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Public Health

Mistrial Declared in High-Stakes Johnson & Johnson Talc-Cancer Case

A mistrial was declared today after a California state court jury deadlocked on whether Johnson & Johnson was responsible for the asbestos-related cancer of a woman who blamed her illness on longtime use of contaminated baby powder.

Consumer Protection

Safety Would Take a Back Seat if Senate Passes Bill on Driverless Cars, Critics Say

Consumer advocates are attacking a bill heading for a vote soon in the U.S. Senate that would clear legal obstacles for the deployment of driverless cars.

Environment

Critics Say ‘Whoa’ to Federal Moves to Rein in Wild Horses

Horse roundup with the help of a helicopter. (Photo by Carol J. Walker) Wild horses have long been an evocative symbol of the American West. When wild horses and burros were threatened with extinction nearly 50 years ago, Congress rode to the rescue with a law providing broad [...]

Labor

Nebraska Firm and Its Owners Hit With Criminal Charges in Blast That Killed 2 Workers

The Justice Department announced a 22-count criminal indictment against a Nebraska railroad services company and its owners related to an April 2015 explosion that killed two workers.

Labor

Feds Extract Penalties in Crashes That Killed Five Migrant Farm Workers

For the second time in recent months, the U.S. Department of Labor has extracted penalties from a California farm business blamed for the deadly crash of a vehicle transporting migrant field workers to their jobs.

Labor

With Death of Port Worker, Checkered Safety Record of Cargo Handler Comes into Focus

For the third time in six years, a branch of one of the world’s largest cargo-handling companies has been accused by workplace safety authorities of a willful violation linked to a worker’s death.

Consumer Protection

Johnson & Johnson Hit With $4.69 Billion Loss in Baby Powder-Ovarian Cancer Case

The legal assault on Johnson & Johnson and its signature baby powder reached new heights today, when a state court jury in Missouri found the company responsible for the ovarian cancers of 22 women, and ordered the drug and consumer products giant to pay $4.69 billion in compensatory and punitive [...]

Consumer Protection

Wireless Industry Using First Amendment as a Cudgel in Its Battle Against Safety Warnings

Few people know that there are federal safety limits for exposure to the weak radiation emitted by cellphones and other wireless devices. There often is language about this embedded right in our phones, but finding it requires knowing where to look, wading through sometimes five or more steps and then [...]

Labor

Study Links Declining Union Strength to More Workplace Deaths

(Photo by Charles Evans Jr.) It’s no secret that the waning power of American unions has contributed to stagnant wages. But a new study suggests that this trend hasn’t affected just worker income. It also may have cost thousands of lives. The portion of the U.S. work force [...]

Transportation Safety

Study Finds Apple’s CarPlay, Google’s Android Less Distracting, But Still Not Safe

Automakers have packed many of their new models with distracting infotainment features that allow drivers not only to play music and get directions, but to talk, text and use social media while tooling down the road. Now new research has found that two popular smartphone-based systems --Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android [...]