Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fire Risk Prompts Honda Recall

Honda Motors Co. has begun a large-scale recall due to a defective part that could cause serious injuries or death to occupants. The recall invloves 646,000 units of the Fit/Jazz and City models globally, including 140,000 in the United States.

The cause: a defective master window switch could cause a fire.

One child burned to death after a fire broke out. Other cases have been reported.

For more, read Chang-Ran Kim, The New York Times 01/29/2010 Read Article: The New York Times

Friday, January 29, 2010

How partisan has the U.S. Court become? Very partisan!

During Pres. Obama’s recent State of the Union address, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, a standard bearer for insurance companies and corporations, stooped to the tactics of Republican S.C. Rep. Joe Wilson by mouthing "not true" when Pres. Obama said that the Supreme Court had wiped away "a century of law" that "will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections." Take a look:
Before assuming office, Pres. Obama was a professor of constitutional law. Pres. Obama's criticism hit the proverbial nail on the head, which prompted Justice Alito's "Joe Wilson moment."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Plea Entered For Faking Drug Research

On March 11, 2009, Scott S. Reuben, a Massachusetts anesthesiologist and former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass., admiteed he faked data for 21 studies for the efficacy of various drugs. At the time, Reuben was also a former "paid spokesperson" for Pfizer.

Recetnly, Reuben agreed to plead guilty to healthcare fraud in connection with research involving Vioxx, Bextra and Celebrex. Reuben could serve a 10-year prison sentence and pay a $250,000 fine.

James A. White, WSJ Blogs 01/25/2010 Read Article: WSJ Blogs

Monday, January 25, 2010

Toddler Death Sparks Crib Recall in U.S.

Another tragedy that could've been prevented.

The recent death of a six-month-old child has prompted the recall of about 635,000 Dorel Asia cribs. The cribs are manufactured by Dorel Asia SRL.

The cause: The cribs have a drop-side that can detach from the frame, thus trapping and suffocating a child.

For more read: Andrea Chang, LA Times 01/20/2010 LA Times

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Toyota Issues Massive Vehicle Recall

Often, single car accidents are presumptively blamed on driver error. But, as is clear from the recent Toyota recall, driver neglect isn't always the cause.

Recently, Toyota Motors issued a 2.3 million automobile recall when it was discovered that accelerator pads may stick, causing the vehicle to unintentionally speed up. It's the second large recall in two months.

The recall stemmed from an accident in December where four people died when an Avalon sped off the road into a pond.

The recall covers car and truck models 2005 to 2010. This recall includes the 2005-10 Avalon; 2007-10 Camry and Tundra; 2008-10 Sequoia; 2009-10 RAV4, Corolla and Matrix; and 2010 Highlander. It also covers the 2009-10 Pontiac Vibe.

For details, read NY Times, The New York Times 01/21/2010 The New York Times

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fingertip Amputations Prompt Graco Stroller Recall

Next time you take your child out for a stroll, pay attention to the stroller. 1.5 million Graco strollers have been recalled because several children’s fingertips were amputated or severely injured. Wow, amputated!

The strollers, which are manufactured by Graco Children's Products Inc., involve certain model numbers of Graco Passage, Alano and Spree Strollers and Travel Systems.

The strollers were made in China by Graco and sold at AAFES, Burlington Coat Factory, Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Kmart, Fred Meyer, Meijer, Navy Exchange, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart and other retailers nationwide from October 2004 to December 2009.

The cause: The stroller’s hinges pose a danger to children when opening or closing the stroller’s canopy.

These tragic, avoidable injuries underscore the need for a new “decade of corporate accountability,” leveling the playing field that today tilts too in favor of powerful corporate interests. There needs to be stronger oversight and the accountability of wrongdoers.

Settlement and Policy Change Reached In Train Deaths

Too often railroads, and the public bodies who regulate them, turn a deaf-ear to the physical condition of the thousands of miles of railroad track that lace local communities. In this case, it was more than a deaf-ear, the railroad and public body simply closed their eyes. And, because they did, tragedy struck.

In July of 2008, two boys were hit and killed by a Maryland light rail train. The boys were struck by a northbound train that was on southbound tracks. The cause of the tragedy: vandalism on the northbound tracks and the train operator took his eyes off the track at a critical moment and could not explain why.

Recently, the families of two boys received a $1.5 million settlement from the state of Maryland. Along with the settlement, the Maryland Transit Authority has agreed to create new policies regarding trespassing and single-track operations.

To read more, see Michael Dresser and Julie Bykowicz, Baltimore Sun 01/21/2010, Baltimore Sun

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Johnson and Johnson Recalls Medicines

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson, recalled several hundred batches of Benadryl, Motrin, Rolaids, Simply Sleep, St. Joseph Aspirin and Tylenol because of a moldy smell upon opening. The recall came 20 months after numerous complaints were logged.

Once the FDA got involved, the plot thickened.

Last week, the FDA sent a warning letter to the company, noting that consumers not only complained about the moldy smell, but also complained about digestive problems like nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

Coming clean, McNeil released a statement saying, chemicals used to treat wood pallets that transport and store product packaging were the source of the problem.

For more, read Natasha Singer, The New York Times 01/17/2010 The New York Times

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital CEO Says Not Aware of Emergency Power Concerns

During Hurricane Katrina, 73-year-old Althea LaCoste, whose ventilator depended on electricity, survived the initial power outage thanks to manual breathing assistance from hospital staff. But a medical expert for Ms. LaCoste said that she died some time later because of the strain suffered during that time.

The CEO of Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital, who was sued because of the death, said under cross examination that he didn't know previous executives documented concerns that the power generator system could fail if a first-floor fuel pump flooded in an emergency. That's exactly what happened during Hurricane Katrina. Ms. LaCoste died in the hospital after the storm.

The LaCoste case could establish a new standard of liability for hospitals in wrongful death due to disaster planning decisions. Pendleton's CEO should have known of the documented pervious concerns.

For more, read Bill Barrow, New Orleans Times-Picayune 01/16/2010 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune