Johnson & Johnson hit with record damages in California cancer case

Screen capture image, via YouTube.

Los Angeles jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay damages of $417 million to a 62-year-old woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on years of using the company’s baby powder for feminine hygiene. It was the first California trial in the mushrooming legal battle over links between genital use of talc and ovarian cancer, and the award against J&J on Monday was by far the largest so far.

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News

CalPERS steps up on climate change

CalPERS headquarters, downtown Sacramento. (Photo: CalPERS)

CalPERS is a leader in forming a first-ever global alliance of large investors that would use its combined shareholder clout to engage companies with the most carbon emissions, believed by scientists to contribute to climate change. The CalPERS board was told last week that its staff is working with others to complete the plan in time for an introduction at a United Nations investor meeting next month in Berlin, followed by a public launch in November at a UN climate change meeting in Bonn.

Opinion

Consumer Watchdog: Grill PUC nominee on oil, gas links

Aliso Canyon in Southern California, site of an unprecedented methane gas leak. (Photo: trekandshoot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Aliso Canyon was the biggest methane well blowout in U.S. history, and we still don’t know why it happened. The California Public Utilities Commission and Brown administration regulators just reopened the facility without the necessary environmental and safety reviews, so we have no way of knowing if it will happen again.

News

From global warming to redistricting: Is Arnold back?

Former Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, followed by French officials, at a 2014 meeting in Paris targeting climate change. (Photo: Frederic Legrand, COMEO, via Shutterstock)

It was ‘way back in 1984 when Arnold Schwarzenegger first uttered the movie catchwords “I’ll be back” in The Terminator. Today, Arnold is back. Sort of. Now, through his Terminate Gerrymandering Crowdpac, Schwarzenegger has committed to match donations to a fund that will help Common Cause participate in a case before the Supreme Court challenging maps drawn by Wisconsin Republicans. He’s into other things, as well.

News

Hepatitis C Virus outbreak among millennials

Laboratory testing of HCV. (Photo: Jarun Ontakrai, via Shutterstock)

Millennials haven’t inherited the best batch of goods from baby boomers. They got a housing crisis, a shaky job market, and some enormous student loans. But until recently, viral hepatitis was the burden of boomers alone to bear. Now, millennials are also facing an outbreak of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). 

Opinion

Energy, CCAs and the seniors’ cost burden

San Francisco skyline at sunset, as its electricity usage kicks in. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: A current law that is supposed to protect seniors and all electricity customers from paying for power that was purchased for other customers is not working. A broad coalition of senior groups and dozens of others is encouraging the Senate committee to discuss the fair allocation of costs for clean energy and other long-term contracts that were purchased to meet our state’s clean energy goals

Opinion

Disputed legislation threatens hospital services

A hospital hallway and emergency room. (VILevi, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: AB 1250 would jeopardize access to care for millions of Californians by scrambling the current system, burying hospitals with new bureaucratic mandates, blizzards of paperwork and unnecessary red tape. Hospitals would be forced to divert limited financial and human resources from their mission of caring for patients.

News

Bullet train faces difficult journey

An artist's conception of the bullet train in operation. (Image, High Speed Rail Authority)

California’s bullet train may be in trouble again, as a recent court ruling and potential funding obstacles have plunged the transportation project into further uncertainty. The latest setbacks add to lingering questions over whether the $64 billion project can both meet its scheduled completion date and guarantee enough funding.

News

Stem cell agency eyes survival options

An illustration of stem cells used in research. (Photo: Billion Photos, via Shutterstock)

California’s $3 billion stem cell research agency, which is facing its financial demise in a few short years, has formed a team of its directors to tackle transition planning and examine possible alternatives, including ones that would extend its life. The first meeting of the group of directors is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 18. 

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