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March 2011 Archives

Additional products liability issues for Tylenol manufacturer

A couple of weeks ago we talked about how the company Johnson & Johnson faced product liability issues over the recall and production of Tylenol. The company failed to follow federal manufacturing guidelines in three of its factories that produce Tylenol and as a result the government took over the facilities to avoid further product safety issues. But, it appears the product liability issues for Johnson & Johnson and Tylenol are not over.

Caterpillar settles products liability lawsuit

According to anonymous sources familiar with the settlement, Caterpillar Inc. paid more than $9 million to settle a products liability suit. The products liability suit went to court last year and the jury returned one of the largest verdicts in a products liability lawsuit ever. One legal expert believes the world's largest bulldozer manufacturer did not have a clear path to successfully appeal the verdict and instead chose the certain path of settling the case.

Senators send letter to tech companies regarding DUI app

Four United States Senators recently sent a letter to Google, Apple and Research in Motion asking the companies to take down smartphone apps that could help drunk drivers avoid DUI checkpoints from their app store websites. Research in Motion, the company that produces Blackberry products, responded to the letter by agreeing to remove any apps that fit the Senators' description from the company's Blackberry App World.

Phone and GPS apps help drivers avoid hazards and accidents

Some drivers across the United States are employing smartphone and GPS apps to alert them to red-light cameras, speed-traps and other road conditions. Drivers and police are divided on the utility of the applications.

Beauty Queen joins fight against distracted driving

Miss South Dakota, Loren Vaillancourt, has joined the Department of Transportation's fight against distracted driving and has made educating people on the dangers of distracted driving her own personal campaign. The Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports have created a campaign to educate young drivers on the issue and the beauty contestant is featured in the DOT's YouTube series "Faces of Distracted Driving."

Recent bill reopens discussion of Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site

The tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan has created a nuclear emergency at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. While reactor containment units have not been breached yet, the thought of long-term radiation contamination is on the world's mind. Almost two weeks ago and about one week before the tragic earthquake in Japan occurred, lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would reopen the talk about nuclear waste storage in the United States. The implication given the tragedy in Japan is extremely long-term environmental land contamination.

Federal government takes over three Tylenol plants

In an effort to curb product liability issues, the federal government is taking over three Tylenol plants. The take-overs come after a flurry of drug recalls and a criminal investigation into safety concerns at the three plants by the Food and Drug Administration. Yesterday, the FDA along with the Justice Department took legal action against McNeil PPC, the company that owns the factories, and two company executives in charge of quality and operations.

Young drivers don't see danger in distracted driving

One of the problems with distracted driving is that many drivers do not recognize that many things they do behind the wheel are problematic. According to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports, a significant number of young drivers do not recognize the danger of texting or talking while behind the wheel. As a result, the Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports are teaming up to educate young drivers on the dangers of using a cell phone while in the driver's seat.

Another form of distracted driving: Webbing and driving

Distracted driving seems to be everywhere these days. Despite public campaigns to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving, new forms of distraction continually pop-up especially as technology changes. The popularization of smartphones has led to another form of distracted driving, webbing and driving. Webbing and driving is when a driver surfs the Internet while behind the wheel. Surprisingly or perhaps unsurprisingly, a significant number of drivers check the Web as they commute.

Hands-free devices may not solve problems of distracted driving

Distracted driving has been in the news a lot lately and as the desire to stay connected using newer forms of communication technology evolves, the discussion about the dangers of distracted driving will only grow. The development of hands-free technology may reduce the level of distraction behind the wheel; however, some safety advocates do not believe the roads will become any safer because of the technology.

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