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June 20, 2011

Study: Portable Pools as Risky as In-Ground Pools

Supreme Court Shoots Down Emissions Lawsuit

Supreme Court Nixes Wal-Mart Class-Action Suit

Best Buy Settles Job Discrimination Lawsuit

Suit Settled Over Fatal Fire Near Penn State

Exxon Mobil Accused of 'Fraud' in Jacksonville Gas Spill Trial

Workers Stand Up for Right to Sit Down

State Mulls Amends for Sterilizations

Many Hospitals Overuse Double CT Scans

 

 

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Study: Portable Pools as Risky as In-Ground Pools

The lead researcher of a new U.S. study on drownings says a child dies every five days in a portable pool during the warm-weather months. The study, being published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, calls for effective and affordable protection devices for the pools, which range from small wading pools to large inflatable and other soft-sided pools. It says 209 children under 12 died and 35 nearly drowned from 2001 to 2009. Ninety-four percent of the children were younger than 5. The numbers are comparable with findings for in-ground pools.  JoANNE VIVIANO, Associated Press, Yahoo News  06/20/2011

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Laws/Cases

 

Supreme Court Shoots Down Emissions Lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a lawsuit filed by six states against utility companies over greenhouse emissions. The states had demanded that utilities cut their greenhouse emissions under federal law, claiming that pollution was a "public nuisance." The court, however, ruled that the "Environmental Protection Agency was better suited than federal judges to assess the costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions."  Greg Stohr, Bloomberg  06/20/2011

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Supreme Court Nixes Wal-Mart Class-Action Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Wal-Mart Inc. in the largest class-action sexual discrimination lawsuit in history. The court ruled that the suit, which comprised of more than 1 million female employees at 3,400 different stores, could not proceed as a single suit. The justices, however, made no ruling regarding the claims of sexual discrimination, which included less pay and fewer promotions for female employees.  James Vicini, Chicago Tribune  06/20/2011

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Best Buy Settles Job Discrimination Lawsuit

Best Buy Co. has agreed to a $10 million settlement in a class-action job discrimination lawsuit. The suit claimed the company denied desirable "job assignments and promotions and transfers to African-American, Latino and female employees." Only $200,000 will go to the nine named plaintiffs in the suit, with the rest of the settlement money used for legal fees.  Martinne Geller and Dhanya Skariachan, Reuters  06/17/2011

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Suit Settled Over Fatal Fire Near Penn State

A landlord in State College, Penn., has agreed to a settlement in a suit filed over the death of a Penn State University student in an apartment fire in 2005. The student died in the apartment fire after a night of "partying with friends," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. About 50 other students escaped the fire. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed.  Tom Infield, Philadelphia Inquirer  06/15/2011

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Exxon Mobil Accused of 'Fraud' in Jacksonville Gas Spill Trial

Lawyers for dozens of Baltimore County families suing Exxon Mobil Corp. closed a six-month trial Friday by arguing for punitive damages in a 2006 underground gasoline leak in Jacksonville, accusing the corporation of playing down the potential harm of the contamination and of committing "fraud." Closing arguments this week came after six months of testimony in the complicated case, which involves about 150 plaintiffs seeking payment for medical monitoring of potential health effects, as well as damages for claimed loss of property value, for emotional disstress and an array of physical problems witnesses said arose from their anxiety about the spill.  Arthur Hirsch, Baltimore Sun  06/20/2011

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Workers Stand Up for Right to Sit Down

Nearly every national chain is under legal attack in California for failing to provide “suitable seating” for cashiers and other employees who are expected to spend most of their work day on their feet. Armed with two recent appellate decisions that allow workers and their lawyers to use California’s novel “private attorney general” provision, the retailers are facing millions of dollars in damages. A first violation calls for as much as $100 per employee per pay period and double that for subsequent violations.  Associated Press, The Washington Post  06/20/2011

Read Article: The Washington Post    

 

Issues

 

State Mulls Amends for Sterilizations

A consensus is emerging on how to compensate thousands of men and women sterilized in one of the largest state eugenics programs in the U.S. But North Carolina's budget troubles make it unlikely that the aging victims will get cash payments anytime soon. North Carolina is among more than 30 states that once sanctioned eugenics; the vast majority of the victims were sterilized either forcibly or with inadequate consent. The eugenics movement, which gained popularity in the early part of the 20th century, called for sterilizing some Americans who were deemed socially or intellectually unfit. But North Carolina was the rare state that accelerated its program after World War II, amid a backlash against the eugenics practices of Nazi Germany.  VALERIE BAUERLEIN, Wall Street Journal - $$ Subscription Required  06/20/2011

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Healthcare

 

Many Hospitals Overuse Double CT Scans

Hundreds of hospitals are routinely performing a type of chest scan that experts say should be used rarely, subjecting patients to double doses of radiation and driving up health-care costs. The government is taking a closer look at scans because imaging tests are among the fastest growing procedures in health care. Medicare’s Hospital Compare Web site publishes individual hospital rates of double chest scans, along with rates for several other kinds of imaging. Medicare doesn’t restrict the use of double scans or penalize those who perform lots of them.  Julie Appleby & Jordan Rau, The Washington Post  06/20/2011

Read Article: The Washington Post    


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