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Major oil spills in Arkansas, Texas, Utah receive little notice in the public eye

Have oil spills become so common in the U.S. that they are no longer considered news? The same week that ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured, spewing thousands of barrels of sticky bitumen sludge all over an Arkansas town, two other oil spills categorized as “major” by federal standards occurred in the U.S. Yet the three spills have received very little attention by national news outlets. On Good Friday, the same day that the ExxonMobil spill erupted underneath a suburban development in Mayflower, Arkansas, Shell Pipeline, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, shut down its West Columbia, Texas, pipeline when federal ... Read More

Homeowners sue ExxonMobil over Arkansas oil spill damage

Despite ExxonMobil’s promises to clean up thousands of barrels of dense Canadian tar sands oil that flooded an Arkansas community, residents of the contaminated town have filed a class-action lawsuit against the oil giant. The company’s Pegasus pipeline, which transports the bitumen oil from Illinois to the Texas Gulf coast, ruptured March 29 in a residential section of the Mayflower community just a few miles north of Little Rock. Since then, the area has been on lockdown as ExxonMobil workers arrive to clean up the spill, talk with residents and officials, and assess damage claims. “This Arkansas class action lawsuit ... Read More

Alabama court rules that makers of brand name drugs can be sued by generic drug users

Generic drugs should carry the same warnings as the brand name drug and, if not, then users of the generic drug can sue the name-brand drug maker for fraudulent misrepresentation, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled. The ruling comes as a response to a certified question from a U.S. District Court, which arose during a case where a plaintiff alleged that a generic version of the prescription heartburn drug Reglan caused him to develop a movement disorder called Tardive Dyskinesia. The plaintiff sued the brand name maker, Wyeth, alleging that the company failed to warn both doctors and patients of the ... Read More

J-and-J report puts company’s quality standards into question

American consumer health care products and medical device giant Johnson & Johnson released its annual report to shareholders this week, but the report has critics wondering if the company is more focused on profits than the quality of its products. J&J pulled in a whopping $13 billion in profits last year, but shelled out $751 million in taxpayer health care fraud claims; paid $70 million to settle foreign bribery charges; has been sued by consumers over its its allegedly defective metal-on-metal hip implant, and was forced to shut down a major facility that produces Tylenol and other popular brand name ... Read More