Commercial

56 Pediatric Patients’ Stem Cells Destroyed in Hospital Freezer Failure

When a storage freezer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) malfunctioned last month, 56 pediatric patients, many undergoing cancer treatment, lost their stem cells. The cells were collected before patients began cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation, and stored for potential future use. Following the incident, CHLA sent notification letters to the affected families, unfortunately…

Capsized Vessel Imperils Crew, Damages Millions in Cargo

At 2 a.m. on September 8, the U.S. Coast Guard stationed near St. Simons, Georgia, was alerted that the Golden Ray, a South Korean cargo vessel carrying over 4,000 new automobiles, had begun dangerously inclining to one side, shortly after departing the Port of Brunswick. By late morning response teams had rescued 20 of the…

Flammable Bathrobes, Contaminated Dog Treats Underscore Recall Exposures

On August 30, Restoration Hardware issued a product safety recall for about 5,700 cotton Turkish bathrobes following reports that the robes had ignited when being worn during gas stove use. Made in Turkey, the bathrobes sold from August 2018 to March in the both the U.S. and Canada. That same day Restoration Hardware also recalled…

Unlicensed Greenhouses and Mold Prompt Extensive Recalls and Returns, Showing Cannabis Industry Risk

On August 19, CannTrust Holdings Inc. announced that the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) was returning its entire $2.2 million inventory of CannTrust products. The return is in response to the suspension of CannTrust’s sales and shipments last month, after a Health Canada inspection revealed the company had grown plants in several unlicensed greenhouses. Prior to…

Fire Destroys Jim Beam Warehouse, Bourbon Plume Pollutes Rivers

On July 2, lightning struck and ignited a fire at two Jim Beam distillery warehouses in Versailles, Kentucky. The fire, fueled by the 45,000 barrels—over 2 million gallons—of bourbon, burned for several days and reduced one warehouse and its contents to rubble. Bourbon from barrels destroyed in the fire flowed from the site into nearby…

Construction Accidents in Dallas and Boston Show Complex Project Exposures

July 25 proved to be a harrowing day for pedestrians in Boston, Massachusetts. That morning a metal railing fell from the roof of a building in Boston’s North End, striking and seriously injuring a woman walking nearby. Hours later, a crane on a construction site at the TD Garden arena dropped several steel beams weighing…

Extreme Heat, Power Outages Disrupt Business and Events

Temperatures near and in the triple digits have scorched the U.S. Midwest, Northeast and parts of Canada this month, accompanied by blackouts, extreme weather and other heat-related headaches. On July 19, violent thunderstorms in Michigan cut power to a half million people in the Greater Detroit area. Earlier that day an unexplained explosion and fire…

Hurricane Barry Serves as Flood Wake-up Call for Businesses, Homeowners

Barry touched down on the Louisiana coast as a Category 1 hurricane on July 13, shutting down businesses, tearing roofs from homes, flooding streets and halting oil production across the Gulf of Mexico. Even as the country’s first hurricane of the year diminished in power and was downgraded to a tropical storm, it continued to…

California Earthquakes Prompt Homeowners, Businesses to Examine Exposures

On July 5, approximately 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles in Ridgecrest, California residents experienced a 7.1-magnitude earthquake, only 34 hours after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook the same location. Fortunately, there were no deaths. As homeowners and businesses evaluate damage, early estimates predict at least $100 million in losses. California is the site of more…

2019’s Record-Breaking Tornado Season Continues, Causing Billions in Damages

Shortly before 9 p.m. on June 23, a tornado with wind speeds up to 125 miles per hour cut a two-mile path of destruction through South Bend, Indiana. A potentially treacherous stovepipe tornado was reported in northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County a few minutes later, at 9:15 p.m. A day earlier, tornadoes touched down in…