January 2010 News: Injured
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January 2010 Archives

Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks To Pay Abuse Victims

The Anchorage Daily News reports that as part of a bankruptcy plan, the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks will pay abuse victims nearly $10 million dollars. The plan includes sending a bishop to travel to parishes where sexual abuse occurred and putting the names of suspected abusers on the diocese website.

Approximately $9.8 million dollars will go into a fund for about 300 victims of sexual abuse. There will be another $2.5 million dollars that will be set aside for attorneys, accountants, and other professionals involved in the case. The amount given to each victim will be decided by mediator. Some of the factors that the mediator will most likely consider will be: the nature and severity of abuse, the age of the victim at the time it started, and whether the perpetrator was in a position of trust. A variety of priests, nuns, deacons, brothers and even church volunteers are suspected of abuse.

Allergan Corporation Sued Over Alleged Botox Death

Ms. Dee Spears of Texas has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Allergan corporation, the maker of the cosmetic drug Botox, over her seven year old daughter's death.

ABC News reports that the girl was using Botox in order to treat muscle spasms that she suffered from because of cerebral palsy. Ms Spears claims that her daughter's death was a Botox death. She claims that the use of the drug led to her daughter Kristen's increased severity of seizures, difficulty swallowing and ultimately led to the pneumonia that she died from. The Los Angeles Times reports that the off label use of Botox for other conditions contributes to $47 million dollars of its sales.

Dental Company Settles Over Fraud In Medicaid

This is definitely not news to smile about.

A dental company has recently settled claims over fraud in Medicaid billing with the United States Department of Justice. The press release by the DOJ has announced that FORBA Holdings LLC (which operates 69 clinics nationwide known as "Small Smiles Centers") will pay $24 million dollars, plus interest in order to settle claims of fraud in Medicaid billing for dental services allegedly provided to "low-income children that were either medically unnecessary or performed in a manner that failed to meet professionally-recognized standards of care."

According to ABC News, some of the unnecessary dental procedures were removing teeth, x-rays, and pulpotomies -- also known as baby root canals. I don't know about you, but root canals are painful enough when you need them. Imagine forcing poor kids to go through one they did not need?

The DOJ press release quotes Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, as saying, "We have zero tolerance for those who break the law to exploit needy children. Illegal conduct like this endangers a child's well-being, distorts the judgments of health care professionals, and puts corporate profits ahead of patient safety."

Did a Toxic Waste Dump Cause Facial Birth Defects?

The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that they will visit the site of a toxic waste dump in Kettleman, California and address concerns over a rash of facial birth defects.

According to UPI.com, Kettleman City in the Central Valley about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on Interstate 5 is home to about 1,500 people. Most of the residents in this city are poor migrant farm workers. The residents of this city fear that the local toxic waste dump may be the cause of a cluster of facial birth defects. As a result, the residents have banded together and filed a lawsuit against the Kings County Board of Supervisors challenging its approval for the expansion of the toxic waste dump.

BART System to Pay Daughter of Oscar Grant $1.5 Million

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system officials have agreed to pay a $1.5 million settlement to the 5-year-old daughter of Oscar Grant, an unarmed man fatally shot by a transit police officer on Jan. 1, 2009.

Bystanders captured the video on cell phone, which depicted then-Officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, pulling his gun and shooting Grant in the back as another officer kneeled on Grant.

The settlement ends part of a federal civil rights $50 million lawsuit, brought by Grant's family, as previously discussed.

Halliburton Appeals Allowance of KBR Rape Trial

The Los Angeles Times reports that Halliburton is asking the Supreme Court to reverse a ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed Ms. Jamie Leigh Jones' Halliburton KBR rape case to go to trial. Ms. Jones claims that she was raped while she was working for the company in Baghdad. KBR was Halliburton's subsidiary until 2007. They are now two separate corporate entities that are currently involved in this case.

Halliburton claims that the contract signed by Ms. Jones and other workers hired by the company indicated that claims must be resolved through arbitration, not trials. However, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled in Ms. Jones' favor in September. They ruled that she can proceed with a court trial of her case. 

Distracted Driving Should Not Take A Backseat

While there have been a bevy of posts that discuss the dangers of distracted driving, we have all (us drivers at least) been guilty of it at some point in our lives. We all know that we should never drink and drive, but when it comes to distracted driving, we all seem to be more forgiving about it.

The problem is that distracted driving can be just as dangerous, especially driving and texting. In 2008, 5,870 people lost their lives and an estimated 515,000 people were injured in police-reported crashes in which at least one form of driver distraction was reported on the police crash report. Here is a primer about what distracted driving is and just how dangerous it can be.

Military Must Review Benefits for Vets with PTSD

The military is about to begin reviewing the status of thousands of veterans thanks to a court order regarding benefits granted to those veterans discharged with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A class action lawsuit filed by combat veterans led to the order to review the records of recent vets discharged with PTSD to decide whether they were improperly denied benefits.  A change in status could result in significant increases in those benefits received by the veterans and their families.

Company Spikes Dietary Health Supplements With Steroids

The New York Times reports that VMG Global has pleaded guilty to selling dietary health supplements that were laced with steroids. VMG Global, a sports nutrition company based in California, also does business as American Cellular Labs. The dietary health supplements in question are called Tren Xtreme and Mass Xtreme. Each product actually contained an anabolic steroid.

According to the FDA, a "dietary supplement" is a product taken by mouth that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to supplement the diet. The "dietary ingredients" in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders. The ingredients are categorized as "food", not as a "drug".

NTSB Investigation into Deadly Train Crash in LA Ends

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wrapped up its investigation into a deadly train crash in LA this week. The NTSB investigation delved into the causes of a deadly train crash in a Los Angeles suburb back on Sept. 12, 2008. The Washington Times reports that NTSB officials were sorry to say that it took a deadly train crash in order to ensure that the country adopted technology that would prevent passenger trains from collisions or derailment. The train crash in LA killed 25 people and injured more than 100.

NTSB's chairman, Deborah Hersman, is quoted as saying, "Sadly, it took this accident and 25 more lives and an act of Congress to move this technology from testing to reality on passenger rail lines." The NTSB has concluded that the cause of the deadly commuter train crash was because of an engineer who had passed a stop signal because he was too busy sending a text message. Phone records show that Mr. Robert Sanchez received and sent 43 text messages the day of the crash. He also made four phone calls while he was on duty that day. He is one of the 25 people who died in the crash. 

NYC Tackles Possible PCB Contamination in Schools

New York City and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced a pilot program that would look into the possible PCB contamination in building materials in public schools citywide. The New York Times reports that there might be PCB contamination in the caulking around doors and windows of some city schools. Caulk is a flexible material used to seal gaps to make windows, door frames, masonry and joints in buildings and other structures watertight or airtight. At one time caulk was manufactured to contain PCBs because PCBs imparted flexibility.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) are known to cause cancer in animals and are most likely carcinogenic in humans. Recent studies suggest that it may also have adverse effects on the reproductive and endocrine systems. It can also hinder child development. However, the presence of PCB in caulk and its effects are not yet known.

Missouri Supreme Court to Decide on Malpractice Cap Law

The Missouri Supreme Court is set to rule on whether a 2005 law which set a medical malpractice cap violates the state constitution. According to the Insurance Journal, attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that the malpractice cap law should not be applied retroactively and cannot be used to discriminate against spouses of those who are injured. The law was passed because legislators claimed that it would limit the rise in costs of insurance premiums. The rationale was that if there was tort reform, then healthcare would become more affordable for Missouri residents.

However, this has not been the case. According to Findlaw, the medical malpractice cap in Missouri of $350,000 dollars has led to a drop in medical malpractice insurance, but not health care costs for patients in Missouri. Why is that? That is because based on what the Missouri's Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration reports, claim payments are less than 20 percent of overall health insurance premiums. This case seeks to question if this malpractice cap law is effective.

Parents Sue Over Loss of Therapy for Autistic Children

Parents of more than 100 autistic children in eastern Los Angeles have filed a class action against the nonprofit agency Eastern Los Angeles County Regional Center for what they claim is an illegal suspension of therapy for autistic children. The Los Angeles Times reports that the agency claims that it cut the therapy for autistic children because of state budget cuts.

The parents claim that if their children are treated now, then they will be less likely to need state help in the future. The lawyer for the families, Laura Faer, told Fox News: "These kids, if they get this treatment now, are far less likely to be dependent in the future. They'll be able to achieve dreams and lead independent lives."

University Kindle Program Settlements under ADA

The Department of Justice released a press release that announced three university Kindle programs settlements under the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). The three universities that reached the settlements are: Case Western Reserve University, Pace University, and Reed College. The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon had worked out a deal with several textbook publishers to make their reading materials available through Kindle; which is an electronic book reader. Amazon worked out an experimental program with universities to introduce the Kindle to students instead of traditional textbooks. The schools included are Pace, Princeton, Reed, the Darden School at the University of Virginia, Case Western Reserve University and ASU.

Recently, a lawsuit brought forth by two groups representing the blind -- the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind -- on behalf of a blind student at Arizona State University was settled. In the lawsuit, concerns were raised over accessibility under the ADA was raised. We wrote about that settlement in the Injured Blog here.

The Soda Fountain: Breeding Ground for Fecal Bacteria?

A recent study shows that the soda fountain may harbor some unwelcome additions in the form of fecal bacteria. CNN reports that almost half of the 90 drinks analyzed in the study tested positive for coliform bacteria, which means that there is a possible fecal contamination. The study was published in this month's issue of International Journal of Food Microbiology. Some other bacteria that were found in the samples? E. coli and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

While researchers expected to find some bacteria in their samples, they were surprised at the presence of fecal bateria in the drinks. Renee Godard, lead author of the study and professor of biology and environmental studies at Hollins University told CNN that the presence of these bacteria could cause health problems: "It's simply that some bacteria may potentially cause some disease or gastrointestinal distress. One thing we hesitate with is that people get afraid of bacteria. Many of them are benign or helpful, but certainly, I don't want E.coli in my beverage."

The In-Car Infotainment System: What Risks are Posed?

The introduction of the dashboard computer in cars has safety experts worried about distracted driving. The New York Times reports that companies such as Google and Intel plan on introducing dashboard computer technology for something called the infotainment system. The infotainment system allows drivers to use GPS systems, pull up restaurant reviews, and music.

Safety experts think that the introduction of the infotainment system is a bad idea. Nicholas A. Ashford, a professor of technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told the New York Times: "This is irresponsible at best and pernicious at worst. Unfortunately and sadly, it is a continuation of the pursuit of profit over safety -- for both drivers and pedestrians."

Maine Considers Cell Phone Warning Legislation

Maine is considering passing legislation that would require a cell phone warning that cell phones cause brain cancer. The New York Times recently reported that this will be the first state to consider this topic. There is currently a lack of scientific consensus that cell phones cause brain cancer.

State Representative Andrea M. Boland introduced the legislation because she was convinced by a study done by the Swedish National Institute for Working Life that indicated that there may be a link between heavy cell phone use and brain tumors in 2006. The bill was rushed to be considered for legislation because it was considered to be emergency legislation. David Loughran, a spokesman for the State Senate president, Elizabeth H. Mitchell told the New York Times that since there are 900,000 cell phones in the state of Maine, "[I]f there's a need to put these warning labels on them, doing it sooner rather than later is probably better."

While this seems like a rather premature measure, it will not be the first jurisdiction to consider the danger of cell phones. Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco wants to introduce a law that would require cell phones sold in the city to disclose the amount of radiation the phones emit.

Virginia Tech Lawsuit Proceeds with Gross Negligence Claims

The Virginia Tech lawsuit filed by the families of two of the students killed in the Virginia Tech shootings can partially proceed with gross negligence claims. The Richmond-Times Dispatch reports that Visiting Circuit Court Judge William Alexander made the decision to let the $10 million dollar Virginia Tech lawsuit proceed because the families presented enough facts that the university may have acted with gross negligence.

He ruled that the families can proceed with claims against the university, president Charles Steger, former executive vice president James Hyatt, and three employees of the university's counseling center. The judge dropped the claims against others named in the lawsuit. This ruling is crucial because according to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, under Virginia law, government entities and officials are protected by "sovereign immunity". This means that they are immune from being sued for simple mistakes. The only way you can sue them is if they are grossly negligent.

"Kids for Cash" Judges Get Judicial Immunity

Ex-Pennsylvania state court judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan who were part of the "Kids for Cash" scandal were granted partial judicial immunity in some of the charges against them in civil lawsuits.

We wrote about the "Kids for Cash" scandal in our Common Law Blog here. The judges both resigned after accusations that they accepted over $2.6 million dollars in bribes from private detention centers to send juvenile delinquents to their centers. Marsha Levick, an attorney with the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center was quoted by Common Law as saying, "I've never encountered, and I don't think that we will in our lifetimes, a case where literally thousands of kids' lives were just tossed aside in order for a couple of judges to make some money."

Sen. Charles E. Schumer Wants Cadmium Ban

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (Dem-NY) is seeking to pass a cadmium ban in Congress after reports that there are large amounts of cadmium in children's jewelry sold in retailers such as Walmart and Claire's. We wrote about how Walmart responded to the investigative report done by the Associated Press by pulling its cadmium jewelry from its shelves in our Injured Blog post here.   

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Schumer announced this past Wednesday that he plans on putting legislation before Congress next week that would ban cadmium in children's products. He was quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying that he wanted to "put an end to the use of cadmium in our children's jewelry and toys once and for all ... whether it's made here or China or anywhere else. It will just stop it cold."

Katrina Lawsuit: Pandora's Box of Hospital Liability

The State Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled back in 2007 that a Hurricane Katrina lawsuit involving hospital liability and the care of Ms. Althea LaCoste was not a typical suit against a hospital -- it was not about medical malpractice. Instead, it's about whether or not the hospital's emergency preparedness (or lack thereof) constituted negligence causing Ms. LaCoste's death.

The trial over Ms. LaCoste's death opened this week, and with it, the possibility that hospital liability could be much larger than the caps that are placed on medical malpractice claims. The New York Times reports that the medical malpractice cap in Louisiana is currently $500,000. Without a claim of malpractice, there is no cap on possible damages.

According to USA Today, Ms. Althea LaCoste was on a ventilator in Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital when the hurricane hit. CBS News reports that Ms. LaCoste arrived at the hospital the day before Hurricane Katrina hit trying to recover from pneumonia. She was put on a ventilator. As a result of a power outage from the hurricane, Ms. LaCoste's ventilator stopped working and she passed away. Nurses reportedly tried to save her by handbagging air to her lungs for 15 hours. Her family contends that she should have been evacuated from the hospital.

Walmart Jewelry Is Pulled over Cadmium Toxicity Fears

Walmart jewelry for children made in China have been pulled from Walmart stores amid concerns of cadmium toxicity that were raised by an investigative Associated Press report that you can read here. According to the AP report, Chinese manufacturers have been using the toxic metal because they have been barred from using lead in children's jewelry. The AP report said that the most startling findings were found in Walmart jewelry for children, the tween chain Claire's and a dollar store.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reacted swiftly to the AP report by taping a keynote speech by CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum which will be given to the APEC Toy Safety Initiative/Dialogue in Hong Kong. In the speech, Ms. Tenenbaum gives manufacturers a warning to abstain from using heavy metals, "especially cadmium," in children's products. She urged Chinese manufacturers to be vigilant and to enact good manufacturing practices. She said: "All of us should be committed to keeping hazardous or toxic levels of heavy metals out of surface coatings and substrates of toys and children's products." The CPSC has started a formal investigation into children's jewelry and the presence of cadmium.  

Kindle Lawsuit Settled By ASU and Blind Groups

The Kindle lawsuit that was filed by two groups representing the blind -- the National Federation of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind -- has been settled by Arizona State University (ASU). ABC News reports that the university settled the lawsuit with the two groups who had filed the suit on behalf of a student who claimed that the university's Kindle program was not accessible for the blind last year. The lawsuit alleged that the program was violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Kindle is an e-reader device that was introduced by Amazon as a way to access multiple books without all of the clutter. Amazon announced its expansion of its Kindle reader to include textbooks back in May of 2009. The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon had worked out a deal with several textbook publishers to make their reading materials available through Kindle. Amazon worked out an experimental program with universities to introduce the Kindle to students instead of traditional textbooks. These schools included Pace, Princeton, Reed, the Darden School at the University of Virginia, Case Western Reserve University and ASU.

BART Sued by Companion of Oscar Grant

The man who was with Oscar Grant the night he was shot to death by a BART transit police officer has filed a lawsuit against Bay Area Rapid Transis (BART). BART is already facing a host of civil rights lawsuits by the family of Oscar Grant as well as the other men who were detained with him.

As discussed in our previous posts about Oscar Grant, Mr. Grant was fatally shot by a BART transit officer on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, CA just over a year ago. Mr. Grant was unarmed. BART claimed that the officer mistook his firearm for a taser gun. The whole incident was captured on video by a passenger and uploaded on to Youtube.

Woman Sues Crunch Fitness For Pole Dancing Injuries

A dermatologist is suing Crunch Fitness over pole dancing injuries she sustained during one of their fitness pole dancing classes. According to the Gothamist, Sue Ann Wee has filed a lawsuit last week against the East Side Manhattan Crunch Fitness gym because she hurt her shoulders when she fell off the pole and hit the floor. The New York Daily News reports that the lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Ms. Wee claims that she suffered from "serious injuries" when she fell off the pole during a June 2009 class. Her lawyer Nicholas Warywoda said that the issue is not with the actual class, but with improper supervision during the class. He is quoted by the New York Daily News as saying, "The problem is not with these types of classes. The problem comes when you don't properly supervise the people in those classes."

FDA Reviews Anemia Drugs And Risk For Stroke

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will review whether or not anemia drugs increases a risk for stroke. This will not be the first time that the FDA reviews the risks of anemia drugs. The New York Times reports that an online commentary by the New England Journal of Medicine wrote that clinical trials suggest that high doses of anemia drugs may increase the risk for stroke related injury if the patients taking the drugs had diabetes or chronic kidney problems. It can also lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

ABC News reports that the FDA plans to use a panel of outside experts in order to investigate the safety of anemia drugs such as Aranesp, Epogen and Johnson & Johnson's Procrit. The drugs are often prescribed for anemic patients with chronic kidney disease and cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. The drugs have been very profitable in the past, but this recent turn of events have hit the drug companies hard. Aranesp sales fell from $4.1 billion to just below $3 billion in the past three years. The New York Times said that Amgen, the maker of Aranesp, released a statement that said the medical journal "highlighted areas of incomplete understanding."

Taser Lawsuit Highlights Risks of Taser Deaths

Taser International Inc. is no stranger to lawsuits, but it got zapped with a zinger this time. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the Scottsdale, Arizona manufacturer is getting sued in a taser lawsuit by the family of a Las Vegas doctor who died in 2008. A Nevada Highway Patrol officer allegedly tasered him when he got pulled over on his way to work in Interstate 15 which allegedly caused him to turn blue at the scene and die. He was only 33 years old. The lawsuit serves as another example of what some see as a risk of death posed by taser use in certain situations.

The lawsuit said that Mr. Ryan Rich suffered a seizure while driving to work that day when he got pulled over for driving erratically and getting involved in a few minor traffic accidents. The highway patrol officer allegedly tasered Mr. Rich five times (twice in stun gun mode). When he was taken to a hospital, he was pronounced dead.

Medical Health Records Leak in Court Bankruptcy Records?

What would you do if your medical health records became part of records that were accessible to the public? Well it turns out some people had that happen to them when they filed for bankruptcy. The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that Aurora Health Care Inc. allegedly included specific details of medical treatments in their bills which were included in court bankruptcy records. This caused two class action lawsuits to be filed against Aurora. The lawsuits claim that disclosure of their patients' medical records in court bankruptcy records violates Wisconsin privacy law. The lawsuits are seeking $25,000 in damages.

Aurora Medical Inc. claims that its disclosure was part of the bankruptcy process. Its spokesperson told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel that it was protecting its rights: "Aurora is protecting its rights in bankruptcy as a creditor has the right to do. The information disclosed as part of our filings in this case are legal and proper."

Medical Board of CA Condemns Octomom Doctor

The Medical Board of California claims that the doctor of Nadya Suleman (who is referred to as Octomom), was grossly negligent by allowing Ms. Suleman to continue fertility treatments over the span of 11 years which resulted in the birth of her 14 children. According to the LA Times, Dr. Michael Kamrava is accused by the state medical board of creating a "stockpile" of unused frozen embryos and failing to assess the mental health of Ms. Suleman.

The complaint by the state medical board was filed before the Medical Board of California's Department of Consumer Affairs. The complaint details counts of gross negligence for the number of embryos transferred into Ms. Suleman. According to the complaint, the standard number of embryos that are typically transferred is two. Mr. Kamrava allegedly exceeded that limit on seven different dates. The complaint's second cause for discipline centers around his alleged "stockpile" of frozen embryos that had "no clinical purpose". The third cause of discipline is for allegedly failing to refer Ms. Suleman for a mental health evaluation. The board accuses Dr. Kamrava of failing to exercise "appropriate judgment" and failing to question Ms. Suleman's actions, which the board claims went beyond social norms.

Baby Hammock Bed Maker Sued Over Infant Death

A lawsuit was filed against Amby Baby USA overthe death of a 5 month old baby. The suit seeks $5 million. ABC News reports that Mr. Jonathan Kuzma of Oregon filed the lawsuit against the baby hammock bed maker in Multnomah County Circuit Court last Tuesday. He claims that the baby hammock bed he used was defective and dangerous and led to his son's death by suffocation. His son's death along with the death of another 4 month old infant in Georgia led Amby Baby USA to recall around 24,000 of the baby hammock beds on December 8. The baby hammock recall highlights the dangers of infant suffocation risks in baby hammock beds.

According to a press release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the side-to-side shifting or tilting of the hammock can cause the infant to roll and become entrapped or wedged against the hammock's fabric and/or mattress pad, resulting in a suffocation hazard. The remedy given for individuals who have the defective product is to stop using it and to contact Amby Baby USA for a free repair kit at 866-544-9721. The hammocks were sold online at Ambybaby.com and other Internet retailers from January 2003 through October 2009 for about $250.

Mother of 9 Sues Over Unwanted Permanent Sterilization

A mother of nine children is suing Baystate Medical Center after undergoing a tubal ligation that she claims she never gave permission for. According to ABC News, Ms. Tessa Savicki is claiming that she underwent a permanent sterilization she never consented to. She claims that she wanted the hospital to insert an intrauterine device (IUD) which is method of birth control that is reversible, but that they performed a tubal ligation instead.

The Boston Herald reports that the mother claims that the unwanted permanent sterilization is a violation of reproductive rights. She has filed a lawsuit with the Hampden Superior Court. After tubal ligation, Ms. Savicki will no longer be able to have children. Ms. Savicki says that the hospital robbed her of reproductive rights. She told the Boston Herald: "There was no medical reason for them to do this. That's my choice. This is my body. I wanted the IUD so later if I felt I wanted more children, I could have more."

Italian Google Lawsuit About Cyberbullies To Be Decided

How responsible is an online service provider supposed to be about offensive videos that are posted by third parties? A Google lawsuit in Italy regarding video of an autistic teen getting beaten up has gotten a lot of attention because of cyberbullies. As a result, the New York Times recently reported that Google has had to defend the actions of four of its executives for failing to comply with privacy laws.  

The Google lawsuit centers around an allegation that Google was negligent because a video posted by cyberbullies remained in Google's Italian language video service for two months back in 2006. The video featured students bullying an autistic classmate. Google defense attorneys defend Google's executives by stating when the video was brought to its attention, it was removed from its website. The charges against the executives are criminal charges.

This Google lawsuit highlights an important question:

What is the legal responsibility of an online service provider?

Airplane Crash Landing in Jamaica Causes Injuries

A recent airplane crash landing of American Airlines Flight 331 in Jamaica scared passengers, but did not cause any deaths. According to the AP, the airplane crash landing occurred on the runway of Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport amid pounding rain on Tuesday December 22. The reasons for the crash landing are not yet known. What is known is the landing overshot the runway and could have caused the airplane to fall into the ocean.

After the crash landing, passengers said that the airplane damage was evident. The AP quotes passenger Gary Wehrwein as saying, "I just wanted to get the hell out of there, as far as I could, because I could smell the fumes, and I knew that if it blew, it could be a pretty big fireball." The injuries sustained by the passengers were not life threatening, but they included a broken nose and cuts to the face. 13 passengers were admitted to local hospitals after the airplane crash landing.

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith told the AP that investigations about the airplane crash landing will be handled by NTBS and the FAA: "At this point, it's now going to be in the hands of the NTSB and the FAA, plus any Jamaican government authorities that may be involved, and to start and sort of backtrack and see what happened and how it can be prevented from happening again."