death lawsuit the green light to proceed against Mazda Motor Corp. The decision by the Supreme Court, which became conservative and corporate-friendly by a majority in 2006, offers some hope that the little guy suing a big corporation in America still has some chance for justice. The lawsuit was filed by the parents of a girl named Thanh Williamson, who was killed when the lap belt she wore in the backseat of a 1993 Mazda minivan failed to secure her during a head-on ... Read More

Lack of testing, FDA shortcuts made DePuy hip recipients guinea pigs

The term “guinea pig” is often used jokingly by patients who feel that their medical treatment is underdeveloped or experimental. But when it comes to the Food and Drug Administration’s fast-track approval of certain medical devices such as DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing implants, “guinea pig” is sometimes an apt description. The FDA often approves medical devices without requiring proper clinical testing if the manufacturer demonstrates that the new unproven device is substantially similar to an already-approved one. This process, called the 510k process, spares the manufacturer thousands of dollars in clinical testing and usually takes just ... Read More

Clostridium germs threaten pediatric hospital patients, but is preventable

Hospitals exist to help patients get well again during an illness, disease, or physical injury, but an alarming number of children are contracting potent bacterial infections during their hospital stay, often prolonging their hospitalization and requiring surgery, according to a study published last week in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. The study was conducted in hospitals across the United States and encompassed 10.5 million pediatric patients. Researchers analyzing the hospital data found that the rate of infections caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile has risen 15 percent every year since 1997. In 2006 3,565 infections were reported. That ... Read More

FDA didn’t test DePuy hip replacements before approving them

RALEIGH, NC—In a report about a hip-replacement patient suffering from the pain and failure of her DePuy artificial hips, ABC affiliate WTVD says that the controversial hip implants went to market without clinical trials. New medical devices and prescription drugs typically must prove to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that they are safe for consumer use by first undergoing clinical studies and medial reviews. So how did DePuy’s ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular System win FDA approval without the requisite clinical trials? WTVD unearthed a document showing that the FDA cleared the hip ... Read More

Scores of NYC bus drivers engaged in distracting activities while driving

New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MAT) drivers received a startling number of distracted driving citations so far this year, according to Department of Transportation officials. According to police records, nearly 200 MTA bus drivers were caught talking and texting on cell phones, eating, and reading behind the wheel while transporting passengers throughout the city. The drivers received summonses, and were either reprimanded, suspended, or dismissed, depending on their previous safety record, MTA officials said. The announcement was made at the 2010 Distracted Driving summit on September 21 in Washington D.C., part of an ongoing effort spearheaded by Transportation Secretary Ray ... Read More