Archive for May, 2010

Oil Industry Insider Publicly Calls Out BP for Choosing to Not Follow Safe Practices

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Last night, NBC Nightly News reported on the unsafe practices that BP chose to follow prior to the catastrophic explosion and resulting oil spill.  On the show, Ken Abbott, a veteran oil energy manager, stated: “What I realized about BP is they were not following normal accepted safe engineering practice.”  This accusation is alarming and, if such blatant disregard for normal safety practices is proven, BP could end up owing billions in damages for the carnage caused in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding communities.

U.S. Senate Will Hold Confirmation Hearings on Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Before August Recess

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Voice of America reports that Senator Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to complete confirmation hearings for President Obama’s most recent Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, prior to the early August recess scheduled for the Senate.  (See

Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominees is required by the Constitution.  Most expect the hearings to conclude with confirmation of Ms. Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.  Justice Stevens is known as one of the strongest proponents of civil rights and liberties, including the right to trial by jury that is the cornerstone of every personal injury and wrongful death case.  Many assumed that President Obama would pick a like-minded Justice to replace the outgoing Stevens.  However, it is not apparent from the existing record where the future Justice Kagan stands on public access to the civil justice system.  Therefore, we will closely watch the Senate Confirmation Hearings to learn more about where Ms. Kagan stands on issues affecting the right to a civil jury trial.

Trimet’s Deadly Accident Investigation is Quiet So Far Today

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

So far on this first Monday in May, there are no reported developments in the investigation of last week’s deadly Trimet bus accident.  As an attorney experienced in dealing with investigations of catastrophic accidents involving Trimet, I am as curious as the next Oregonian as to what the investigation will reveal.  If the killed and injured pedestrians and their families have grounds to seek justice in a Multnomah County Court, we all should know soon.  At least we all have a vested interest in knowing if our public transportation is taking the necessary steps to keep us safe and prevent needless tragedies.

Recall of Infant and Children’s Medication Issued Late in the Day Friday

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Today’s news outlets are buzzing with warnings about a massive recall of infant and children’s over-the-counter medication.  However, the company’s “voluntary recall”  occurred late Friday afternoon–too late for many parents to notice before shutting off computers and televisions to embark on weekend plans.  If you are one of the unsuspecting parents who gave a child recalled medication, please note any changes in behavior or other symptoms and report immediately to your pediatrician or emergency physician.

When a large-scale recall occurs, there is a lot of information that becomes available on the internet.  As an attorney and parent concerned with obtaining accurate information about recalls, I always start by reading the original recall notice published by the regulating government agency, which in this case is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Frequently, the government will issue updates as new information becomes available.  With this particular recall, the government’s notice refers consumers to the recall notice issued by the medication manufacturer for additional information.

Baby Cribs Pose Risk of Injury and Death

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

On Thursday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced the “voluntary recall” of approximately 217,000 Graco cribs due to significant safety risks that came to the public’s attention after several reports of the drop side rail of cribs failing.  The CPSC recall notice warns that the rail failure poses a “risk of suffocation and strangulation” as well as risk of the child falling to the ground.  The recall period covers cribs sold from February, 2007 to March, 2010.  The recall notice includes cribs sold “nationwide”.   Thus, if you are an Oregon resident who purchased a Graco crib during this time period, please assume the recall applies to you.  For more details about the recall, including photographs of recalled cribs, please read the April 29, 2010 Recall Notice.

If your child has already suffered injury or death as a result of a crib-related incident, please call an attorney immediately so that the claim can be properly reported to the CPSC and your family’s rights can be fully protected.  Even if the incident occurred in a crib other than those affected by the current recall, it is still possible that the crib was defective.  Therefore, a complete investigation should be undertaken by an attorney and appropriate experts.

Consumer Fraud Update: Justice Department Opens Criminal Probe on Goldman Sachs

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Less than two weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges against giant bank Goldman Sachs, it’s being reported that the Justice Department has opened an investigation into possible criminal charges as well.  Penoyer Law will follow this story and provide updates as they become available.  For those interested in reading more about the probe reportedly underway by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, read a recent Washington Post article here.