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.
According to YesOn46.org, the number of deaths in hospitals every year from medical errors is equal to the number of people who would die in two jumbo jet crashes every day.
Two days ago Los Angeles Times reporter Seema Mehta wrote that well-known consumer advocate Ralph Nader "blasted" Gov. Jerry Brown because of Brown's apparent unwillingness to support Proposition 46, the bill that would raise the damages cap on pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases from $250K to $1.1M. (See "Nader assails Brown for not backing Prop. 46 to raise lawsuit caps.")
"It's inexplicable to me," Mehta quotes Nader. "It's disappointing beyond my ability to explain to you." Nader is undoubtedly referring to history here. As Mehta points out, Gov. Brown once vocally opposed California's 1975 damages cap, saying then that it did not lower healthcare costs and only had an "arbitrary and cruel" impact on injured patients.
Perhaps, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts says she won't run for president, she really means it. There is evidence to support Warren's apparent belief that she could do more good as a senator than as a president (her work creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau comes to mind).
But, as Julian Zelizer writes in his op-ed for CNN, relying on the public statements of politicians re: candidacy is "rarely the best way to predict what a candidate will actually do."
More to the point: Zelizer says that Warren has been given a "giant political opportunity" in the form of handling the oversight hearings regarding regulators and the banks they regulate on Wall Street, which could put Warren in a prime position for a presidential run in 2016.
William Langewiesche, former commercial pilot and long-time (and award-winning) journalist, has covered the art of flight and the aviation industry for many years. In early October, Langewiesche published an in-depth piece in Vanity Fair about the crash of Air France Flight 447.
Flight 447, as Langewiesche writes, ended the lives of more than 200 people. It came about from "a series of small errors," despite the fact that the airplane was state-of-the-art.
Melissa Healy with the Los Angeles Times reports that common anti-anxiety drugs may be linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease ("Drugs used for anxiety, sleep are linked to Alzheimer's disease in older people"). According to new research, Healy writes, "Older people who have relied on a class of drugs called benzodiazepines to reduce anxiety or induce sleep are at higher risk [...]."
Linda Carroll with NBC posits the theory that concussion-related brain injuries could be fueling the legal problems currently plaguing the NFL ("Could Brain Injuries Be Behind the NFL Rap Sheet?") Texas authorities have accused star Vikings running back Adrian Peterson of hitting his child with a switch made of a stripped tree branch. Peterson faces charges for child abuse. The Vikings played the off-again, on-again, off-again game with Peterson, but seems to have settled on suspending Peterson for the time being.
At Girardi Keese, we pride ourselves on the success we have enjoyed in representing thousands of people in California and nationwide. We have recovered millions of dollars for individuals who were hurt or killed because of negligence and wrongdoing. However, these financial successes tell only part of the story.
For more, see our article in California Law Today, as seen in Forbes on Sept. 8, 2014.
This McClatchyDC special report ("Contract to Cheat") is the result of a year of investigative reporting in seven states, including California, in an effort to uncover the widespread practice of classifying workers as independent contractors when they probably should be classified as employees.
It's a classic case of injustice in the workplace.
Why would employers classify workers as independent contractors?
Oftentimes, classifying a worker as an independent contractor is perfectly reasonable and legitimate. It is a firmly established business practice. But classifying workers as independent contractors to avoid withholding payroll taxes and to avoid providing traditional employee benefits, as the McClatchyDC report indicates, is a whole other ballgame.
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating whether racing was a factor in a deadly crash that occurred recently. Three men -- all of whom were college football players -- occupied the small black vehicle involved in the car accident. Two of them suffered fatal injuries, and the third suffered critical injuries. Two people in a minivan -- a mother and daughter -- were fortunate enough to only suffer minor injuries.
It was nearly 7:30 p.m. on a recent Friday when the black car was said to be speeding south on San Fernando. At some point, the driver lost control of the vehicle, which crossed over into oncoming traffic in the northbound lanes. The minivan was unable to avoid the small car, and the two vehicles collided.
The California Highway Patrol recently closed down a portion of Route 60 in Los Angeles County while officers conducted an investigation and cleaned up a massive accident involving multiple passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers. As often happens on California's freeways, early morning traffic began slowing to a stop. Then, a tanker truck full of milk failed to reduce speed and started a chain-reaction truck accident that involved several vehicles.
After it rear-ended the first vehicle, the tanker truck ended up straddling the center divider. Gallons of milk spilled onto the westbound lanes of the highway, and the wreckage of all 12 vehicles involved in the crash littered the eastbound lanes. Emergency crews removed the tanker from the median to keep it from falling onto vehicles that were on the highway.