Writer: Myron Levin

Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

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.

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 [...]

Public Health

J&J Absorbs Another Big Loss in Baby Powder-Mesothelioma Case

For the second time in less than two months, Johnson & Johnson has suffered a big courtroom loss in a case that blamed a rare asbestos-related cancer on long-term use of contaminated baby powder. A state court jury in Southern California ordered the company to pay $4 million in punitive damages to mesothelioma victim Joanne Anderson and her husband, bringing the total verdict to about $25.7 million.

Labor

California Conservation Corps Failed to Heed Warning Signs Before Fatal Van Crash

Early on Feb. 2, 2016, a van carrying members of the California Conservation Corps paused at a stop sign on a country road near the Central Valley town of Reedley. Then the van rolled into the intersection, where it was broadsided by a 40-ton gravel truck and trailer, killing three corps members ...

Consumer Protection

Jury Tacks on $80 Million in Punitive Damages; Total Award $117 MM Against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys

A New Jersey jury today ordered Johnson & Johnson and its main talc supplier to pay $80 million in punitive damages to a mesothelioma victim who claimed he contracted the asbestos-related cancer from years of using Johnson's baby powder. Capping a 2½-month trial just blocks from Johnson & Johnson's world headquarters [...]

Consumer Protection

Baby Powder Battles: Johnson & Johnson Internal Documents Reveal Asbestos Worries

In the early 1970s, a Johnson & Johnson official posed a question that haunts the company today. If Johnson's Baby Powder contained asbestos at a level of, say, 1 percent, how much of the cancer-causing substance would a baby inhale when dusted with the powder? The executive’s handwritten memo reached [...]

Consumer Protection

A Win for Johnson & Johnson in Baby Powder-Mesothelioma Case

(iStock) A California jury today rejected claims that Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier were responsible for the deadly cancer of a woman who blamed her illness on breathing asbestos fibers from contaminated body powders. On a 9-3 vote, the jury in Pasadena absolved J&J of negligence [...]

Consumer Protection

California Judge Tosses Out $417 Million Verdict in Talc-Ovarian Cancer Case

Eva Echeverria, who died in September after a long battle with ovarian cancer, and her grandson Caleb. She sued Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn about ovarian cancer risks from genital use of its talc powders. Overriding a huge jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson, a Los [...]

Notes

How Many Deaths?

How many people are killed or seriously injured because of drivers fiddling with their cellphones? Due to widespread underreporting, no one really knows. In 2015, according to estimates of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,477 deaths caused by distracted driving, including 476 involving the use of cellphones. Depending [...]

Consumer Protection

Don’t Drive Distracted, Wireless Industry Says, But Safety Advocates Want More Than Talk

Just after noon on March 29, a pickup truck crossed the center line of a rural road in South Texas and slammed into a church bus, killing 13 members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels. A police report said the 20-year-old pickup driver, who survived, had taken medication [...]