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San Francisco 203 articles

Video shows airplane nosedive into shopping center parking lot

Dramatic dashcam video shows the final seconds of a twin-engine Cessna as it nosedived toward the ground and crashed into an unoccupied car outside a Santa Ana, California shopping center, killing all five people aboard. Orange County fire officials say it could have been much worse. The accident occurred on a busy weekend shopping day in a highly trafficked retail area. The owner of the car that was hit was inside the store shopping at the time of the accident. The plane was piloted by Scott Shepherd, the owner of a San Francisco real estate consulting firm, Category III Aviation ... Read More

Whistleblower Wins Retaliation Battle With Vape Company

Federal authorities have ordered a California-based e-juice producer to reinstate and compensate a whistleblower who claimed he was fired in retaliation for reporting health and safety violations. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it ordered Mr. Good Vape LLC of Chino, California to reinstate the whistleblower and pay him $110,000 in compensation. The agency said the whistleblower, a former company manager, reported his concerns about the e-juice producer’s use of certain ingredients to the California Department of Environmental Protection. E-juice is the liquid used in vaping devices. Mr. Good Vape, which calls itself a “small craft company,” ... Read More

PG&E Fined $97.5 Million For Misconduct After San Bruno Explosions

The deadly San Bruno, California natural gas pipeline explosions that killed eight people and injured dozens of others in Sept. 2010 continue to be a costly disaster for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the utility company that owned the faulty infrastructure. California utility regulators issued fines to PG&E Thursday totaling $97.5 million after investigations found evidence of, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, improper back-channel communications between the utility company and the California Public Utilities Commission – the same agency issuing the penalty. The Commission unanimously approved the penalty, which requires PG&E to pay $6 million each to the cities ... Read More

Altaba To Pay $35 Million for Yahoo’s Mishandling of Data Breach

Altaba, the name given to Yahoo! Inc. after Verizon acquired the company, will pay a penalty of $35 million to settle charges that it misled investors by concealing a massive data breach that exposed the sensitive information of hundreds of millions of users to Russian hackers, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced. Within days of the Dec. 14 data breach, Yahoo’s cybersecurity team discovered that the hackers had accessed what the company called internally its “crown jewels – the most sensitive user-account data consisting of usernames, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, encrypted passwords, and security questions and answers ... Read More

Wells Fargo Whistleblower Allegedly Fired For Reporting Foreign Exchange Violations

Wells Fargo Bank finds itself facing another whistleblower lawsuit, this time filed by the former head of the bank’s foreign exchange (FX) group who says the bank encouraged employees to “make false and misleading representations to customers, to engage in abusive sales practices, and to enrich themselves at the expense of clients.” According to The Mercury News, whistleblower Simon Fowles alleges he voiced complaints about the unlawful and unethical practices to managers at the San Francisco-based banking giant for years but that his concerns essentially fell on deaf ears. Mr. Fowles claims he warned high-level Wells Fargo executives about “significant ... Read More

Children becoming secondary victims of opioid epidemic

Children are becoming secondary victims of the nation’s opioid epidemic, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. Children between the ages of 1 and 17 who were admitted to hospitals and pediatric intensive care units for treatment of opioid overdoses nearly doubled from 797 patients between 2004 and 2007 to 1,504 patients between 2012 and 2015, according to the research. The study shows another dire aspect of the opioid crisis, which killed more than 42,000 adults and children in 2016 – more than any other year. Many of the children who overdosed from these potent painkillers likely came ... Read More

Self-Driving Truck Completes First Cross-Country Journey

A self-driving tractor-trailer equipped with technologies developed by Embark has completed a 2,400-mile test drive from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. Embark, a San Francisco start-up founded by 22-year-old robotics enthusiast Alex Rodrigues, did not manufacture the truck but developed a self-driving system that can be integrated into Peterbilt trucks and potentially other vehicles. Embark’s self-driving vehicle technology employs a range of sensors comprised of five cameras, three long-range radars, and two or more light detection and ranging sensors (lidars) that feed information to a dynamic CPU that controls the vehicle. Whereas other self-driving vehicle companies such as Alphabet’s Waymo ... Read More

Another SFO Close Call: Aeroméxico Plane Heads To Wrong Runway

An Aeroméxico plane approaching San Francisco International Airport (SFO) was moments away from landing on the wrong runway Jan. 9, the third close call at the airport since July 7, when an Air Canada plane nearly landed on a crowded taxiway. Aeroméxico Flight 668 was arriving from Mexico City when it lined up to land on runway 28L (left) instead of its intended runway 28R (right). According to CBS News, the Aeroméxico pilots confirmed SFO air traffic control directions to land on runway 28R, but headed for the other parallel runway instead. The Aeroméxico plane was about a mile away ... Read More

VW Emissions Settlements Don’t Affect County Claims, Plaintiffs Argue

Settlements resolving claims over Volkswagen’s (VW) emissions cheat and the federal Clean Air Act do not bar air pollution complaints lodged by Hillsborough County, Florida, and Salt Lake County, Utah, lawyers for the counties told a California federal court. Volkswagen is pressing the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to toss the counties’ claims that they are entitled to compensation for pollution caused by VW’s emissions cheat under state laws. Those complaints are currently included in multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in the California court. In 2014, West Virginia University researchers and other members of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) discovered ... Read More

California Whistleblower Case Against BP Recovers $102 Million

BP has agreed to pay $102 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought under California’s False Claims Act alleging the oil company intentionally overcharged the state for natural gas for more than a decade. The law firm representing the whistleblower in the case said it is the largest whistleblower settlement involving an oil company in California’s history, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The case started on July 3, 2012, when former BP employee Chris Schroen filed a whistleblower complaint with the state alleging BP was knowingly quoting and charging the state gas prices above the contractual price cap. The ... Read More