On February 2, 2009, Amy Yeung perished in an apartment fire in Selden, New York. Firefighters reported that a lack of water pressure in the fire hydrant in her private community, Village in the Woods, made it more difficult to put out the blaze, and forced them to call for two water tankers from neighboring fire departments. This tragedy exposed a deficiency in the inspections of fire hydrants in private communities.Neither Suffolk County nor the Town of Brookhaven regularly inspects private water systems to ensure that they have sufficient water pressure to fight fires. State fire code mandates annual inspections of private fire hydrants.However, the state fire code does not require the filing of inspection reports with any public agency. Thus there is no effective safeguard to ensure that the state mandated inspections are properly performed.
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1789 Law and Nuremburg Code Intersect to Permit Claims To Proceed Against Pfizer For Conducting Medical Experimentation Without Consent
The Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. 1350, a 1789 law, gives foreigners the right to raise tort claims in federal court to vindicate violations of 'the laws of nations.' The 10-principle Nuremberg Code was formulated as part of a war crimes trial conducted after World War II in which 15 doctors were convicted of crimes against humanity for conducting unconsented experiments. Seven of the doctors were sentenced to death. The 1789 law and the 20th Century Nuremberg Code intertwined recently as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revived Nigerian families' damage claims for billions of dollars against Pfizer for allegedly secretly testing a new drug in a Nigerian hospital during a 1996 meningitis outbreak. The two cases under the consolidated caption of Abdullahi v. Pfizer, 05-4863 and 05-6768 involved claims that Pfizer allegedly secretly testing a new drug in a Nigerian hospital during a 1996 meningitis ou
Congress' boosting in 2007 of fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 should not be the only way the government can improve fuel economy, cut greenhouse gases and boost safety. So contends Joseph D. Younger in an article "5 Ways to Turn Traffic Greener" published in AAA's Car & Travel magazine. The article suggests 5 ways that state, local and federal governments can do to make everyday driving environmentally friendlier.
The congressionally chartered National Safety Council is advocating for the first time a total ban on cell phone use while driving, including hands-free use, saying the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities. States should ban drivers from using hand-held and hands-free cell phones, and businesses should prohibit employees from using cell phones while driving on the job. The problem is not where your hands are, but where your brain is.
Last year was a record-setter when it came to recalls and warnings about dangerous childrens toys, especially lead paint laden toys imported from China. In response to the much-publicized controversy, Congress strengthened the Consumer Product Safety Act of 1972 (CPSA) to prohibit the sale and distribution of childrens toy or child care articles containing excessive levels of toxic substances beginning on February 10th, 2009. Almost incredibly, the agency charged with enforcing the CPSA, the General Counsel of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (the Commission), actually tried to weaken the enforcement of the law by issuing an advisory opinion letter that would have permitted the sale of toxic items after February 10, 2009, if the products were manufactured prior to that date. U.S.
State Senate Responds Swiftly to the Striking Down of a Local Law Intended to Protect Children from Sex Offenders
A Rockland County law barring where sex offenders can reside was struck down late last month by New York State Supreme Court Justice William A. Kelly because it conflicted with existing state regulations. In an immediate and strong response last week to eliminate the pre-emption, Senate majority leader Malcolm A. Smith, D-Queens, joined Senator Craig Johnson, D-Port Washington, at a Mineola news conference to announce a measure that would prohibit registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park or day-care center, the precise residence requirement contained in the local law that was stuck down. The bill is in committee in the State Senate.
"Key in the Ignition Statute" Will Hold Vehicle Owner Liable for Deaths of Pedestrians Struck by Drunk Driver Who Had Stolen the Vehicle
When Joe Guerrero left his keys in the ignition of his car with the engine running while he went into a deli last weekend, a drunken man stole his vehicle and then ran down 2 pedestrians. Even though Mr. Guerrero was not driving or occupying the vehicle and had not given the drunk driver, a stranger to him, permission to drive his vehicle, he will be liable to the families of the 2 pedestrians for causing their deaths. This is true because of Vehicle and Traffic Law 1210(a), sometimes called the key in the ignition statute. This statute makes the owner of a vehicle liable for injuries caused by a driver when the owner fails to turn off the engine and remove, or at least conceal, the key.
Heat exposure deaths happen occasionally in all levels of football. The cases have led to numerous lawsuits, however, no evidence can be found that a coach has ever been charged in the deaths. Until now. A Kentucky high school football coach was indicted by a grand jury last month with reckless homicide in the death of a player who collapsed during a sweltering practice. Coach David Jason Stinson was charged in the death of 15-year-old sophomore offensive lineman Max Gilpin that occurred on August 20, 2008, when the heat index reached 94 degrees.
Even With All the Attention on Bruce Springsteens Concert Later Today (A Football Game Is Sandwiched Around It), The NFL Still Cant Avoid a Concussion Discussion
Super Bowl hoopla did not prevent a meeting this week in Tampa with the attendees urging the NFL to join them in researching the connection between football and progressive brain damage and declaring that a concussion crisis exists in football. Among those at the hotel meeting were former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, eight-year NFL special teams standout Isaiah Kacyvenski and 73-year-old Bernie Parrish, who played eight seasons for the Cleveland Browns and now spends much of his time battling the NFL Players Association, which he says refuses to adequately represent retired players. Joining them were several doctors from the Boston University School of Medicine and the widows of two former NFL players who suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by head trauma that leads to dementia and a other long-term cognitive probl