In the Star Tribune newspaper this past Thanksgiving day was an article about crash avoidance technology in automobiles and the fact that auto manufacturers have not made it standard equipment yet, despite overwhelming evidence that it is cheap and incredibly effective. The National Traffic Safety Board reports that there was a 7.2% increase in highway deaths in 2015. The agency was extremely frustrated by this and is "calling for action to reduce fatalities on multiple fronts."
In today's Star Tribune on page B5 they noted that 2 pedestrians who had been hit in Minneapolis this week had died. Both of these individuals were struck in broad daylight and neither drugs nor alcohol were involved in either crash. Why aren't people paying more attention when they are driving? How much carelessness is necessary to kill someone? Apparently not much. How should the families of these individuals be compensated?
In this morning's Minneapolis Star Tribune there was an article about trampoline park injuries. As these parks have grown in popularity, the number of emergency room visits has also increased dramatically. In the five years ending in 2014 emergency room visits went from 581 in 2010 to 6932 in 2014.Most of these parks require that the user or the user's parent sign an ironclad waiver before using the facilities.
In today's Star Tribune the headline on page 1 read as above. The article went on to note that there was a 21% increase in 2015 in traffic deaths in Minnesota attributed to distracted driving. Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that traffic deaths went up in 2015 over 2014. The good news was that speeding related fatalities were reduced by 17%.
In today's Star Tribune there was a short article noting that a van hit a woman in a crosswalk and killed her. It happened on Tuesday at about 4:15 PM. Her name has not been released yet. Staggeringly, this is the 65th pedestrian to be hit THIS YEAR IN ST. PAUL ALONE! Small consolation can be found for the victim's family in Minnesota's No Fault Act, which will insure that the woman's family recovers for her medical expenses and at least a portion of her funeral expenses.
In yesterday's Minneapolis Star Tribune There was an article reporting that the appeals court had dismantled former governor Jesse Ventura's $1 million + verdict against the estate of Chris Kyle, who had written his autobiography, "American Sniper". Jesse claimed that in the book the author had written certain things about Jesse which were untrue and which harmed his reputation amongst the Seal community.
Three days ago I got a phone call from a gentleman whose three-year-old minivan had been totaled in a crash, not his fault. Because he had financed the vehicle over six years, he still owes over $12,000 on the vehicle, yet has been told that he will only get $9000 for replacement cost because that is all the vehicle is worth.As more and more cars get more and more expensive, and the loans go out longer and longer, this is going to be a very common situation if the crash is severe enough
Following up to yesterday's blog on unfair arbitration clauses, in today's Star Tribune there was an article about a Senate bill introduced by Sen. Franken, cosponsored by 15 other senators, designed to put an end to these stealth arbitration provisions. In the article the senator noted that these clauses are one-sided and effectively eliminate a person's right to sue.
Just last week the New York Times published a very well researched article on the subject of forced arbitration clauses being inserted into contracts by corporate America for the purpose of eliminating a consumer's right to sue. These forced arbitration clauses are in virtually every contract that everyone has to sign to get things like cell phones, credit cards, or a bank account. Naturally the worst offenders are the brokerage houses, credit card companies, and banks too big to fail.
Just last week the Minnesota Star Tribune ran a series of articles concerning the dangers of the family farm. "Farming remains one of the most dangerous occupations in America, with fatality rates above other high risk industries such as mining and construction. Altogether, nearly 5000 people have died in farm accidents since 2003." Farming remains one of the nation's most dangerous occupations, generating an average of more than 400 work-related deaths each year.
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