A grand jury last month declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. This past Wednesday, a grand jury in another case (this time in NYC) declined to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who applied a chokehold on Eric Garner. Garner later died.
We have yet another story involving G.M., which creates an image of a house of cards, a house that could eventually crumble given all the legal trouble piling on the automaker.
In the latest news involving the defective G.M. ignition switch, Jeff Glor with CBS News reports that a woman, charged with criminal negligent homicide after she crashed her Saturn Ion and her fiancé died (in 2004), this week was acquitted of the crime after G.M. representatives provided a letter to the judge.
This letter indicated that Candice Anderson's Saturn Ion was defective - which put 10 years of "emotional guilt" to rest. "The emotional guilt - all these years," Anderson said, as Glor quotes. "You know, it's been a question if I was at fault for his death, and I've carried it for so long."
"I find it troubling," Sen. Claire McCaskill said, "but more importantly I am sad that I am not surprised, that we find ourselves examining another example of manufacturers' failure to fulfill safety obligations that could have saved lives."
Without a doubt, one of the purchases that parents will devote the most time and energy into investigating is a child safety seat, reading online reviews, talking with other parents and even going to the local stores to see them firsthand.
The unfortunate fact remains, however, that despite these laudable investigative efforts, child safety seats are not immune to serious design defects or other mechanical failures that can compromise the safety of children.
To illustrate, consider that this past year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that multiple manufacturers were recalling millions of child safety seats over faulty release buttons that could become encrusted with both dried food and dried liquid over time making them difficult to open.
Indeed, it's not just the NHTSA that can take action against unsafe child safety seats, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission is also vested with this type of authority.
As we've written on our page about premises liability cases (where someone is injured on someone else's property), the difference between a safe environment and a dangerous one can be small but important.
There's no doubt that life can get pretty hectic for the parents of very young children. That's because many of them must devote the majority of their time to family yet still juggle such responsibilities as work, school and, of course, housework.
Not surprisingly, many product companies have caught on to this and are now marketing products designed to make housework more convenient. For example, one convenience-oriented product to hit store shelves over the last few years are single-use detergent packets for laundry or dishes -- often referred to simply as "pods."
As it turns out, however, a recently published report in the medical journal Pediatrics determined that these pods actually pose a high danger risk to young children.
Unfortunately, it seems as though some California voters thought Proposition 46 was all about increasing trial lawyers' fees in medical malpractice cases. Fb14352, a reader who commented on Kenny Goldberg's KPBS report, wrote, "Drug testing of Doctors was just a ruse. The real reason for the Prop 46 was to get more incentive for lawyers to sue and make more money. I am so happy that Californians could see through their lies."
A few weeks ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a first-of-its-kind consumer advisory warning the owners of 7.8 million vehicles here in the U.S. to take immediate action on recall notices relating to the replacement of faulty air bags manufactured by the Japan-based Takata Corp.
Here, the problem is that the air bags can actually explode in a motor vehicle crash, sending metal pieces -- literally shrapnel -- flying throughout the vehicle's interior. To date, at least four fatalities have been linked to this auto defect.
While the idea of a critical consumer advisory from the NHTSA would seem to make good sense on its surface, the agency and auto giants like Toyota and Honda have drawn sharp criticism from both lawmakers and safety advocates for focusing their mandatory recall efforts on those vehicles sold in areas of "high absolute humidity," such as Guam, Puerto Rico and Florida.
We need oil and gas to keep the world moving, at least in the way that it has for the last couple hundred years. But drilling for, processing and using it undoubtedly has an impact on the environment and quite possibly our personal health. Perhaps you cannot separate the two. An article published by National Geographic, written by Jamie Smith Hopkins for the Center for Public Integrity, describes the results of a five-state study that "raises new questions" about dangerous chemicals kicked up by oil and gas well sites.
With Halloween only a few days away, many parents will undoubtedly be rushing out to their local stores at the last minute to buy costumes for their young ones, decorations for their homes and other items for celebrating the spooky holiday.
However, these parents might want to give serious consideration to a recently released study by the environmental advocacy group the Ecology Center that saw 106 Halloween-related items -- accessories, costumes, decorations, and party favors -- tested for the presence of dangerous chemicals.