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smartphone in carAdvancements in technology have made vast improvements in travel and transportation. Some of the biggest technological changes to how we get around are smartphones and other digital computer platforms. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for vehicles to be equipped with their own computer systems in the dashboard, which offer motorists a variety of assistance and luxury features. Now, developers are finding ways to put these technological advancements to use for driver safety.

A recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) has identified some important questions regarding how smartphones and vehicles could interface in the future. The report could spur some smartphone makers to include vehicle safety technologies in their infotainment system applications. This feature would then lock out or prevent the driver from accessing certain features while he or she is operating the vehicle.

The NHTSA released another study in 2016 that discussed a safety proposal for smartphone manufacturers. It suggests that the smartphone operating systems be equipped with a Driver Mode that will prevent the driver from accessing certain features on the phone while in transit. Some of the features that would be off-limits during travel would be social media, video, web surfing, and manual text entry. The proposal also considered taking Driver Mode one step further and having it automatically activate if the driver has not engaged it prior to operating the vehicle or if the driver has not paired it with his or her vehicle.

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hand holding moneyWhen it comes to medical device and pharmaceutical lawsuits, the class action lawsuit is very common. In a class action lawsuit, one plaintiff or a group of plaintiffs files a lawsuit on behalf of a class of people who have similar legal and factual allegations. In general, there are four requirements that the plaintiffs must satisfy before a court will certify the matter as a class action. First, the class must be so numerous that it is not practical to join all of the prospective plaintiffs in one lawsuit. Next, there must be common questions of fact and law among the class members. Third, the claims or defenses that the representative plaintiffs intend to assert must be typical of the class members. And finally, the representative plaintiffs must advance the class interests fairly and with adequate protection.

There have been many laws and court opinions that define the basic rules and requirements for class action lawsuits. One of them is the federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), which expanded subject matter jurisdiction for federal class action cases. A federal court may assert jurisdiction over a class action lawsuit when the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 and when the class consists of at least 100 members, among other requirements.

In 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided an important case that had broad implications for class action lawsuits. In that case, the plaintiff was an employee who brought a lawsuit in state court, asserting a number of workplace violations and wage requirement violations. Overall, the plaintiff asserted 10 causes of action, but only nine of them included class claims.

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Neti Pot WomanWhen you are suffering from a bad cold or illness, finding a cure to alleviate your symptoms becomes a priority. There are a wide variety of over-the-counter methods available, but one of the most popular products on the market today is a Neti Pot. The Neti Pot is a device that flushes out congested nasal passages and helps people breathe more easily. The device is usually filled with water and a saline solution. The end of the device with a nozzle is inserted into the nostril, and the user then applies pressure to the device to force the water into the nostril and through the nasal passage.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, Neti Pots may actually increase users’ risks of contracting an infection. In a statement warning consumers about Neti Pots, the FDA said that some tap water used in conjunction with the device can contain harmful bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas. If these bacteria are swallowed, the stomach is capable of killing them. If the organisms enter the nasal passage, however, they can survive and cause a potentially life-threatening infection. The FDA is advising consumers to use sterile or distilled water in Neti Pots in lieu of tap water. They also suggest boiling tap water and allowing it to cool before using it in the Neti Pot. Filtered water or bottled water may also be a viable option. It is also advisable to sanitize the device between uses to prevent cross-contamination or recontamination.

If you experience an infection linked to a Neti Pot, you can report the incident to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. Although Neti Pot is one of the most popular brands of nasal rinsing products, there are many similar devices sold under other brand names that pose an identical threat of nasal passage infection.

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As a personal injury law firm serving clients nationwide, Moll Law Group represents injured victims and their families. Many of these injuries were either preventable or unnecessary. Through it’s yeaScholarshiprs serving the American community, Moll Law Group has come to understand that one of the best ways to avoid serious injury is by taking preventative measures. That is why Moll Law Group offers safety information and tips through its free consumer safety network – Legal News Network. In addition to providing safety information and donating to non-profit organizations, Moll Law Group offers bi-yearly scholarships to college students who write essays on the topic of safety and injury prevention.

College students were encouraged to submit an essay that provides safety information on the topic of their choice that furthers the injury prevention goal of the firm. Topics could vary from information on defective and dangerous products to transportation issues (e.g. distracted driving).

Among the many submissions received, the scholarship committee was finally able to narrow the list down to five finalists who share the same injury prevention vision. Now, Moll Law Group is asking for help from the community to assist in selecting the winner of the $1,000 scholarship award. Vote for your favorite injury prevention essay HERE. We will also heavily consider likes, shares and comments each essay receives on social media to determine the winner.

3398636406_14bfeee759_zIn 2013, wholesale retailer Costco faced serious liability after packages of frozen berries sold at its locations were found to contain hepatitis A. The outbreak had sweeping implications, with a class action lawsuit indicating that up to 25,000 consumers may have been exposed to the dangerous virus. The berries were manufactured by Townsend Farms and labeled as an Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend. Soon after a product recall was initiated, Costco issued a warning advising individuals who may have consumed affected bags of the product to obtain a hepatitis A vaccine shot. The company stated that it would provide the shots free of charge to affected individuals.

Costco is facing another wave of liability after reports surfaced recently that the same frozen berries have led to an outbreak of hepatitis A in Canada. The retailer is again offering vaccinations to affected consumers. The frozen berries were manufactured by Nature’s Touch and sold exclusively at Costco stores in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Labrador, and Newfoundland. So far, at least 13 different cases of hepatitis A have been traced back to the contaminated berries. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has instituted a recall for the products, which likely sickened individuals between February 2016 and March 2016, resulting in at least three hospitalizations.

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