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Honolulu Hawaii Sexual Abuse Law Blog

Court denies Mansanto's motion for summary judgment

Hawaiians might have heard about the potential dangers of Roundup and its alleged link to cancer. Recently, a California court denied Monsanto's motion for summary judgment against three plaintiffs who are suing based on the company's failure to warn about the dangers of glyphosate.

Monsanto filed its motion for summary judgment, which is a motion that asks the court to dismiss the plaintiffs' lawsuit, on four grounds. The company first argued that the plaintiffs' arguments under state law were expressly preempted by federal law. It then argued that the claims were made under implied preemption. Monsanto also argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the plaintiffs' failure-to-warn claims and that there wasn't enough evidence to support an award for punitive damages.

Tesla crashes raise questions about electric car safety

Car buyers in Hawaii and around the country who are looking for vehicles with green credentials and sophisticated technology often choose electric cars made by Tesla. The California-based manufacturer's cars are powered by large lithium ion batteries and feature semi-autonomous systems including the much heralded Autopilot feature, but a series of deadly crashes involving Teslas has raised concerns about their safety and attracted the attention of federal crash investigators.

Accidents which took place in Florida in May 2018 and on Feb. 24 both involved Tesla Model S sedans equipped with the Autopilot feature that left the roadway at a high rate of speed and killed their occupants. According to media reports, the batteries on both cars caught fire at least three times. It is the danger posed to first responders by electric car battery fires, which can burn for 24 hours and are extremely difficult to extinguish, that has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate.

Did you know that medical errors are a top cause of death?

We hear so much about cancer and heart disease being major causes of death in the United States, but the problem of medical errors ranks third on the list.

Injuries and fatalities caused by medical errors are underreported. Researchers struggle with insufficient data and want to see improved information-gathering procedures.

Church leaders promise change to prevent sexual abuse

Sexual abuse by church leaders has made headlines in Hawaii and in other states. Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have vowed to make changes following investigative reports released by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News that revealed decades of sexual abuse by church leaders and volunteers. According to the reports, about 380 Southern Baptist preachers and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct since 1998. Many of these allegations have led to criminal convictions. Almost 100 of those who have been accused of sex crimes are currently incarcerated.

The reports revealed that over 700 victims, including children and teenagers, had been subjected to molestation or rape, and many of the incidents occurred in church classrooms and offices. Many victims stated that they had been threatened or intimidated by church leaders and had been told to remain silent about the abuse.

Trucks recalled for power steering failures

Trucks manufactured by a major automaker are being recalled due to failures in their power steering. The Italian-American company, which sells models in Hawaii and throughout the world, has already had a major recall already in 2019. The other problem was related to exploding airbags and involved more than one and a half million vehicles. No crashes or injuries have yet to be contributed to the power-steering problem.

About a third of the trucks affected by this recall are still in dealerships. The rest of them are mostly in the United States and Canada. The problem is related to a manufacturing issue where the fasteners for the batteries were not properly secured, meaning they can detach while driving and cause the power steering to fail. Broken power steering makes the truck difficult to navigate which could be a serious hazard on the road.

Man charged in case involving woman in vegetative state

Hawaii residents may have heard about the story of the woman who gave birth while in a vegetative state in an Arizona nursing home. A 36-year-old man who worked as a nurse at the facility has been taken into custody. He was charged with sexual assault as well as vulnerable adult abuse. The man had worked at the Hacienda Health facility since 2011.

Authorities say that a variety of tactics were used to determine who to take into custody. One of those tactics was to conduct a DNA test on the child and compare it to a DNA sample obtained from the employee. The man who was taken into custody did not make a statement, and he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself. At a court hearing, a judge ordered his release on $500,000 cash bond and ordered him to appear again on Jan. 30.

EHR usability issues behind many medication errors

A study published in December 2018 has shown that electronic health records, despite their advantages, can sometimes contribute to safety errors in medicine. Hawaii residents, especially those with children who take medication, should take note that EHR issues are behind an estimated 50 percent of all pediatric safety errors.

Researchers looked at 9,000 patient safety reports filed with three different health care institutions between 2012 and 2017, and they found that more than half of the errors mentioned in them involved both EHR usability and medication. Of those, 36 percent of cases had EHR usability issues that led to specific medication errors, 18.8 percent of which may have resulted in patient harm.

5 dangerous supplements

When you buy a supplement at the store, you expect it to be safe. You may purchase a supplement for weight loss, muscle gain, reducing pain or treating colds. However, many supplements contain unapproved and hazardous ingredients.

Some of the pills you take may cause serious medical problems, including death. Here is a list of some of the most dangerous supplements.

State attorney general reports 685 priests sexually abused kids

Hawaiians may have heard about the shocking allegations against the Catholic church in Pennsylvania that it covered up child sexual assaults that were committed by priests. Now, the Illinois Attorney General's Office reports that almost 700 Catholic priests in the state have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse over the past few decades. The number is far higher than what had been previously reported by the Catholic Church in its own investigation.

The Illinois Attorney General's Office began an investigation into sexual abuse and assault within the Catholic Church in August 2018. Through its own investigation, the Illinois Attorney General's Office reports that it has identified 500 credible child sexual assault allegations against priests in addition to the 185 that the Catholic Church had previously revealed.

How companies decide when to recall a product

Consumers in Hawaii may face unexpected risks when they buy common household products. Toys, furniture and even supplements can be defective, poorly made or dangerous. Some well-known product recalls make the news, especially when serious injuries or fatalities are involved, but many consumers don't know much about the process that companies use to determine when to issue a recall.

When companies learn of a problem with a product, they may weigh several factors before deciding whether to publicly issue a recall, including their responsibility for potential product liability lawsuits. The brand's image is a complex factor in these calculations; a company that does not issue recalls may be the target of consumer anger and mistrust for a long time to come. Consumers expect companies to take responsibility for poorly made or hazardous products.

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