The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into whether the repair made to 156 fire trucks recalled in 2013 adequately fixed the problem with the trucks’ aerial ladders, which can unexpectedly fall.
Late last year Sutphen Corp. recalled 156 aerial platform trucks from model years 2000 through 2011 because the ladder could retract unexpectedly, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The company initiated another recall last week, hours after three Georgia firefighters were injured during a training session when a five-section ladder unexpectedly retracted more than 20 feet before it jammed. The firefighters were in the bucket atop the ladder of the 2006 Sutphen engine. In June, three Pennsylvania firefighters were injured during a rapid descent of their aerial platform on a 2010 Sutphen truck. Since these injuries occurred after the trucks had been repaired in the 2013 recall, NHTSA is investigating “the adequacy of the recall remedy.” Continue reading
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has issued a reminder to those who participated in the rescue, recovery and clean-up of the World Trade Center from September 11, 2001 through September 12, 2002 to register their service with the board.
Registering will preserve the right to future benefits, if needed. The notification applies to all who served, whether employed or as a volunteer, whether injured or not. This includes service at Ground Zero, Fresh Kills Landfill, the barges, the piers, and the morgues. Anyone in these categories should file a WTC-12 form by September 11, 2014. Employees and members of entities that participate in the New York State workers’ compensation system are eligible. Continue reading
A Cornell University engineering professor argues that the scientific case against hydraulic fracturing – fracking – continues to get stronger.
Prof. Anthony Ingraffea cites three concerns with the oil and gas drilling technique: groundwater contamination, earthquake generation, and accidental methane gas emissions. In fracking, large quantities of water and chemicals are injected deep underground under pressure to break apart shale and release oil and natural gases. Ingraffea says, “there is now, in my opinion, scientific consensus that human-induced seismicity does occur” as a result of the disposal of chemical-laced fracking wastewater in underground injection wells, Mother Jones magazine reports. Continue reading
There is a new controversy at the 9/11 Museum over a descriptive Zadroga Act panel. According to an editorial piece in the New York Post, the panel says the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was intended to ensure medical treatment and financial compensation “for those with health conditions claimed to be related to the World Trade Center Disaster.” Continue reading
There is a growing risk of mesothelioma and other cancers for 9/11 rescue workers and first responders. When the twin towers collapsed, approximately 400 tons of asbestos were released into the air and inhaled by rescue workers. Recently, medical experts reported that over 2,500 WTC victims have been diagnosed with cancer. Continue reading
Newly published research from Baylor University shows that people who frequently eat instant noodle products may increase their risk for cardiometabolic syndrome.
Because ramen consumption is higher among Asian populations, the research focused primarily on South Korea, which has the highest per-capita numbers of instant noodle consumers, according to Newswise, a news site of the Baylor Research Institute. South Koreans have recently experienced a rapid increase in health problems, specifically heart disease, which could lead to increased mortality and increased health care costs. The research was published in the Journal of Nutrition. Continue reading
On Tuesday, an Arkansas federal judge certified a class of landowners in a lawsuit filed against Exxon Mobil Corp. The lawsuit was filed over a Pegasus pipeline that ruptured in 2012, spilling over 19,000 barrels. According to Law 360, the court certified the class because plaintiffs were able to show that common questions predominated over individual questions. Continue reading
Colgate-Palmolive Co. faces questions about the safety of the antibacterial ingredient triclosan in Total toothpaste. The company says Total is safe, citing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process for the product.
Triclosan has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals, Bloomberg News reports. Triclosan is used in such products as soap, toys, and cutting boards, but many of these uses are under review and some companies are phasing out triclosan. Minnesota voted in May to ban triclosan in many products. Continue reading
A class action lawsuit against Pella Corp. alleges that its Pro-Line aluminum-clad windows are defective and lead to premature damage, resulting in inconvenient and costly repairs for customers. Allegedly, the windows can cause premature wood rot and other forms of damage because the design of the windows allows water to become trapped behind the aluminum classing. Pella sold more than 6 million windows between 1992 and 2010.
Law360 reports that U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel approved a $90 million settlement to resolve the litigation last April. However, the settlement was dismantled by the Seventh Circuit in June. The court also decided to replace the current class counsel. Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm with decades of experience in product liability litigation, has been suggested for the role. Continue reading
Community Health Systems Inc. has agreed to pay $98.15 million to settle seven whistleblower lawsuits, including one brought by the former medical director of the emergency department at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville, South Carolina.
The lawsuits alleged that Community Health Systems, the nation’s largest operator of acute care hospitals, knowingly billed government programs for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient or “observation” services, the Charlotte Observer reports. Community Health Systems operates 206 affiliated hospitals in 29 states. From 2005 to 2010, the Justice Department said, CHS engaged in “a deliberate, corporate-driven scheme” to increase inpatient admissions of Medicare, Medicaid and Department of Defense TRICARE program beneficiaries at its hospitals. These admissions were medically unnecessary and patients should have received the care elsewhere. Continue reading