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Blog Posts in October, 2013

  • FDA moves to limit prescriptions of highly-addictive pain killers

    The number of deaths caused by the overprescription of painkillers like hydrocodone has become an epidemic in recent years in Florida and throughout the country. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking a big step toward trying to control the abuse of these narcotics. The federal agency has recommended stringent restrictions on the prescription of these drugs. Drugs containing ...
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  • Liggett To Pay $110M Settlement To Florida Smokers

    The parent company of cigarette maker Liggett Group has agreed to pay more than 4,900 Florida smokers a total of $100 million to resolve individual lawsuits filed after a state-wide class action was disbanded. The Miami-based parent company, Vector Group, agreed to pay $61 million in a lump sum, and $49 million over 15 years to resolve most of the cases. The proposed settlement would be final in ...
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  • Company behind 2012 Salmonella outbreak files for bankruptcy

    While some companies are able to bounce back from issues with defective products , others never recover. Many people in Miami remember the widely-reported recall of numerous peanut butter and other nut butter products last fall because of an outbreak of Salmonella in the processing plant that made them. Now the New Mexico company behind the outbreak has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut its ...
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  • Families In DUI Case Awarded $2.2 Million

    The families of two men who were killed by a drunk driver were awarded a joint settlement of $2.2 million. The two men were killed when Alyza Russell, 22, was driving drunk and fatally struck the men with a 2012 Porsche Panamera in downtown Ft. Lauderdale in June. The men, Mackendy Jules and Samuel Martindale, were homeless and were in a parking lot frequented by the homeless when they were hit. ...
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  • Toyota Issues Recall For Spider-Related Problem

    Toyota is recalling 870,000 vehicles due to a problem with an air conditioner part, which could cause airbags to deploy unnecessarily. In some cases, the problem was caused by spiders. The spiders' web can create a blockage in a drainage tube coming from the air conditioning condenser, which can cause water to drip down onto the air bag control module. This is causing the module to short circuit, ...
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  • Verdict in Toyota wrongful death case could impact other suits

    A jury decision in Southern California has reverberated across the country to Florida for those involved in litigation against Toyota Motor Corporation. The automaker has been plagued by cases of accidents reportedly caused by unintended acceleration and other defects in its vehicles. The jury in the Southern California wrongful death case found that Toyota was not liable for the 2009 death of a ...
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  • Diet Supplement Has Meth-Like Chemical, Study Finds

    Several months ago, the diet supplement Craze was pulled off shelves following an investigation into the safety of the supplement. Now, according to a study published in Drug Testing and Analysis journal, Craze, the sports supplement marketed to bodybuilders, contains a chemical compound similar to the illegal drug methamphetamine, or meth. The substance, called N, alpha-diethylphenylethyamine or ...
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  • Painkiller prescriptions to vets growing at alarming rate

    Pain medications, coupled with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, are increasingly proving to be a lethal combination for veterans who survive the battlefield only to be killed by the drugs prescribed to make them feel better. A number of deaths have been blamed on this overmedication - including multiple anti-psychotic drugs - to returning military personnel. Now the issue of what ...
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  • Boy Drowns In Pool On Carnival Cruise From Miami

    A 6-year-old boy drowned in a pool on a Carnival Cruise line while the ship was at sea. According to the company and Miami-Dade police, the boy was in the pool with his 10-year-old brother when he went under water and did not surface. Other passengers pulled the boy from the water and tried to revive him. The boy, Qwentyn Hunter, was from Winter Garden in Central Florida, and was one of the 3,000 ...
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  • Florida prison medical service providers have troubling history

    Florida's Department of Corrections has hired two companies that have troubling histories of medical malpractice to provide health care services to prisoners throughout the state. These companies won contracts at least in part for their ability to help the state in its goal to bring down the medical costs of caring for its inmates by seven percent in the newly-privatized system implemented under ...
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  • Fat-Burning Supplement pulled off shelves, tied to liver failure

    Health officials in Hawaii are asking stores to pull the fat-burning supplement OxyElite Pro from shelves after it was linked to cases of liver failure and acute hepatitis in 29 people. Two people have undergone liver transplants and one person has died, according to the Hawaii State Department of Health. Twenty-four others fell ill and reported using the supplement before being diagnosed. ...
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  • Suit settled in case of Tampa man jailed after fatal stroke

    The family of a Tampa man who was arrested and subsequently died in police custody has settled a third wrongful death suit. Somehow, the fact that he had suffered a stroke behind the wheel went unnoticed by law enforcement and paramedics while examining, arresting, and incarcerating him until it was too late. The $105,000 settlement in the federal lawsuit was with Florida's Department of Highway ...
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  • Racing Crash Injures Spectators; Casts Light on Fan Safety

    At Sunday's IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston, 13 spectators were injured when two cars bumped in the final lap of the race sending one sailing into a protective fence. The other car spun out, shearing off part of its side, sending debris toward the grandstands. One of the drivers, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, suffered spinal and ankle injuries and was hospitalized. This crash ...
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  • Miccosukee tribal member ordered to pay $35M for fatal DUI crash

    A jury has determined that a member of the West Miami-Dade Miccosukee tribe must pay $35 million in damages in the wrongful death suit brought by the adult children of two retired Maryland teachers who died as the result of a 2009 crash on the Tamiami Trail. The defendant, whose brother was once the Miccosukee tribal chairman, pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter in 2010, and is serving 12 years in ...
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  • Watered-down texting while driving law takes effect in Florida

    For those of us Floridians who cringe when we see someone behind the wheel texting on their phone, a new law effective Oct. 1 will be a welcome relief - sort of. Texting while driving in Florida is now illegal. However, advocates have been fighting for the law feel it should have gone farther. Florida has joined the vast majority of states to ban texting or e-mailing behind the wheel. It became ...
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  • Statewide Texting and Driving Ban Goes Into Effect Today

    Starting today, texting and driving is illegal in the state of Florida. Officers will be able to ticket drivers for texting while behind the wheel, but only as a secondary offense. This means an officer can only pull over a driver if another violation, such as speeding or not wearing a seatbelt, is observed. The penalties for texting and driving: a $30 fine for a first offense and $60 for a ...
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