Big Mesothelioma Verdict Thrown Out Over Expert

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Courthouse News Service: (CN) – The 9th Circuit on Friday canceled the nearly $10 million awarded to a man who developed mesothelioma after working for decades in a Washington paper mill.
Citing improper admission of expert testimony, the federal appeals court in Seattle ordered a new trial.
Henry Barabin worked at the Crown-Zellerbach paper mill from 1968 to 2001. Up until 1984 Barabin regularly worked around dryer felts containing asbestos, supplied to plant by AstenJohnson Inc. and Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc.
Barabin used the felts at work, and he also took pieces home to use in his garden, according to the court.

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Offshore platform explosion: 11 injured, 2 missing – WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

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Offshore platform explosion: 11 injured, 2 missing – WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports: GULF OF MEXICO (WAFB) –
The U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans confirms there was an offshore platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that happened around 9:15 a.m. Friday. It is believed to be off the coast of Grand Isle in Federal Waters. Capt. Ed Cubanski with the U.S. Coast Guard says contrary to previous reports there have been no confirmed deaths from the explosion.

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Boy, 16, dies after scaffold fall | London – ITV News

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Boy, 16, dies after scaffold fall | London – ITV News: A 16-year-old boy has died after falling from scaffolding while working, Scotland Yard said today.

Alfie Perrin, from Enfield, north London, fell while he was carrying out work at a two-storey house in Camden Road, Wanstead, east London, on Wednesday.

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Elite Precast Concrete Ltd in court after worker hit by forklift

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A Shropshire concrete firm has been prosecuted after a worker suffered serious leg injuries when he was hit by a forklift truck.

Tomasz Kosmacz, 38, of Hadley, was responsible for removing excess concrete from moulds at Elite Precast Concrete Ltd’s Telford factory.

Mr Kosmacz was putting the excess concrete in a bucket and then onto the prongs of the forklift.

He was working in close proximity to the forklift, when he was struck by the vehicle.

He suffered multiple foot fractures, needed four screws in his broken ankle and also hurt his knee. He had to have two operations and is still unable to work following the incident on 7 July 2011.

Telford Magistrates heard today (16 Nov) that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was a written instruction in the factory stating the bucket should be placed on a pallet, not directly on the forks. This had not been translated into Polish for the benefit of the migrant labour the company employed, many of whom, like Mr Kosmacz, did not speak English.

Elite Precast Concrete Ltd, of Unit L, Halesfield 9, Telford, Shropshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The firm was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,897

via Concrete firm in court after worker hit by forklift.

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OSHA cites Vann Energy Services in Nixon, Texas, for violations after 2 workers injured in fire

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NIXON, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Vann Energy Services LLC in Nixon with 13 safety and health violations – including two willful and three repeat – for exposing workers to flash fires and other hazards. OSHA’s Austin Area Office opened an inspection after two workers were injured by a fire that occurred in an oil and gas field tank. Proposed penalties total $246,000.

Inspectors found that the employer had failed to ensure that the air inside the tank was tested for flammable or toxic materials before providing employees with electrical equipment that is capable of causing a potentially flammable environment to ignite.

The repeat violations include failing to provide eye and face protection, communicate chemical hazard information to workers and protect flexible electric cords from damage. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in August 2011.

via 2012 – 11/15/2012 – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Vann Energy Services in Nixon, Texas, for violations after 2 workers injured in fire.

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Family Blames Toys R Us for Death

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Courthouse News Service: COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – Toys R Us let an employee bring a gun to work and he killed a co-worker with it, the late man’s family claims in court.
Michelle Damron, mother of the late Donald Damron, sued Toys ‘R’ Us, Exel Global Logistics and Solutions Staffing in Franklin County Court, claiming their negligent hiring led to her son’s death.
The complaint states: “On or about December 2, 2010, Donald Damron was working at the direction of the staff at the Toys ‘R’ Us premises by staff supervised and/or employees of Solutions, Toys ‘R’ Us and/or Exel.

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Rail company fined £180,000 for causing death of 13 year old boy and serious injury of two teenage boys at Liverpool rail depot

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English, Welsh and Scottish Railways International (EWSI) has today been fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £59,554 following a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for breaches of health and safety law which led to the death of Liam Gill, aged 13, and the serious injury of two teenage boys, aged 14, at Allerton rail depot in Liverpool in August 2009.

On 9 August 2009, Liam and two friends trespassed on the disused Allerton rail depot, gaining access through a gap in the boundary fence. The depot contained a number of abandoned train wagons, stored beneath a live 25,000 volt overhead power line. Liam climbed onto the roof of a train wagon, was electrocuted and died of his injuries. His two friends suffered severe burns.

Today’s sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court follows an ORR investigation into the incident which found that EWSI had failed to adequately prevent trespass on the depot by not ensuring the boundary fence was maintained. The judge found that the company failed to carry out a legally required assessment of the safety risks, failed to secure the wagons to prevent trespassers, and did not ensure appropriate security patrols were in place. These factors were a significant cause of Liam’s death. EWSI pleaded guilty to two charges relating to these failings at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in autumn 2011.

via Rail company fined £180,000 for causing death of 13 year old boy and serious injury of two teenage boys at Liverpool rail depot.

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Mother and children trapped in lift in Truro | This is Cornwall

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Mother and children trapped in lift in Truro | This is Cornwall: A woman and her two young children were trapped in a lift in the centre of Truro.
The mother and children became stuck between two floors in the lift at Truro Community Library after a power cut.
Staff stayed in touch with the woman throughout the ordeal.

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Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty after worker knocked for 6 at cricket ground

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A demolition firm has appeared in court after part of a stand collapsed onto an excavator driver at Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

The 33 -year-old worker from Warrington, who has asked not to be named, suffered serious injuries when a two-tonne concrete slab landed on his vehicle’s cab.

Warrington-based Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd was today (16 November 2012) prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation into the incident at the Talbot Road ground, home to Lancashire County Cricket Club, on 26 April last year.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard the company had been hired to demolish a two-tier stand at the stadium. However, the work had not been planned properly and the excavator had been positioned too close to the stand being demolished.

The worker sustained fractures to both legs in several places and severe cuts and bruising when a four-metre wide slab fell from the upper floor onto his vehicle.

Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 by failing to ensure the safety of workers and failing to plan and carry out the demolition work safely.

The company, of West Quay Road in Warrington, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Alan Pojur said:

“The excavator driver was lucky not to have been killed when the two-tonne concrete slab collapsed onto his cab.

“His life was put in danger because Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd didn’t plan the work properly.

“They should have arranged for a high-reach excavator to be used so that the stand could be demolished from a safe distance away. It was only after the incident that this safe method of work was implemented.

“Demolition work has the potential to be extremely dangerous so it is vital firms plan projects properly and provide appropriate supervision to make sure workers stay safe.”

The latest figures show that 50 construction workers were killed while at work in Great Britain in 2010/11, and there were nearly 3,000 major injuries. Information on improving safety is available at www.hse.gov.uk/construction.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Driver crushed during Old Trafford demolition – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Repeat offender (Fletcher, trading as Dunstable / Luton – Skip hire) sent to prison for 12 months

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Repeat offender sent to prison for 12 months

Luton Crown Court heard on Friday (9 Nov) that Fletcher, trading as Dunstable Skip Hire and Luton Skip hire, took waste to land he had rented at two sites in Bedfordshire.

Mrs Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said that for over two years significant amounts of waste had been brought onto the sites, tipped, sorted, stored and burned.

She said the sites did not have the appropriate infrastructure to deal with the waste and Fletcher of Church Road, Streatley, Luton, saved about £85,000 by operating illegally.

She said Fletcher operated from Leagrave Station Car Park, Luton, for at least three months before being evicted by the land owner, leaving much of the waste on site.

At one time, she said, there were 41 skips at another site in Clophill Road site, Maulden, Bedfordshire, 36 of which contained building and household waste. There were also a number of hazardous waste items including lead batteries, cathode ray tubes, fridges, gas cylinders and material that commonly contains asbestos – none of which was kept securely.

Other waste, rubble and electrical equipment was piled on the ground.

Fletcher had been served a statutory notice to remove the waste from site by 8 March 2012 but he failed to do it.

The court was told that Fletcher had previous environmental convictions for the same type of offences and his waste carrier’s licence had been revoked in 2011 due to these convictions.

Within days of committal to the crown court for sentencing and proceeds of crime proceedings Fletcher continued to offend on the Clophill Road site. Covert surveillance showed him taking empty skips to customers, bringing full skips back, tipping them and other full skips of waste on the ground.

Fletcher was also seen sorting through and burning the waste.

Mrs McDonald said burning this type of waste would never be permitted as the smoke and fumes would be likely to contain toxic and harmful substances. Smoke would also cause a nuisance to people living nearby.

Miss Julia Farrent, defence barrister, said Fletcher was a hard worker whose actions caused no actual harm to human health.

Judge Kay said Fletcher had: “An astonishing record of flouting the law and has shown no remorse.”

He said his actions were deliberate and financially motivated.

A hearing to deal with a proceeds of crime application has been adjourned to next year.

After the hearing Environment Agency officer Sarah Melvin said: “These are serious crimes that undermine legal businesses, cause damage to our environment and potentially endanger people’s health. We have the expertise and legal powers to tackle environmental crime, offenders should be aware that they can’t continue to break the law without there being consequences.”

via Environment Agency – Repeat offender sent to prison for 12 months.

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