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May 31, 2011

Hewlett-Packard Recalls Additional Laptop Batteries

Experts Say Cellphones Are Possibly Carcinogenic

3 Injured Workers to be Paid $7M for 2008 Oil Line Rupture

Mirasol Homes Suit Settled

Man Loses Leg in Grain Bin, Awarded $1.6 Million

Suit: Man's Arm Trapped in Subway Train Door

Man Files Suit After Being Tased by Patrol Officer

Wal-Mart Employees File Suit Over Firings

Radiation Contamination in 2 Montgomery County Water Systems

 

 

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Announcements

 

TTLA Annual Conference has moved to June 1-3 in Austin

We’ll be hosting all the events you’ve come to expect from our December conference. Between the 2-day CLE, parties, meetings, legislative update & special events, you’ll leave the live music capital of the world feeling energized, connected, and bad to the bone! Check out the CLE program agendas for Wednesday and Thursday, which include a live video presentation with David Ball plus family friendly events to make this a true vacation opportunity. Click on the headline to register!  

 

Products

 

Hewlett-Packard Recalls Additional Laptop Batteries

Hewlett-Packard has announced a recall of 162,600 Lithium-ion batteries used in laptops due to a risk of overheating and injury. The company said that since a similar recall was issued in May of last year, there have been 40 reports of batteries that have overheated and ruptured, in some cases causing severe burns. In total, HP has recalled 286,600 laptop batteries since May 2009.  Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle  05/31/2011

Read Article: Houston Chronicle    

 

Experts Say Cellphones Are Possibly Carcinogenic

An international panel of experts says cellphones are possibly carcinogenic to humans after reviewing details from dozens of published studies. The statement was issued in Lyon, France, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer after a weeklong meeting of experts. They reviewed possible links between cancer and the type of electromagnetic radiation found in cellphones, microwaves and radar. The agency is the cancer arm of the World Health Organization and the assessment now goes to WHO and national health agencies for possible guidance on cellphone use. The group classified cellphones in category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans. Other substances in that category include the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust.  MARIA CHENG, AP , Austin American Statesman  05/31/2011

Read Article: Austin American Statesman    

 

Laws/Cases

 

3 Injured Workers to be Paid $7M for 2008 Oil Line Rupture

Three contract workers burned in a 2008 oil line rupture at Citgo’s East Plant have reached a $7 million settlement with the company that designed the equipment. The oil release occurred in 2008 when contract worker Jose Herrera tried to hook up a cleaning device to a crude vacuum unit. The connection point broke and Herrera and two other workers, Aaron Salinas and John Davis, were burned when gallons of hot crude oil spewed out. Last week, Refined Technologies Inc., the company that designed the injection cleaning device, agreed to pay the settlement. Under the settlement agreement, Herrera and his family will receive the bulk of the sum and the two other workers, who weren’t as severely burned, will receive smaller portions. Herrera, now 50, suffered burns to his face, neck and arms and underwent more than a year of skin grafts.  Mary Ann Cavazos, Corpus Christi Caller Times  05/30/2011

Read Article: Corpus Christi Caller Times    

 

Mirasol Homes Suit Settled

The companies that built the failed Mirasol Homes development have agreed to pay homeowners and the San Antonio Housing Authority $20M to settle claims of shoddy construction. The agreement, approved by the housing authority's board of directors, will give the 66 homeowners enough money to pay off mortgages or repair their homes and will allow the housing agency to remake the ailing West Side neighborhood. The housing authority had accused national homebuilding giant KB Home and local developer Magi Realty of scrapping orders for custom-built homes in favor of plans for tract-built houses that were poorly constructed with cheap materials. Housing officials and city leaders cast Monday's settlement as a triumph of the underdog against corporate interests.  Karisa King, San Antonio Express News  05/25/2011

Read Article: San Antonio Express News    

 

Man Loses Leg in Grain Bin, Awarded $1.6 Million

A Pennsylvania jury has awarded $1.6 million to a local man who lost his leg in an accident while working in a grain bin in Kansas. The plaintiff slipped and fell while working in the bin, getting his leg caught by the drag chain in the conveyor system. The lawsuit contented that the makers of the conveyor system failed to provide adequate protection for workers in the grain bins and did not warn them of the risks of injury.  Staff Report, PR Newswire  05/31/2011

Read Article: PR Newswire    

 

Suit: Man's Arm Trapped in Subway Train Door

A New York man has filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority after his arm got caught in the door of a subway train in Brooklyn last August. The man claims he was forced to rip his arm out from the door - breaking it - before he was smashed into the platform wall. The plaintiff suffered multiple fractures in his left arm as well as bumps and bruises. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.  Oren Yaniv , New York Daily News  05/30/2011

Read Article: New York Daily News    

 

Man Files Suit After Being Tased by Patrol Officer

A Salt Lake City man has filed a lawsuit against a state trooper, claiming he was wrongfully Tased by the officer while he was sitting in his car during a traffic stop. The plaintiff claims the officer told him to step out of the car to take a sobriety test, but the man said he wished to speak to a lawyer before taking any tests. At this, the officer Tased the man, the lawsuit states. The officer used "excessive force" and violated the man's constitutional rights, the suit says.  Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune  05/30/2011

Read Article: The Salt Lake Tribune    

 

Wal-Mart Employees File Suit Over Firings

Six former employees of Wal-Mart stores in Utah have filed a lawsuit against the retail giant, claiming they were unjustly fired for defending themselves at work. Three of the employees were involved in an incident where a shoplifter pulled a gun on them and they were forced to disarm him, the suit says. Wal-Mart policy says employees may not use force on shoplifters, but the lawsuit says this policy is out of date and does not provide workers and customers with any sense of security while shopping.  Roxana Orellana, The Salt Lake Tribune  05/28/2011

Read Article: The Salt Lake Tribune    

 

Issues

 

Radiation Contamination in 2 Montgomery County Water Systems

Two public drinking water systems in Montgomery County have been reported as being contaminated with radiation. Long-term exposure to the radionuclide contaminants within the water has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Hulon Lakes Subdivision and Vista Verde Water Systems, both near Lake Conroe, have exceeded the Maximum Contaminate Levels (MCL) as regulated by the EPA.  James Ridgway Jr, Conroe Courier  05/30/2011

Read Article: Conroe Courier    


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