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February 2011 Archives

Trucking Industry Objects to Proposed Cell Phone Restrictions on Truck Drivers

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 60,000 people were injured and 3,380 people were killed in truck crashes in 2009. Many of these deaths and injuries were caused by distracted truck drivers using cell phones.

NTSB investigating fatal plane crash

The Chicago Tribune reports that the National Transportation Safety Board is leading an investigation into a fatal plane crash that occurred Wednesday night in Indiana. The crash of the twin engine Cessna occurred at approximately 8:15 according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory.

Engine failure forces Delta flight to make emergency landing

The Chicago Tribune reports that a flight originating from Fort Lauderdale airport was forced to make an emergency landing after the aircraft suffered a mid-air mechanical failure. The airplane had left the Florida airport at approximately 7:45 on Sunday morning. The engine failed shortly into the flight and the plane was forced to return to Fort Lauderdale airport to make an emergency landing.

Patients Fight Back Against Banning Cameras From The Delivery Room

For years, expecting parents have been celebrating one of the most joyous occasions in life, the birth of a child, by taking pictures and video before, after, and often during the delivery. But recently many patients and their families have been surprised to learn that the hospital where the delivery is taking place has denied them the ability to preserve these moments by banning the use of still cameras, video cameras or both in the delivery room. This trend is the subject of a recent New York Times article, which also describes efforts by patients to fight back, including at least one instance of a community organizing a petition to have the local hospital reverse its new rule banning pictures and videos until after the baby is born.

Airplane collisions with wildlife an issue at Wisconsin airports

In January of 2009, a US Airways flight taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York struck a flock of Canadian Geese and was disabled. You likely remember the amazing water landing and rescue in the Hudson River. This dramatic event brought to light the dangers posed by wildlife collisions to aircraft during take-off and landing. Different parts of the country have unique wildlife hazards. Pilots in Texas worry about bats, while airports in Florida report aircraft striking dozens of turtles and alligators. In Wisconsin the biggest problem is deer.

Worker killed in Chicago area construction accident

A 43 year-old construction worker was killed in the Chicago suburb of Glenview last week when he was struck by a metal beam. The man was working on part of a new $100 million dollar expansion of the Glenbrook Hospital. After being struck by the steel beam the worker was taken to the emergency room onsite. It was there that the worker was pronounced dead.

AAJ DISPELS TORT REFORM MYTHS

The American Association for Justice has released a new primer separating the myths about the need for tort reform from the facts. Among the myths dispelled are "the number of lawsuits filed is skyrocketing." In reality, AAJ cites statistics from the United States Department of Justice revealing a massive decrease in tort lawsuits. The statistics show that while 3,600 tort trials were decided in U.S. District Courts in 1985, there were less than 800 in 2003, a drop of 79 percent. AAJ also cites statistics showing the same trend of decreasing lawsuits in state courts.

Pilot rescued from frozen Wisconsin lake after plane crash

The pilot of a small airplane was rescued by snowmobilers after crash-landing on a frozen lake in southern Wisconsin. Rescue and dive teams from the Rock County sheriff's department also responded at the scene after the crash was reported last evening. Fortunately the plane did not break through the ice of Lake Koshkonong during the landing and the pilot was safely transported to the shore.

Rockford area father and son injured in semi-truck accident

Last week a father and son travelling in Toyota minivan sustained serious injuries in an accident on Illinois highway 75 when their vehicle collided head-on with a semi tractor trailer. According to an article from the Rockford Register Star, the accident occurred early Tuesday morning when the semi truck driver lost control of his rig which then jackknifed and crossed the center line. After crossing the center line it struck the minivan head-on. The article indicates that the highway was covered in snow at the time of the accident.

NHTSA Announces Recall of Ford Windstar Vans Over Safety Concerns

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has announced a recall of Ford Windstar vans due to concerns over a potential equipment defect posing an increased risk of crashing. The recall is intended to fix brackets and mounts in the front subframe that may separate and cause reduced steering control. More than 400,000 vehicles are potentially affected, including vehicles sold in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

CTA Bus passengers, motorists stuck on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive

This week's blizzard that swept across the nation hit Chicago especially hard. Heavy snow and icy conditions on Lake Shore Drive had initially rendered it very slow although passable. But bus riders and motorists found themselves stranded after a series of crashes, including a bus accident, stopped traffic.

Report finds dangerous chemicals in home improvement products

A recent study found that the same chemicals and heavy metals that have been banned in children's toys are still appearing in home improvement products such as floorings and wall coverings. The researchers focused on heavy metals such as lead and cadium as well as phthalates. These compounds can have negative medical consequences including learning disabilities, early onset of puberty, and birth defects.

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