Fresno Jury Finds Bendix Despicable, Awards $10.9 Million

Jimmy Phillips San Pedro, CA, May 29, 2014 – TheWorthington & CaronLaw Firm is pleased to announce that a jury in Fresno,California has returned a substantial verdict in favor of our clients, the family of James ‘Jimmy’ Phillips, deceased, a 59 year-old plumber and race car enthusiast.Defendant Honeywell, whose predecessor, Bendix, made asbestos-containing brake pads and linings, was the only defendant at trial. The jury awarded $7.4 million in compensatory damages and assigned 30% of fault to Bendix. The jury also found that Bendix acted with reckless indifference and awarded an additional $3.5 million in punitive damages. This was the first mesothelioma verdict ever awarded in Fresno.The lawsuit was originally filed in May of 2012 in Alameda County, California. The defendants fought to transfer venue to…

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8 Practical Steps You Can Take if You’re Ever in a Car Crash

Almost all drivers will experience a fender bender, object collision, or a more significant car crash at some time in their lives. While car accidents can be very scary and stressful, you need to be prepared to take specific steps if you are ever involved in a crash. Here’s what you need to do:Step 1. Get help.If you or anyone else has been injured, you need to get help as soon as possible. If you have a cell phone you should call 911 and ask the operator to send an ambulance. If you don’t have a cell phone or are unable to move, ask the first person on the scene to call for help. If there is a crowd of people, single out one person and specifically ask him or her to call.Step 2. Make the area safe, if possible.In non-injury accidents that don’t result in significant damage to your vehicle, it’s best to move your car, truck, or motorcycle to a safe place. As long as the vehicle is operable, you should try to move it to the side of the road or somewhere else where it won’t be an obstruction to other motorists.Step 3. Exchange driver details.Once you are sure that everyone involved is fine and the area is safe, you should then talk to the other driver to obtain his or her insurance information. …

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Knowing What Causes Motorcycle Accidents Could Save Your Life

Whether you are an experienced rider or are considering your first motorcycle, educating yourself about motorcycle safety is a must. Generally speaking, motorcycles are significantly more dangerous than passenger cars and light trucks. Consider the following statistics:According to the Department of Transportation, motorcycle operators are involved in deadly accidents 35 times more than those driving cars or trucks. More than half of motorcycle crashes resulting in a fatality involved at least one other vehicle. The remaining crashes did not involve other vehicles, but instead involved encounters with obstructed roadways, collisions with fixed objects, or other dangers. Of those motorcycle operators who died in a crash, about half were speeding while just over 40% had blood-alcohol concentrations above the legal limit. Common Crash CausesWhile motorcycle accidents statistics are sobering, the story doesn’t end there. Motorcycles lack many of the safety features that cars and light trucks have. In addition to having open cabins and no seat belts or driver restraints, motorcycles are also significantly smaller than other vehicles. Their size is a significant safety factor because other drivers often fail to see them on the road. …

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Calming your dog’s anxiety during noisy Fourth of July

July 1, 2013 — Dog owners everywhere feel a pang of anxiety as the Fourth of July approaches. Will their pooch simply hide under the bed when fireworks go off or run for the hills? If you’re the owner of a dog with noise phobias, what can you do?University of Washington psychologist James Ha, a specialist in animal behavior, has several suggestions, each with its own set of pros and cons.Ha, an associate professor with a side business as an animal behavior consultant, says there are three main ways to handle noise phobias: management, treatment and drugs.Management involves removing the dog from the situation. Owners might put their pets in the basement with loud music on so they don’t hear the fireworks. Others may take their dog to a kennel far removed from potential fireworks. Many kennels offer special Fourth of July programs.If you choose the kennel-in-the-country option, Ha says it’s important that your dog is already comfortable with the kennel; for example, it should be a kennel you use regularly when you’re on vacation. Don’t just drop dogs off at a new kennel on the Fourth of July and expect them to be happy.Treatment options can include special wraps that apply gentle acupressure, or counterconditioning to replace an undesirable response to a stimulus (fear) with a positive one.Ha and two researchers from Tufts University in Boston recently published a paper on the effectiveness of a product called Anxiety Wrap for calming dogs during thunderstorms. Ha says there are many similar products that all work essentially the same.”The Anxiety Wraps work for some dogs and they work for acute situations, or short-term situations,” Ha said of the research, which was funded by the company that makes Anxiety Wrap. “The distinction is, most dog bites and aggression is related to fear and anxiety — of children, of cars, of men — it’s a chronic thing. So the Anxiety Wrap is not going to work on those situations. …

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High-octane bacteria could ease pain at the pump: Engineered E. coli mass-produce key precursor to potent biofuel

June 25, 2013 — New lines of engineered bacteria can tailor-make key precursors of high-octane biofuels that could one day replace gasoline, scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School report in the June 24 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The same lines can also produce precursors of pharmaceuticals, bioplastics, herbicides, detergents, and more.”The big contribution is that we were able to program cells to make specific fuel precursors,” said Pamela Silver, Ph.D., a Wyss Institute Core Faculty member, Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, and senior author of the study.New biofuels are needed for cars and other vehicles. Ethanol, the most popular biofuel on the market, packs only two-thirds the energy of gasoline, and ethanol-containing fuels also corrode pipes, tanks, and other infrastructure used to transport and store gasoline. Meanwhile, burning gasoline itself adds huge amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and relies on the world’s dwindling supply of oil.Yet gasoline produces more energy than current biofuels when burned in an internal combustion engine, and remains liquid in temperatures ranging from a Texas heat wave to a North Dakota cold snap. Moreover, hundreds of millions of cars worldwide are built to run on it.Silver and her team are seeking new ways to make gasoline-like biofuels that could be stored at gas stations and used to fuel the cars we already have. To develop these, they enlisted the iconic laboratory bacterium E. coli to help make gasoline precursors called fatty acids — energy-packed molecules containing chains of carbon atoms flanked with hydrogen atoms that can be easily converted into fuels.Specifically, they are focusing on medium-chain fatty acids — those with chains between four and 12 carbons long. Fatty acids with shorter chains do not store enough energy to be good fuels and they tend to vaporize easily, while those with chains longer than 12 carbons are too waxy. But medium-length fatty acids are just the right length to be transformed into an energy-packed liquid fuel for internal-combustion engines.Today oil refineries produce medium-chain-length compounds from crude oil. But “instead of using petroleum products, you can have microbes or other living organisms do it for you,” Silver said.To accomplish that, Joe Torella, Ph.D., and Tyler Ford, Harvard Medical School Systems Biology graduate students in Silver’s laboratory and the paper’s lead coauthors, tweaked an E. coli metabolic pathway that produces fatty acids. …

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