Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Depuy Hip Implant Settlement

Thousands of ASR patients have been through a very difficult and painful experience. Many have had their ASR device removed and replaced. In the process, they have experienced physical pan and the disability attending both the device and the remedial surgery. Thousands of other patients whose doctors chose the ASR still have the device implanted. 

This settlement, which was finalized today, attempts to address the claims of those ASR patients who have undergone a revision surgery as of August 31, 2013. ASR patients who have yet to undergo a revision surgery maintain all their legal rights.  For patients who have a revision surgery after August 31, 2013, there will be continued work to gather specific medical information following individual recovery. For the many thousands of patients who have not undergone a revision, there will also be continued to work to make sure their rights are protected should a revision become medically necessary.

Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.5 billion to settle hip-implant lawsuits.

News that Johnson & Johnson’s Depuy Orthopaedics Inc. agreed to pay about $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits allegedly injured by its artificial hip implants was widely covered by the national media Tuesday. Several media outlets said the settlement doesn’t mean J&J’s legal woes are over as it still faces lawsuits over Pinnacle hip implants and vaginal mesh implants. The New York Times (11/20, Meier, Subscription Publication, 9.61M) reports that though Johnson & Johnson agreed to the settlement Tuesday, “it was not clear whether the deal would satisfy enough claimants.” Under the agreement, the medical products firm “would pay nearly $2.5 billion in compensation to an estimated 8,000 patients who have been forced to have the all-metal artificial hip removed and replaced with another device.” The paper says J&J has also agreed to pay “all medical costs related to such procedures,” costs which could increase Johnson & Johnson’s costs to $3 billion.

        The Los Angeles Times (11/19, 3.07M) reports the company agreed to “pay an average of about $250,000 for each surgery and cover related medical costs,” according to Susan Sharko, one of the company’s lawyers. The paper says the firm “recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants worldwide in August 2010, saying 12% failed within five years.”

        The Wall Street Journal (11/20, Rockoff, Subscription Publication, 5.91M) the company’s legal troubles won’t end with this settlement as it still has to grapple with more than 23,000 lawsuits over surgical-mesh products implanted in women in an effort to provide relief from pain in pelvis after childbirth.

        Bloomberg News (11/20, Feeley, Voreacos, 1.91M) provides additional details of the implants, noting that J&J had “touted the metal-on-metal implants, first sold in the U.S. in 2005, as a new design that would last 20 years and offer greater range of motion.” But with rising failures, patients complained “in lawsuits that the metal-on-metal implant caused dislocations, pain and follow-up surgeries known as revisions.” Many claimed that “debris from the chromium and cobalt device” resulted in “tissue death and increased metal ions in the bloodstream.”

        Internal documents allegedly suggest officials were aware of problems since 2008. The AP (11/20, Perrone, Seewer) gives details of the artificial hip, known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR, which was “sold for eight years to some 35,000 people in the U.S. and more than 90,000 people worldwide.” J&J, based in New Brunswick, NJ, “stopped making the product in 2009 and recalled it the next year.” The AP says internal J&J documents “unsealed in the case suggest that company officials were aware of problems with the device at least as far back as 2008.” The article, citing a deposition from a J&J official, says “a 2011 company review of a patient registry concluded that more than one-third of the implants were expected to fail within five years of their implantation.” In general orthopedic hips are expected “to last at least 10 to 20 years.”

        Modern Healthcare (11/19, Lee, Subscription Publication, 224K) says the settlement comes “just weeks after” the company “agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle allegations that it illegally marketed the antipsychotic drug Risperdal and two other medications.” Dr. Geoffrey Westrich, director of research for the adult reconstruction and joint replacement division at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, said “patients having problems with the implants generally experience three types of responses.” One group, he says, “clearly” need “revision surgery.” The other group is “not symptomatic or suffering any pain, but MRIs indicate” patients in the group “have adverse tissue reactions and elevated metal ion levels.” They may also need revision surgery. A third group of patients could end up with slightly elevated ion levels and will have to be monitored, reports Modern Healthcare.

        The Financial Times (11/20, Subscription Publication, 1.43M), Reuters (11/20, Dye) and Asbury Park (NJ) Press (11/19, 324K) all cover the news.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chrysler recalling a million Ram trucks to inspect, possibly fix tie-rod ends.

The AP (11/8) is among the national outlets reporting on Chrysler’s recall of “about 1.2 million Ram trucks to fix front-end problems that could lead to steering troubles,” announced yesterday for three categories of the Ram trucks. The company says only about 453,000 trucks will require repairs following inspections, but a statement yesterday did admit that Chrysler “knows of six crashes and two injuries involving the 2008 to 2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks that are being recalled, and one crash with no injuries from the other recalled models.” Technician error, the company said, is responsible for why “tie-rod ends in the steering system may have been installed improperly,” an issue that can lead to steering problems.

        Also reporting are Reuters (11/8), Bloomberg News (11/8, Clothier, 1.91M), and CNN’s Money (11/8).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nissan recalls 2014 Pathfinder for airbag issue.

In its “Kicking Tires” blog, Cars (11/5, Geiger, 402K) provides the details of Nissan’s recall of the 2014 Pathfinder, stating that dealers will inspect and replace the instrument panel assemblies of cars with an improperly manufactured seam on the instrument panel, which could cause the front passenger airbag to deploy incorrectly. The post says that Nissan will notify owners in early November and provides phone numbers for Nissan and the NHTSA, instructing owners to call for additional information

Monday, November 4, 2013

Honda recalls 344,000 vehicles due to brake malfunction.

The New York Times (11/2, Jensen, Subscription Publication, 9.61M) reports that Honda informed NHTSA that is recalling 344,000 2007-8 Odyssey minivans because a sensor malfunction in the electric stability control system could result in spontaneous braking. Honda is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by the problem.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

NHTSA investigates Jeep Liberty for fire risk.

In continuing coverage, the Los Angeles Times (10/30, Undercoffler, 3.07M) reports that NHTSA has opened a preliminary investigation into complaints of fires in the driver’s door of 2012 Jeep Liberty SUVs. NHTSA says it has received two reports from consumers, with one person injured. NHTSA also notes that one of the vehicles caught fire a second time after it was repaired.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pre-trial hearing to be held today in Paterno family lawsuit.

The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News (10/28, Thompson, 339K) reports that the NCAA has a hearing today in the lawsuit brought by the family of former Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno. The Patriot-News states that the NCAA’s attorneys will “try to kill” the lawsuit by “arguing that plaintiffs – including late coaching legend Joe Paterno’s estate, a group of Penn State trustees, and former Nittany Lion players and coaches – have no standing to contest an agreement negotiated and signed onto last year by University President Rodney Erickson.” The article continues on to discuss the specifics of the case.

        The AP (10/29) reports that the session was scheduled so Judge John Leete can “hear lawyers argue over whether the breach of contract, defamation and commercial disparagement claim should be thrown out.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

Toyota Recalling 885,000 Cars for Air Bags
Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it is recalling 885,000 vehicles worldwide due to air bags that could inadvertently deploy because of an electrical problem. The recall includes the 2012-2013 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza.
The recall covers 803,000 vehicles in the United States. Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said two minor injuries have been reported and no crashes. In the North American market, Toyota has received 35 reports of the air bag warning light turning on, and three reports of inadvertent deployment of the air bag.
Toyota said water from the air conditioning condenser unit housing could leak water onto the air bag control module and cause a short circuit. That could cause the air bag warning light to turn on, or the air bags could become disabled or could inadvertently deploy.
Toyota said the power-steering assist function could also become inoperable if a communication line in the air bag control module is damaged. Loss of power-steering assist results in increased steering effort.
Toyota dealers will apply sealant and install a cover to the air conditioning condenser unit housing seam located above the airbag control module.

Recalls becoming more common even as vehicle safety improves.

The Automotive News (10/28, Nelson, Beene, 188K) reports that while experts agree the vehicles today are safer than every before, “recalls remain a persistent and costly reality, with repair tabs that likely total in the tens of billions of dollars each year.” The News notes that last year there were 154 recalls, affecting 14.2 million vehicles. While recalls can be very expensive, protracted crises of past years have become rare due to more proactive automakers and the TREAD Act. Meanwhile, the NHTSA has issued requirements that automakers make recall notices “more official-looking and, by next summer, set up a searchable online database for customers to see whether their vehicles have been recalled.” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a July interview that the agency must reassess a potential risk “if state of the art moves all the peers in one direction, and it appears that there is another part of the fleet that has not made those same moves or improvements.”
        So far this year, 143 recalls of cars and light trucks. According to the Automotive News (10/27, 188K), it turns out that in this year so far, automakers have issued “143 recalls in the 273 days through September,” or one “practically every other day,” which all told affect around “18.5 million cars and light trucks – well more than the number of new vehicles sold.” Also of note, the article observes that year-on-year recall numbers can vary, but grouped by decade “the numbers have climbed steadily.” The article clarifies as well that its figures come from its own “analysis of nearly a half century’s worth of data” from NHTSA.
        Nissan recalling 150,000 vehicles. The website for KABC-TV Los Angeles (10/25, 175K) reports that “more than 150,000 Nissan vehicles are being recalled” because, at times, on rough roads gently applying the brakes does not engage the “antilock brake software,” increasing the risk of a crash. The automaker said it “will notify owners of the issue,” and the article describes the recall vehicles as “certain model year 2013-2014 Pathfinder vehicles manufactured April 18, 2012 through Sept. 20, 2013; model year 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles manufactured Sept. 5, 2011 through Jan. 16, 2013; and model year 2014 Infiniti QX60 vehicles manufactured Jan. 17, 2013 through Sept. 20, 2013.”

NHTSA investigation looking into Jeep Liberty fires.

Following two reported incidents of 2012 Jeep Liberty SUVs catching fire in the driver’s side doors, the AP (10/25) reports that a spokesperson for Chrysler, Eric Mayne, “said Chrysler is cooperating with NHTSA and is conducting its own investigation. NHTSA investigations often lead to vehicle recalls.” According to the article, both incidents “began in the area of the master power window switch.”

        Reuters (10/25) also reports, saying that NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation began a preliminary probe to analyze the scope and severity of the problem, which the article notes often develops into some sort of recall.

Oklahoma Toyota ruling notable for arguing electronic defect caused acceleration.

The AP (10/26, Murphy) has continuing coverage of the decision Thursday by an Oklahoma jury to find Toyota liable in its crash case involving “a sudden unintended acceleration,” awarding $3 million to the driver and the victim’s family. Yesterday, Judge Patricia Parrish made the announcement that “the parties reached a deal that eliminated the need for the second stage of the trial over punitive damages,” while Toyota issued a statement on how “it disagreed with the verdict, and vowed to ‘defend our products vigorously at trial in other legal venues.’” As for the ruling itself, the article points out that the decision holds some amount of precedent because this was the “first case” in which plaintiff presented the argument that the “car’s electronics – in this case the software connected to the Camry’s electronic throttle-control system – caused the unintended acceleration.”
        The New York Times (10/26, Trop, Subscription Publication, 9.61M) reports, the lawyer for both plaintiff parties, J. Cole Portis, commented, “Toyota’s conduct from the time the electronic throttle control system was designed has been shameful...We appreciate that the jury had the courage to let Toyota and the public know that Toyota was reckless.” Like the AP coverage, the New York Times indicates the novelty of the ruling, with University of Southern California law professor Gregory Keating said the verdict “suggests that absent specific evidence of another cause, the default conclusion is that sudden acceleration is caused by a defect in the car for which Toyota is responsible.”
        Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times (10/26, Hirsch, Bensinger, 3.07M) even says that the ruling “could embolden attorneys nationwide” in search of recreating the results in “hundreds of similar cases.” It also observes how in the three other similar jury cases where Toyota won, “none alleged the software defect that was in Barr’s testimony.”
        CNN Money (10/26, Isidore) also reports. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jury rules Michael Jackson’s promoter not liable in singer’s death.

The CBS Evening News reported that a Los Angeles jury in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson’s family against his concert promoter, on Wednesday ruled “in favor of the promoter, A.E.G. Live, saying it was not negligent when it hired Dr. Conrad Murray to treat Jackson who died before he could begin a concert series.”

        NBC Nightly News reported that Jackson’s mother “and his three children filed the suit arguing that AEG Live had negligently hired” Murray, who “was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson that powerful dose of propofol that killed him in June of 2009.”

        ABC World News reported, “This trial dragged out more than five months, more than 50 witnesses heard from and, in the end, it took the jury less than 14 hours to decide. And they decided, essentially, in favor of AEG, ruling that while AEG did hire Michael Jackson’s doctor, the company is not culpable for Jackson’s death.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shutdown halts NHTSA recall notices, crash tests.

USA Today (10/1, 5.82M) reports that the NHTSA will note be posting any new recall notices during the government shutdown. A notice on the NHTSA website says, “Due to a lapse of Federal Government funding, NHTSA is unable to post any new recalls after close of business September 30, 2013.” The notice says that “recall searches will remain available but are only current as of that time.” USA Today notes that automakers can still announce their own recalls.

        Also reporting are the New York Daily News (10/2, Bowling, 3.94M), Cars (10/2, 402K), Autoblog (10/1, Korzeniewski, 266K), and InAutoNews (10/2).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Federal government shuts down.

Most of the coverage of the budget shutdown standoff last night and this morning echoes the President’s arguments, placing nearly all the blame on conservatives in Congress intent on undoing the Affordable Care Act. Though this narrative is little changed from the previous days’ news cycles, it was bolstered by the timing of the President’s remarks at the White House Monday afternoon, which assured that his framing of the standoff would dominate the evening newscasts. All three networks gave far more air time to the President’s comments and those from Democrats in Congress than to the arguments made by their Republican antagonists.

        Alone among the networks, NBC broke into its regularly scheduled programming at 12:01 this morning with a minute-long report on the onset of the Federal government shutdown. NBC News’ Brian Williams said, “The Federal government has started the process of shutting down for the first time in 17 years, at least large portions of it,” and “millions of Americans will be affected by it.” Williams added, “If there’s a saving grace, the President has ordered active-duty military to still get their pay.”

        In an echo of the media’s coverage of the Federal shutdown in 1995, at midnight CNN featured shots of the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty as Piers Morgan announced: “The Washington Monument, the heart of the capital, closed. The Statue of Liberty...shut down. Across the country, monument like the St. Louis Gateway Arch, closed.” CNN went to show a clip of the President, described by Morgan as “clearly exasperated,” warning of the negative impact of a shutdown earlier on Monday.

        Notably, just after midnight, Fox News featured an extended (three-and-a-half minute) live shot of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid denouncing “the Tea Party, the anarchists,” and blaming them for inflicting an “unnecessary blow to America.” A few minutes later on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer said the President “knows he’s got the politics on his side,” before adding, “I’m looking for a fairly quick surrender on the side of the Republicans, who understand that, at this point, it’s a losing proposition.”

        This morning’s Wall Street Journal (10/1, Hook, Peterson, Subscription Publication, 5.91M) features the front-page headline “Congress Fails to Prevent Government Shutdown: Senate Rejects House Bill To Delay Part Of Health Law; Obama Decries ‘Ransom.’” The Journal reports that at midnight, the White House released a video of President Obama addressing members of the military, saying, “Unfortunately, Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility. It has failed to pass a budget and, as a result, much of our government must now shut down until Congress funds it again.”

        Early this morning, Politico (10/1, Sherman, Bresnahan, Everett, 467K) reported that “the partisan gridlock...proved insurmountable, as House Republicans continue to insist on changing, delaying or defunding Obamacare as the price for keeping the government open.” Politico adds that “polls show Republicans will bear the blame for this shutdown,” and that Speaker Boehner “has privately warned House Republicans that they could lose their majority in 2014 as a result of shutting down the government.”

        Brian Williams, in the first segment for NBC Nightly News, apportioned some blame to both parties, saying, “This simplest way to put it is this: the Republican-controlled House is passing bills the Democratically-controlled Senate keeps rejecting.” But NBC’s Chuck Todd went on to report that “a new poll shows Republicans would bear more blame for a shutdown: 36% put the responsibility on the President, 46% on Republicans.” NBC showed six clips of either the President, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Chuck Schumer or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking – a total of about 85 words – as opposed to one seven-word remark from Sen. Ted Cruz.

        In the lead story for the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley said House Republicans are willing to let the government shut down “unless they get a one-year delay in one of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act – also known as ‘Obamacare.’” Pelley added, “Forty-four times before Republicans have tried to delay or defund the healthcare law without success.”

        At the opening of ABC World New, Diane Sawyer said, “We have been tracking the words all of you have been using all day about what is going on in Washington – words like ‘bizarre,’ ‘sabotage,’ ‘blackmail’ and ‘enough.’” Sawyer added that the President “expressed outrage that ‘one faction in one house of Congress’ is ready to bring the entire Federal government to a halt.” ABC’s Jonathan Karl went on to report that the President “placed the blame entirely on conservative Republicans in the House demanding an end to Obamacare.” After featuring some of the President’s remarks, ABC showed similar condemnations of Congressional conservatives from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Reid and Schumer before showing Speaker Boehner calling for a “one-year delay of Obamacare.”

        Likewise, on the CBS Evening News, correspondent Major Garrett reported that the White House “calls House Republicans ‘extortionists,’” and the President has warned that “a government shutdown would harm Federal workers, as well as the broader economy, and undercut American prestige.”

        According to the Washington Post (10/1, Montgomery, Kane, 4.28M), House Republicans, who have “clung tenaciously to their demand that any agreement to fund federal agencies must also undermine” the ACA, are to blame for the shutdown. The Post reports that on Monday night, on a 228 to 201 vote, the House “approve[d] the third GOP proposal in two weeks to fund the government — a plan that would delay enforcement of the ‘individual mandate,’ a cornerstone of the legislation that requires all Americans to obtain health coverage in 2014.”

        Holder decries “dysfunction,” warns of effects of government shutdown. Politico (9/30, Gerstein, 467K) reports in its “Under The Radar” blog that “normally mild-mannered” Attorney General Eric Holder “showed a flash of anger Monday as he discussed the impacts of a looming government shutdown and the so-called budget sequester on rank-and-file workers at the Justice Department. ‘This has real-world consequences for the employees of this department, who have to pay mortgages, who have to pay car notes, who have to buy groceries and I think that is something that people as they’re trying to make their political points need to keep in mind: there are good, hardworking Americans who are going to suffer because of this dysfunction – and I’m mad about that. I have to say that this is something it seems to me can be worked through. People are trying to make a political point and I’m trying to run a Justice Department. We’re trying to keep the American people safe. We’re trying to keep crime down.”

        The Washington Times (10/1, Boyer, 417K) reports that Holder “said he would take a voluntary pay cut because of political ‘dysfunction.’” Holder said Justice Department officials “were still evaluating how many furlough notices to send out in the event that Congress and the White House fail to reach a temporary budget deal before midnight Monday. ‘It is entirely possible that we will have to put on furlough FBI agents, prosecutors as a result of ... the dysfunction that exists primarily in the House,’” Holder said.

        AFP (10/1) reports that Holder “promised that ‘national security would be protected. But on the civil side, we will not do the job American people expect of us.”

        Federal courts to remain open during government shutdown. Reuters (9/30) reports that Federal courts will continue to hear cases without interruption during the government shutdown, but the Justice Department announced that Federal prosecutors would seek to delay non-critical civil matters, and there is a chance that some judicial staff members could be furloughed, while others might be required to work without pay.

        The Minneapolis Star Tribune (10/1, Mitchell, 1.14M) reports that the US District Court in Minnesota “posted a notice on its web site that normal operations will continue on Tuesday if there is a shutdown. All cases, including civil and criminal jury trails will continue, the clerk’s office will remain open, and the court web site where court documents are now filed electronically will continue to operate.” Prosecutors “in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minneapolis stay on duty, but only for ‘essential public safety work,’ said Jeanne Cooney, director of community relations. ‘We have some trials (in progress) and they will keep going.’”

        The Denver Post (10/1, McGhee, 949K) reports that Federal courts in Colorado will remain operating during the shutdown. The US District Court in Colorado posted on its website, “In the event of a government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance.” Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the Denver US Attorney’s office, said, “My understanding is that the courts have enough money to operate for 10 days into a lapse of appropriation. Regarding the Department of Justice, matters of public safety and the protection of life and property will keep most of the criminal division and some in the civil and appellate divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office functioning. Other activities have been scaled back, postponed, or canceled.”

        The Detroit Free Press (10/1, 794K) reports that Federal courthouses in eastern Michigan “likely would keep the doors open for a while even if a budget impasse forces a government shutdown.” Court spokesman Rod Hansen “says it would be ‘pretty much business as usual’ for approximately 10 days. There are some major court hearings in early October, especially the sentencing of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Oct. 10.”

        Polls, analysts suggest shutdown is likely to be blamed on GOP. The Washington Post (10/1, Gold, Rucker, O'Keefe, 4.28M) asserts that there is a “hardening public perception that [the GOP] is primarily to blame for setting the crisis in motion,” and reports that “a Washington Post-ABC News poll (9/30, Clement, 4.28M) released Monday showed that a fed-up public disapproves most of all of congressional Republicans.” According to the Post, 26% “approve of how congressional Republicans have handled the budget negotiations, while 34 percent approve of the efforts of Democratic lawmakers and 41 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the situation.”

        According to Bloomberg News (9/30, Tiron, Rubin, Hunter, 1.91M), the overwhelming majority of House Republicans make the case that they “are trying to save Americans from the effects of...Obamacare, and that Democrats won’t negotiate.” But Bloomberg also reported that a recent Bloomberg National poll found that “Americans narrowly blame Republicans for what’s gone wrong in Washington, just as they did when the government closed in 1995 and 1996.”

        Under the headline, “Poll: Republicans Would Get Most Blame For Shutdown,” McClatchy (10/1, Lightman, 95K) reported that “a new CNN/ORC poll released Monday,” which was conducted between Friday and Sunday, “found 46 percent would blame Republicans while 36 percent would blame” the President, and 13% “blame both sides.”

        The Wall Street Journal (9/30, Hughes, Subscription Publication, 5.91M) reports that on Fox News on Monday morning, Sen. John Thune said, “The president and Democrats here in Congress would like to see a government shutdown.” The Journal also reports that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) commented, “They’re all giddy about it. You know who benefits the most here from a shutdown? The Democrats benefit, and they know that.”

        The Los Angeles Times (10/1, Mascaro, Memoli, 3.07M) reported that Monday’s developments “worsened divisions within the GOP caucus, with both moderates and conservatives raising objections, creating more uncertainty as the deadline for action neared.” Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is quoted as saying, “We have too many people who live in their own echo chamber. It’s a dead end. We’re going to shut the government down, and when all is said and done we’re going to get blamed for it.”

        The Washington Post (10/1, Helderman, O'Keefe, 4.28M) profiles Nunes and King in an article on the “few dozen [GOP] lawmakers from swing districts and suburbs mostly in the Northeast and California,” who might play a central role in resolving the shutdown standoff. The Post notes that at the time of the 1995 shutdown, “more than a third of House Republicans hailed from congressional districts that had been won by” President Clinton in 1992, but “today, just 17 House Republicans come from districts won last year by President Obama.”

        In a front-page article, the New York Times (10/1, A1, Parker, Subscription Publication, 9.61M) covers more conservative members of the House Republican caucus who believe that the current strategy they are pursuing is, if not a political winner, the least they can do for their constituents who want “Obamacare” repealed. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is quoted as saying, “We can recover from a political squabble, but we can never recover from Obamacare.”
        Shutdown will force NHTSA to stop vehicle investigations. The Detroit News (10/1, Shepardson, 619K) reports, “The government’s auto safety regulator will halt defect investigations and public notification of new auto recalls in the event Congress fails to approve funding for the new budget year that starts Tuesday.” The News notes that NHTSA will furlough 333 of its 597 employees. The Agency said, “Functions funded by the Highway Trust Fund will continue, while those funded by annual appropriations will be suspended, including safety defect investigations, field crash investigations, review of consumer complaints and notification of new vehicle and equipment recalls.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NHTSA investigating electric Ford Focus stalling problem.

The AP (9/11) reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating claims that electric Ford Focus vehicles can stall without warning after receiving 12 complains about 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles. None of the incidents resulting in an injury but some vehicles did stall when moving at 30 miles per hour or more. NHTSA says these incidents have happened in the last five months. Ford reports that it has sold just over 1,900 electric Focus cars.

        Reuters (9/10) reports that the probe includes about 1,000 vehicles. Ford says it is cooperating with NHTSA in the probe.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Toyota Recalls Lexus and RAV4 for Suspension Problem

Toyota to recall 780,000 vehicles again after fix fails.

The New York Times (9/9, Jensen, Subscription Publication, 9.44M) reports that Toyota is recalling 780,000 vehicles for a second time because its previous efforts to address a handling problem created by a failure of the rear tie rod on the suspension. The recall includes 18,000 2010 Lexus HS 250h vehicles while the rest are 2006 through 2011 Toyota RAV4 SUVs. The Times notes that the issues of a second recall is rare and that “Toyota, once seen as a benchmark in quality and reliability, has seen that image undermined in recent years.” Toyota will now attempt a different repair after learning that some vehicles still had problems after the previous recall.

Friday, September 6, 2013

First Federal trial over DePuy hip replacement device set to begin in Cleveland.

The National Law Journal (9/3, Bronstad) reports that the first Federal trial over DePuy Orthopaedics Inc.’s metal-on-metal hip replacement device, “which is the subject of about 10,000 lawsuits across the country, is scheduled to begin on September 9 in Cleveland.” The case, “brought by a woman in Rochester, N.Y., who claims to have a dislocated hip and was forced to undergo surgery to remove her ASR XL hip implant, will be the first bellwether proceeding to face jurors of nearly 8,000 cases coordinated in multidistrict litigation before U.S. District Judge David Katz. Prospective jurors are expected to be brought in on Tuesday.” Ellen Relkin of New York’s Weitz & Luxenberg, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the ASR multidistrict litigation against DePuy, said “We believe this is an appropriate case for bellwether trial since there is a concerning number of re-revisions among ASR patients resulting from injury to the tissue and muscle from metal debris and the two prior trials did not involve re-revisions.”

Friday, August 30, 2013

NFL reaches settlement over head injury lawsuits.

Several media outlets report on the settlement reached between the National Football League and former players who sued the league over allegations that it hid the long-term health effects that concussions could have on players who suffered them.

        ABC World News reports that the NFL will pay $765 million in order to settle more than 4,500 lawsuits from retired players who are “dealing with injuries they believe are the result of on field concussions.” The piece says that according to the players, the “NFL deliberately covered up the risk” of concussions. The CBS Evening News adds that if the settlement “is approved by a Federal judge, it will end the suit which exposed the NFL to what could have been billions of dollars in damages.” The report says that in addition to the compensatory figure, the settlement includes “$75 million to provide baseline medical exams” and adds that “Commissioner Roger Goodell pushed for the settlement, telling league lawyers to do the right thing for the game and the men who played it.” However, ABC World News notes that according to critics, the NFL is being “let off the hook” as the settlement isn’t large enough and that by “Not having to open up its files, not having to open up its books, the NFL gets a chance to not be examined in a way that could have been very embarrassing.” Nevertheless, ABC World News says that “the money will bring immediate relief for the league’s 19,000 former players, every one of whom will be eligible for a medical exam.” Notwithstanding the monetary award, the piece points out that the settlement “does not require the NFL to make any safety changes to reduce concussions.”

        NBC Nightly News reports that despite the payout, the $765 million figure is “less than 10 percent of the league’s revenue from just last year.”

        The New York Times (8/29, Belson, Subscription Publication, 9.44M) says that as part of the agreement, the league will also set up a $10 million research fund and will pay the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees. In addition, nearly “half of the settlement amount will be paid over the next three years, if the deal is approved, with the balance paid over the next 17 years.” The article adds that the settlement “will be seen as a positive outcome for the league, which, should the lawsuit have moved forward, was facing the potential of billions of dollars in liability payments and a lengthy and almost assuredly revealing discovery phase in which league officials and doctors would likely have been deposed.” Moreover, by settling the lawsuits, the league didn’t have to admit “that it hid information on the long-term effects of head trauma from its players.” Nevertheless, the Times says that “players will have an opportunity to opt out of the deal.”

        The AP (8/29, Dale) reports that according to lead plaintiff’s lawyer Christopher Seeger, “Individual payouts would be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer’s disease; $4 million for those diagnosed after their deaths with a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and $3 million for players with dementia.”

        In separate pieces, ABC World News and the CBS Evening News offer expert analysis, in which they say that the NFL has prevailed in the settlement. Nevertheless, NBC Nightly News interviews Bob Costas of NBC Sports who says that the agreement “closes a chapter, but it doesn’t close the book.” Costas says that the increasing attention to head injuries in the league has lead to a decrease in youth football participation and could “erode” the popularity of the league.
        Reuters (8/29) and the Sports Business Daily (8/29, Kaplan, 5K) also cover this story.

Monday, August 26, 2013

NHTSA Investigating 2012 Jeep Cherokee Fires


The AP (8/23) reported, “U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the ceilings can catch fire in 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.” Yesterday, NHTSA announced the probe, which “covers an estimated 146,000 of the popular sport utility vehicles.” The article writes that “Investigators will decide if the problem is serious enough to warrant a recall.”

        The Detroit News (8/23, Shepardson, 665K) reported, NHTSA “said it is launching a preliminary investigation into 146,000 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs after receiving three reports alleging the vehicle’s interior caught fire near the passenger-side sun visor.” The agency said on the matter, “The customers reported a burning odor and visible smoke coming from the headliner while the vehicle was being driven. This was followed by flames from the headliner itself. Customers lowered the windows in an effort to clear the smoke, but this increased the fire’s intensity. All three vehicles had to be extinguished with a fire extinguisher or by the fire department as they continued to burn after the vehicle was turned off.”

        Reuters (8/23) also covered this story.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Vermont 100 Race Report

 I have to thank the best crew at the Vermont 100 (Ann, Jen, Ryan, Hoyt & family,  Andy, our kids my mother and brother and his kids). I have no doubts I could not have completed this journey without them and I underestimated how much I really needed their support.  Someone once said ultra marathons are 90% mental and the other 10% is in your head. That is so true.

This course was hilly with a little more than 15,000 feet of climbing. It was hot and humid, the Vermont scenery was green and beautiful.

Pre-race meal was the usual chicken parm, a bottle of pedialite with a teaspoon of salt.

Awoke Saturday morning at 2:00 a.m. breakfast was, Whey protein shake, 2 boiled eggs, banana, apple sauce and sweet potatoes.

Ann drove us to the 4:00 a.m.  start.  Just before the gun, they had Fireworks, that was really cool. But, it was about then where it sunk in for the first time WTF am I thinking doing this, and for a fleeting moment I was scared, but, that passed and I was psyched and ready to go. I carried two hand helds, one with water and the other with GU Roctane drink and a few GU gels stuffed in.  We rolled through the first few miles with headlamps, mud and rocks. About 5 miles in I had to stop in the woods. (Oops, no TP or baby wipes, Hint- always carry baby wipes!)

Mile 14 saw Ann, Jen, Ryan and my mother a nice lift.
Mile 20ish First aid station, a little more than 3 hours, refill hand helds, ate some cookies, Pringles, and fruit. 

Mile 30 next aid station. Again refill hand helds, ate cookies Pringles and fruit, peanut butter and fluff sandwich. While standing at the aid table eating, I noticed my legs were shaking uncontrollably, I thought that was weird, but figured it would stop sometime.

It was somewhere in this next stretch where, I noticed my ankles and feet started to hurt, but focused on relentless forward progress and  keep moving forward.
It was also around here, that I learned, that when stopping to pee, other bodily functions may involuntarily follow.  Oops, how I wish I had some baby wipes. That strange phenomenon would occur a few more times over the next 15 miles. It was getting hot and humid, drinking lots of water. Maybe too much, but I didn't want to find out the alternative of not drinking enough.

Mile 47- Camp Ten Bear aid station, in about 10 hours. Went to mandatory weigh in, lost 4lbs, but I was good to go, All things considered feeling ok, a little vasoline on the undercarriage, potatoes in salt, Pringles, cookies, fruit and some other things on the table, I think I had an Ensure  (actually the generic version from Savemart, I had several of those throughout the day, very helpful), a fellow runner overheard me talking about stomach problems and gave me some ginger candy (hint this stuff really does help). I also stopped the GU Roctane drink, and stayed with water, coke, fruits, cookies and Pringles, later I would add Ramen noodles, chicken broth and Frappicinos and chocolate milk.

Got to halfway point in about 10:30. We were on steep hills in the woods and walking, this was a tough stretch for me, stomach feeling better, ankles felt like someone cracked them with a sledge hammer (it wasn't til the next day when I would realize the extent of the carnage). Really struggled to get to 55, then the hills got steeper, started to rain, but given the humidity of the day this felt glorious. At this point, all I could think about was getting to mile 62.5 (Margaritaville Aid station)  Finally trudged into Margaritaville feeling drained and beaten, the hills, humidity and bathroom issues having taken their toll.  My mother, brother, his kids, Owen, David and Livia were all there and this was a huge lift.   A change of clothes, shoes, Ensure, Coke, ginger snaps, ramen noodles, bag balm on the underside and I was rejuvenated and ready to roll. I noticed, that my change of shoes were tight, and my feet hurt more, I had heard your feet swell and you should have a change of shoes a half size bigger,  I realize now this is true. Oh well, time for the little piggies to suffer and move on.  I was able to pretty much run to mile 70 (Camp Ten Bear) I felt like I had gotten a second wind, I was very much looking forward to seeing Ann, Hoyt, Jen and getting Ryan as my first pacer.  My goal was to get there before sundown and I made it.

I approached mile 70 and saw Hoyt who had jogged out, I was happy, I was at least going to make it to mile 70. We saw a girl who was in a little trouble, Hoyt stopped to help her, she said she was losing her vision.  Hoyt helped her to the medical tent. I only hoped she was ok, could recover and continue.  I got weighed in, lost 8lbs close to the point were they may put a medical hold on me for losing too much weight, but I made it and I was good to go.  I had the devil's crotch to deal with, all I wanted was butt cream, Ann went waay above the call of duty, and took me behind the Porto-pottys, I saw her surgically remove a fern, some leaves, twigs, and who knows what else I stopped looking after that, and I really don't know where that stuff came from, but that's what happens when you forget the baby wipes.  Butt cream applied felt heavenly and I was sooo happy. I would have no similar issues after that. I was starting to feel recharged, drank a Frappicino, ate  Pringles, cookies, fruit, potatoes in salt, and ramen noodles.

Good to go, Ryan and I jogged out of aid station, 8:00 pm, 18 hours in. I was happy to have Ryan with me. My joy was short lived as we got to the next hill in the woods, we walked on but I was again sinking. We got out of the woods and into some open meadows, still up hill, I felt I wanted to run but it was too hilly for me and I just couldn't. The sun was setting, the nearly full moon was coming up, it was breathtakingly beautiful. We turned on our headlamps and went back into the woods.  I couldn't run the steep downhills, too tough and I was having problems adjusting to the dark. We got to some relatively flat section and started to shuffle along. It was about here Ryan politely pointed out our walking pace may be faster then run pace, but it felt good to run. We finished this 7 mile leg, Ryan had gotten me through, and Hoyt picked me up for the next 11.  We were able to run (at least I am calling it that) quite a bit of this stretch. Hoyt pushed me on through and we got to Jen at mile 88. More Frappicinos, ramen noodles, cookies, Pringles and we were good to go. Just needed to get 3 miles to next aid station, then 4... Jen had the world's brightest headlamp that lit up the woods. It was awesome. She walked behind me and I saw my shadow and I thought I looked like Frankenstein, playing around with that a while in my mind, got me through the next mile. At this point our goal was just to get to the next glow stick, then the next, we got to aid station at mile 91, ate and drank some more, and trudged on. Jen would ask me questions to distract me and keep me moving, but I couldn't talk and I am not sure if I didn't answer or just said yes or no. Jen got me to mile 95.5. I had no doubts I was going to finish, I never did, I always knew I was going to make it no matter what because I wasn't quitting, but I had been scared of the unknowns and what could happen. Ann picked me up from this point and we walked glow stick to glow stick. I think even "ran" a little. The sun was coming up and it was beautiful.  Ann got me to the finish, it was now daylight again, we saw Jen, Ryan,  Hoyt, my brother and mother, and the dude handing out the finishers medal which is also the coolest bottle opener. I really felt pretty good at that point. Finished in 25 hours 26 minutes.

Later that day, Jen, Ryan, the Kohl family came over for some awesome baked ziti Ann made. A highlight of the race weekend, discussing the finer points of the race, and the adventures of the crew, who had stayed awake over 24 hours, with only a few naps sprinkled in, and had successfully navigated the Vermont "roads" and woods, to be there for me at every possible handler station, and even more.  I am sure they all have their own stories, that I look forward to hearing more about.

Post-Race beverage of choice: Magic Hat Blind Faith IPA courtesy of Ryan Brubaker

The Good: Ann, Livia, Owen, David, my brother, his family and my mother, Jen, Ryan, Hoyt and his family, Andy, Vermont, covering 100 miles and yes it is an awesome adventure and experience.
Some things that worked well for me:
The best crew in the race!
Chocolate milk, Frappicinos, Pringles, ginger snaps and any kind of cookies, ramen noodles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, watermelon, potatoes in salt, ginger candy and butt cream.

The bad: the hills, humidity, pain, struggling through the second half.

The ugly: stomach problems, no baby wipes, and my ankles, once I took my sneakers off after the race they looked like grapefruit.

Is it what I thought it was? Yes, and more. Although I underestimated the pain. But it's a pain we can all deal with, anyone of us can do this. I had heard you run the first 50 miles with your legs and next 50 with your head. I believe this is true, anyone of us can do this or something like it.

Would I do it again? No doubt! (just not anytime soon)

I hope some of this information is helpful for you, and of course, I would be happy to talk stories with anyone, that's where I learn the most and pick up some great advice from you guys.
Thanks, Jaime

Friday, August 2, 2013

Recalled Jeep airbag deploys, Chrysler doesn’t have parts to fix.

On its website WRGB-TV Albany, NY (8/2) reports that the airbag on Connie Lee’s 2003 Jeep Liberty blew for no apparent reason badly bruising the woman. WRGB notes that the vehicle was the subject of a recent recall and the “the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found flawed occupant restraint control modules within the vehicle can lead to the deployments.” Lee says she wasn’t aware of the recall and when Chrysler sent and investigator to inspect the Jeep she was told the company didn’t have the parts to fix the recalled Jeep. A company spokesman said that “parts for vehicles affected by this campaign have just become available in sufficient quantities and are scheduled for shipment by mid-August.”

Ford pays maximum fine over delayed Escape recall.

The AP (8/2, Lowy) reports Ford has paid the maximum fine allowed of $17.35 million to settle claims by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was slow to recall 485,000 Ford Escape SUVs from the 2001 to 2004 model years that “were recalled to fix sticking gas pedals that could cause crashes.” NHTSA contends that Ford new about the issue in May 2011, but failed to take action until the agency began its investigation in July 2012 after an Arizona girl died in a crash involving an Escape in January 2012. Ford denied any violations in the settlement agreement.

        Bloomberg News (8/2, Keane, Durisin) reports, “It is critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers address automotive safety issues quickly and in a forthright manner,” Nathan Naylor, a NHTSA spokesman, said in an email. Meanwhile, Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an email that “while we are confident in our current processes for quickly identifying and addressing potential vehicle issues, Ford agreed to this settlement to avoid a lengthy dispute with the government.”

        The Los Angeles Times (8/1, Undercoffler, 692K) notes that Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at auto information website called the development significant and comment that “what it says is that you don’t mess around with NHTSA.” He called it “a very expensive swat on the hand.”

        The Detroit News (8/1, Henkel, 119K) points out that “Toyota paid the same fine last year because it delayed the recall of 154,000 Lexus SUVs over gas pedal entrapment issues.”

        Also reporting are Reuters (8/1, Seetharaman) and the Wall Street Journal (8/2, Ramsey, Subscription Publication, 2.29M).

Monday, July 15, 2013

Toyota RAV4 fails “overlap” crash test.

USA Today (7/11, Healey, Meier, 1.71M) reports that Toyota’s redesigned RAV4 small SUV got a “poor” ranking in what the IIHS calls the “front small overlap” test. However, “it scored ‘good’ – IIHS’ top ranking – in the four other types of crash tests, and earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the insurance industry trade organization.” USA Today notes that “IIHS says it was testing small SUVs earlier this year and Toyota asked it to temporarily exclude the new RAV” because the automakers “said it was making some changes to RAV4s built after April that it thought would improve the vehicle’s performance in the offset test.”

        The New York Times (7/11, Jensen, 1.68M) reports the Poor rating was due to “a combination of poor structure and inadequate control of the test dummy’s movement.”

FDA claims 30 da Vinci robot devices not properly tested.

Bloomberg News (7/12, Tirrell, Larkin) reported that the FDA said that Intuitive Surgical Inc., which makes da Vinci Surgical System robots, told its customers that “30 devices may not have been tested properly” In an Urgent Device Correction notice, Intuitive said the class 2 recall “affects Intuitive’s da Vinci Si Vision System Cart, Si Surgeon Side Cart, Instrument Control Box and Dual Camera Controller.” The devices were re-tested on site after the company discovered that “one piece of testing equipment wasn’t recording results properly,” a spokeswoman said. Bloomberg News noted that earlier this year “US regulators were surveying surgeons about the robots following a rise in adverse event reports that include as many as 70 deaths since 2009.”

In wake of Zimmerman verdict, Obama says nation must confront “tide of gun violence.”

The aftermath of the Saturday evening acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin is receiving saturation coverage, with ABC devoting nearly half of its Sunday evening newscast to the story, and NBC giving it more than six minutes of screen time. (CBS was pre-empted Sunday evening.) The trial was also a prime subject on the Sunday morning talk shows, with most elected officials offering perfunctory statements regarding respecting the results of the judicial process but some suggesting that Justice Department action may be appropriate. While the NAACP is calling for a Federal hate crime probe of Zimmerman’s actions, and the DOJ is reactivating its investigation, several reports say the legal bar may be too high for a Federal case.

        In its opening story, ABC World News reported that “outside the courtroom and at demonstrations across the country, an outpouring of sorrow, some believing justice was not served, others saying they felt for Trayvon Martin’s parents but that jurors did follow the law. And President Obama saying tonight, ‘We are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.’”

        The AP (7/14) reports President Obama said Martin’s death “was a tragedy for America,” but asked “that all Americans respect the call for calm reflection. There have been a number of rallies and protests, most of which have been peaceful.” USA Today (7/15, Korte, 1.71M) reports the President, in a statement posted on the White House website, said, “We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.” Obama “also used the occasion to renew his call for gun safety legislation, saying, ‘We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives.’”

        McClatchy (7/15, Kumar) reports the President said, “We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”

        The Christian Science Monitor (7/15, Knickerbocker, 47K) notes that up to this point, the President’s “only notable comment” on the case came early last year “when he said, ‘If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.’” Reuters (7/14, Wulfhorst, Liston), the Los Angeles Times (7/15, Rojas, 692K), the Washington Times (7/15, Boyer, 76K), and Politico (7/15, Summers, 25K) also have brief reports on the President’s statement.

        DOJ restarts investigation; NAACP seeks Federal action. NBC Nightly News said in its lead report that Martin’s death “almost 17 months ago opened up emotional questions about racial profiling and about a person’s right to defend themselves. It also sparked spirited demands for justice.” ABC World News says the question of whether the DOJ will take action became more prominent Sunday after the NAACP launched an online petition. ABC senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas said, “The Justice Department has very narrow jurisdiction in terms of bringing such a case. They have to prove that racial discrimination and racism played a role in all the acts leading up to the death of Trayvon Martin. That’s a high bar.”

        NAACP President/CEO Ben Jealous said on CBS’ Face The Nation, “We hope that once everything has happened that can happen here in Florida, because the DOJ often waits until the end, that DOJ will act and will hold Mr. Zimmerman accountable for what he has done. … What you have to do there is show that race was a factor in his decisionmaking. And there seems to be plenty of evidence that suggest that race may have been a factor.” Jealous said on CNN’s State Of The Union, “There were comments made – I don’t think we want to retry it here, but the reality is that his comments are ‘these punks always get away,’ comments by young black boys in that neighborhood felt like he kind of zeros them out give people concern.”

        The AP (7/15) reports that the Justice Department “says it is looking into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin” to “determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.” Noting that the department “opened an investigation into Martin’s death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed,” the AP adds that in a Sunday statement, the department “said the criminal section of the civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida are continuing to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal probe, in addition to the evidence and testimony from the state trial.”

        The Wall Street Journal (7/15, Campo-Flores, Subscription Publication, 2.29M) reports that an unnamed source said Holder plans to address the Zimmerman case at a speech before the NAACP in Orlando, FL, on Tuesday.

        Martin supporters engage in mostly peaceful demonstrations across US. On ABC World News, Gio Benitez reported, “Trayvon Martin’s supporters have been calling for nationwide protests. That’s exactly what happened. ... From coast to coast, major cities saw anger over the Zimmerman verdict spilling into the streets. In Oakland, California, police say up to 100 demonstrators caused minor damage but protests, by in large, were peaceful everywhere.” The AP (7/14) says in Oakland, “some angry demonstrators broke windows, burned US flags and started street fires.” The Los Angeles Times (7/15, Blankstein, Mozingo, 692K) reports in Los Angeles, one protest “turned violent with police firing bean bag rounds.”

        The Los Angeles Times (7/15, Semuels, Rojas, 692K) reports there were demonstrations in many large cities starting as early as Saturday night. The New York Times (7/15, Nagourney, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) says the message at these rallies was largely the same. “Lawmakers, members of the clergy and demonstrators who assembled in parks and squares” described the acquittal “as evidence of endemic racism.”

        The Miami Herald (7/15, Flechas, Chang, Mazzei, 139K) says “the streets of South Florida stayed mostly quiet” this weekend despite the demonstrations during the trial itself. The Chicago Sun-Times (7/15, Knowles, 405K) and the Detroit Free Press (7/15, Anderson, 280K) each say “several hundred people” turned out for rallies in their cities. The Wall Street Journal (7/15, Campo-Flores, Subscription Publication, 2.29M) headlines its report “Scattered Protests After Zimmerman Verdict.”
        USA Today (7/15, Alcindor, Copeland, 1.71M) says “protests were being held across the country Sunday by people who say they can’t move on while they feel that the case and the bigger issues of race and justice that it represents are unresolved,” while the Washington Post (7/15, Leonnig, Johnson, 489K) says the verdict “changed little of how starkly the case has divided Americans along the jagged fissures of race and personal safety.”