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Pittsburgh Legal Issues Blog

132,000 pounds of ground beef recalled after E. coli scare

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service has released information pertaining to the recall of 132,000 pounds of ground beef after an E. coli scare. According to the USDA, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled the beef after 17 people contracted E. coli bacterial infections.

The E. coli illness cases began surfacing on Aug. 16, and investigators eventually traced the contamination to ground chuck beef produced by Cargill. The contaminated beef was produced and packaged on June 21 and sent to merchants throughout the United States to be included in 12 different meat products.

Asbestos: Always dangerous, but sometimes the risk increases

Nowadays, more and more people are coming forward to talk about asbestos-related injuries they suffered while working Pennsylvania coal mines, steel mills or other factories. If you work in an old school building or lived near one of these businesses when they were in their prime, you and your family may be at risk for asbestos-caused illnesses as well.  

Asbestos is difficult to detect because it is microscopic. You must do special tests to determine if it is present. If you are exposed to asbestos even a single time, you are at risk. Although, studies show that certain situations pose more of a danger than others. If you have an incurable illness, there is nothing you can do to restore your health, but you can take steps to seek justice if someone's negligence was a causal factor in your injury.  

University of Maryland student dead in tragic Pennsylvania crash

A student from the University of Maryland died in a Pennsylvania car accident last Sunday. The 21-year-old man was riding as a passenger in an out-of-control vehicle that flipped upside down onto its roof.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, the young man died at the accident scene. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, but unfortunately, the safety restraint was not enough to save him. He was the only fatality in the collision, which resulted in the injury of several others who were also in the car.

Car accident injuries: How do doctors heal a broken femur?

A broken femur bone is rare because it's the largest and strongest bone in the body, but in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident, the crushing forces are strong enough to break any human bone – including the femur. Unfortunately, injuries like this usually require a painful, months-long road to recovery, that includes surgery, physical rehabilitation and a certain degree of suffering.

Taking as long as six months to heal, the mending of a fractured femur could be a slow, arduous – and expensive – process. Therefore, car accident victims with this kind of break need to be patient as their bodies go through the following healing steps:

  1. Inflammation: The swelling and inflammation of the broken bone area are normal and part of the healing process.
  2. Regeneration: The bone will begin to regenerate through the growth of new bone structures.
  3. Remodeling: The bone goes through a "remodeling" process as the new bone structures mature and solidify.

Salads and sandwich wraps recalled due to cyclospora parasite

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is advising consumers to avoid buying salad and sandwich wrap products sold in major grocery stores due to the risk of parasite contamination. According to the federal agency, the contamination relates to the parasite cyclospora, which can cause serious intestinal illnesses.

Potentially-contaminated salad and sandwich wraps include products that contain pork, chicken and beef. Until the recent recall, the contaminated products were being sold at Trader Joe's, Kroger and Walgreens.

Consumers should not blindly trust every pharmaceutical drug

The life-saving and pain-reducing benefits of prescribed drugs have helped millions throughout the world. However, these medicines are not always completely safe and free from risks. In each case, a doctor must evaluate a particular medication to determine if its potential benefits outweigh the risks involved with taking it.

Some drugs are poisonous to the human system and no one should ever take them. Through the efforts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as soon as these drugs are identified, they are immediately removed from the market. The Fen-Phen diet pill is just one such dangerous medication that was linked to heart problems, strokes and death in some people who took it. This was a clear case of a medicine that did not achieve a benefit that came close to the risk of death involved with taking it.

Asbestos has a counterpart that could also make you sick: Silica

Like asbestos, crystalline silica is a naturally occurring mineral contained in ores, sand, stone and soil. Numerous products such as concrete, pottery and ceramics, among other things, contain silica. It, too, can lead to serious and even fatal health consequences to those who inhale it, which happens more often than anyone would like to admit.

Like asbestos, silica becomes dangerous as a dust, and you may be surprised just how many people working in industrial settings and on construction sites suffer exposure. Metalwork, hydraulic fracking and abrasive blasting all create an environment in which respirable silica dust exists.

3 surprising benefits of driverless cars

We're decades away from seeing driverless vehicle technology become the norm on American roads, but that doesn't mean we can't dream about the benefits of a driver-free future. Provided that the technology can do what autonomous car manufacturers claim it will, these benefits will have life-saving and time-saving effects on humanity.

Here are three significant benefits of driverless cars you might not have considered:

Can Johnson & Johnson appeal $4.7 billion baby powder verdict?

Readers of this blog may remember a previous post about the massive $4.7 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson. According to the 22 female litigants at the center of the case, which was tried in Missouri, the women contracted ovarian cancer after using asbestos-laden baby powder for female hygiene purposes.

Johnson & Johnson has balked at the verdict, saying it's unfair, that the science behind the plaintiffs' lawsuit was erroneous and that the women never should have been able to pursue their claims in Missouri. Johnson & Johnson further says it will appeal the multibillion-dollar judgment, but legal experts don't believe Johnson & Johnson will succeed in its appeals.

How can I avoid a multi-car pileup?

If you're a responsible driver, one problematic habit of other drivers is probably your biggest pet peeve. This bad habit involves following other cars too closely. Whether motorists are in city traffic or speeding down the highway, many don't give each other enough room.

Even if they're not overtly tailgating one other, the average driver needs to put a lot more space between themselves and the vehicle in front.

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