A hearing was held before the Committee on Consumer Affairs of the New York City Council August 7th, 2007, into what caused the Consolidated Edison steam pipe explosion in Midtown Manhattan on July 18th. Council members were exasperated by the failure of Con Eds chairman and chief executive, Kevin M. Burke, to appear at the hearing, particularly in light of Mr. Burkes handling of the nine-day outage that crippled the Astoria section of Queens in July of 2006.
Council members were also decidedly unhappy with the inability of the person Con Ed did send, William Longhi, its senior vice … Read the rest
Mattel is recalling 967,000 toys, including 83 products featuring Sesame Street and Nickelodeon characters, because the products are covered in lead paint. The products are sold in retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Toys “R” Us.
More than 300,000 tainted toys, which include Elmo Tub Sub, the Dora the Explorer Backpack, and the Giggle Gabber, and may have a date code from 109-7LF to 187-7LF, have been bought by consumers in the United States. The toys were manufactured in a factory in China, whose factories have recently been sources of poisonous pet food, dangerous car tires, and lead paint on Thomas … Read the rest
On July 3rd, the Vioxx multidistrict litigation court held that the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA)’s rule preempting state products liability law suits against drug companies in failure-to-warn claims is not persuasive. The court also stated that FDA cannot assume that Congress intended to override the long-standing presumption against preempting state law.
The court’s ruling is a victory for consumers injured by medicines that they claim are inaccurately labeled. Though issued in litigation pertaining to Vioxx, the ruling may also end up being applied to Avandia as cases are brought and move forward.
The FDA’s preemption theory is found in … Read the rest
It was an ordinary workday for most on July 18th, 2007, when suddenly a loud explosion was heard by New Yorkers in the Grand Central Station area and the ground felt like it was shaking. Immediately police, fire and utility officials fled to the area around the blast, which according to Con Edison left behind a crater that was 25 feet wide and 15 feet deep.
The blast occurred at around 6PM and is currently said to have been caused by a steam explosion. As of now there has been one confirmed death due to this incident. Specifically, Mayor Bloomberg … Read the rest
On June 27th, a Senate hearing was held regarding the pharmaceutical industry’s routine practice of promoting and marketing drugs and medical devices by showering doctors with gifts. Drug companies which attempt to persuade doctors to prescribe their drugs provide doctors with meals at high-priced restaurants, stock options, sponsorships for educational programs, drug samples, tickets to sporting events and Broadway shows, lab professorship funding, and trips to educational conferences at popular vacation areas with airfare, car rental, and hotel costs included.
Senator Clair McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, and Senator Herb Kohl, Wisconsin Democrat and chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, … Read the rest
Today is not a day that will live in “legal infamy.” District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff dismissed the lawsuit brought on by Roy L. Pearson who sued his dry cleaners for $54 million for supposed consumer abuse for losing his suit pants and attempting to replace them with a different, cheaper pair that did not belong to him. The Court rejected Mr. Pearson’s lawsuit that strictly interpreted a dry cleaner’s promise of “Satisfaction Guaranteed.”
Mr. Pearson attempted to sue under a consumer law that imposes fines of $1,500 per violation, per day, as well as claiming damages … Read the rest
Every year, about 260 children under the age of five die from drowning in swimming pools. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14, with motor vehicle accidents being the first. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that most children who drown are found after about 10 minutes of being submerged. Children usually lose consciousness after being under water for only two minutes and irreversible damage to the brain often occurs after approximately four to six minutes of being under water. There are currently no national laws governing the safety of pools.
In December of … Read the rest
United States District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein (Southern District of New York) has imposed sanctions totalling $1,250,000.00 against Zurich American Insurance Company and two of its law firms for failing to timely produce documents that defeated Zurich’s attempt to avoid liability insurance obligations regarding lawsuits brought by the legal successors of many of those who died and many of those who suffered personal injuries or suffered property damage in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Judge Hellerstein imposed the sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 and Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure based upon a thorough analysis … Read the rest
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in its preliminary report on fatalities occurring in 2006 as a result of motor vehicle accidents, project alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased by 2.4 percent from 2005 to 2006; 17,941 for 2006 versus 17,525 for 2005.
This represents the highest number of alcohol-related traffic deaths since 1992. Injuries sustained in alcohol-related traffic accidents declined 6 percent, from 2.7 million in 2005 to 2.54 million in 2006.
Comparing 2005 to 2006, overall traffic fatalities are down slightly by 0.3 percent, from 43,443 in 2005 to 43,300 in 2006. The 2006 fatality rate is projected to … Read the rest