Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

January 2006 Archives

Alito Sworn in as U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Samuel A. Alito, Jr. was sworn in today as the 110th U.S. Supreme Court Justice, after the Senate voted to confirm his nomination in a 58-42 vote. Justice Alito will replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who announced her retirement from the Court last July.

Coretta Scott King Dies at 78

Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a noted civil rights activist in her own right, died today at the age of 78. Before and after her husband's assassination in 1968, Mrs. King worked to spread a message thet stressed non-violence and global activism in the struggle for equality. Coretta Scott King's contributions to the civil rights movement include the founding of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

The world's fifth largest manufacturer of wallboard agreed to set aside some $3.9 billion in personal injury claims over asbestos litigation.

The company, USG, will create and fund a trust for personal injury claims with $900 million in cash and a contingent note for another $3.05 billion.

FDA: Dog Deaths Related To Improperly Tested Pet Food

 The Food and Drug Administration ('FDA') is expected to release a critical report this week concerning Diamond Pet Food dog food that has reportedly been linked to many deaths and illnesses of dogs.

According to The State, a South Carolina newspaper, the FDA investigation found that Diamond "improperly tested, or failed to test, corn shipments for a deadly fungus during the weeks before it shipped food that killed dozens of dogs last month."

A husband and wife were sentenced to 12 and 9 years in prison, repectively, today.  Anna Ayala and Jaime Plascencia had originally been charged with trying to scheme millions of dollars from the Ohio-based Wendy's fast food chain with the 'finger-in-chili' scam to which they plead guilty last September to fabricating.

Couple Convicted of Animal Cruelty

A husband and wife were convicted on multiple criminal charges of animal cruelty in Arkansas yesterday.  The Sheriff's office in Baxter County, Arkansas seized almost 500 dogs from the couple's property, a number of whom were dead or in very poor health.  Many of the dogs found on their property were reportedly 'rescued' following Hurricane Katrina.

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Tot Dies When Neck Is Caught In Car Window

A nearly 2-year-old toddler died when he closed the power window in a car on his neck while his father was sleeping in the auto's front seat.  While the two were waiting in the car for other family members, the boy reportedly stuck his head out the window and, at the same time, tripped the power window switch that closed on his neck.

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Alito Nomination Hearings Begin

Hearings began today in the U.S. Senate Judiary Committee for Samuel A. Alito Jr. to serve as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  You can learn more about Samual Alito in this FindLaw Newsmaker Profile and watch the hearings on C-SPAN.

According to a recent FindLaw survey, 57% of Americans were unable to name a single Justice currently serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.  More results from this survey are available here.

According to a new study released by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ("CHOP") and State Farm Insurance, kids who ride in SUVs are not necessarily safer than children riding in regular passenger vehicles.  The study examined SUV car crashes involving vehilces from '98 or later, involving some 3,933 whose passengers were aged 0 to 15, and had crashes reported to State Farm,.

National Accutane Registry Begins Taking Names

A national registry of Accutane users began accepting names on December 30, 2005. The iPLEDGE program, intended to keep track of persons currently using the anti-acne drug, requires health care providers and pharmacists to identify all patients who have been prescribed and/or sold Accutane, or any generic version of the drug (isotretinoin). The goal of the registry is to reduce the incidence of pregnancy-related harm caused by the drug, including birth defects and birth injuries.