Litigation is the Pits – Claim Dismissed for Injuries Caused by Natural Food Substance

“A lady bit down on a pit in an olive …” may sound like the opening line to a bad joke, but the defendant she sued for her injuries appears to have had the last laugh. The plaintiff filed a personal injury claim against the defendant in California state court for products liability and pursued theories of strict liability, negligence and breach of an express written warranty.  This claims arises from plaintiff’s purchase of several cans of “Lindsay’s Large Pitted Olives” that she planned to…
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FDA Resumes Inspections of Certain Foods during Government Shut Down

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced this week that he was requesting furloughed federal employees to return to work and resume inspections of certain high-risk foods. Typically, the FDA conducts about 160 food inspections per week. Inspections have been halted since the federal government shut down and 40% of the FDA’s workforce was put on furlough. Dr. Gottlieb stated that he hoped that several hundred workers would return without pay to resume inspections of foods such as soft cheeses, seafood, some fruits and vegetables, baby…
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Crisis in Construction: Increased Risk of Opioid Abuse in the Construction Industry

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, on average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The construction industry, in particular, has been disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic. According to North America’s Building Trades Union, the overdose rate for workers in the construction industry is seven times that of the general population. But why? The work is physically intensive and the risk of suffering a work-related injury is higher than the national average in other occupations. Laborers tend to…
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Crossing (State) Lines

Since 2014, New York has made medical cannabis available to individuals suffering from a variety of conditions under the Compassionate Care Act.  However, in order to obtain medical cannabis, a patient must be certified by a medical professional licensed in New York.  Now, two states have decided that open lines of communication (and sales) should be allowed.  On January 2, 2019, the Arkansas Department of Health announced it planned on issuing registry identification cards by February, following a meeting by the Medical Marijuana Commission where…
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A New York State of Mind (on Cannabis)

Since 2014, New York has made medical cannabis available to individuals suffering from a variety of conditions under the Compassionate Care Act.  If recent news articles are to be believed, New York State is looking to legalize adult use cannabis early in 2019.  New York would then join the ranks of other states legalizing adult use such as Colorado, Massachusetts and California in allowing adults over the age of 21 to purchase and use cannabis. It will be interesting to see what the final adult…
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Gingerbread House of Horrors: FDA Issues Warning Regarding Raw Cookie Dough

This week, the FDA and CDC issued a warning reminding holiday bakers to lay off the raw cookie dough. While most are aware that raw eggs used to make cookie dough or cake batter can contain salmonella, the FDA also noted that flour is a raw food product that has not been treated to kill germs such as E.Coli. Earlier this year, boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix were recalled after salmonella was detected in a box of Classic White Cake Mix in Oregon. It…
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Federal Court Finds Issue of Fact on “Artificial Flavor” Label — Partially Grants Class Certification

Recently, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted partial certification to a class-action suit filed over alleged false advertising based primarily upon the labeling of “artificial flavors” in beverages manufactured by defendant Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. The plaintiff claimed that the labels on certain juice-based beverages falsely stated “No . . . artificial flavors” when in fact the beverages contained artificial flavoring chemicals (malic acid and fumaric acid) that simulate the advertised fruit flavors.   The plaintiff was seeking to certify…
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Employer/Employee Relationships Under Medical Marijuana Laws

I’ve recently been on a kick writing about Missouri’s recent passage of State Constitutional Amendment Two legalizing the use of medical marijuana within the state. Past posts discussed some of the specifics of the law and some of the problems that may develop when Missouri, like other states, has problems with conflicting federal laws (Second Amendment and gun ownership). Continuing on my Missouri kick as they are one of the more recent states to legalize medical marijuana, I thought we’d next address another thorny topic…
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“Medicine Chest of the World” Joins Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

New Jersey has joined the long – and growing – company of states and local municipalities in the fight against the opioid epidemic.  The New Jersey attorney general filed suit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alleging that the company misled consumers on how addictive the long term use of their opioid products were. The lawsuit by New Jersey represents a new frontier in the opioid epidemic as the state brings legal action against one of its biggest employers.  New Jersey has a deep relationship with the pharmaceutical…
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Medical Marijuana and Guns (Still) Don’t Mix…For Now

A few weeks back, we discussed the issues Maryland faced now that it legalized medical marijuana – specifically, gun ownership.  As most of you know by now, federal law bars federal firearm licensee’s from selling firearms to persons who utilize medical marijuana.  Under the Federal Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3), it is unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of…
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