California Judge: Coffee needs cancer warnings

A Los Angeles judge has ruled that California law requires coffee companies to carry a cancer warning label.

Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said in a proposed decision Wednesday, March 28, 2018 that Starbucks and other coffee companies failed to show the threat from a chemical compound produced in the coffee roasting process was insignificant.

A non-profit group had sued coffee roasters, distributors and retailers under a state law that requires warnings on a wide range of chemicals that can cause cancer. One is acrylamide, a carcinogen present in coffee.

The coffee industry had claimed the chemical was present at harmless levels and should be exempt from the law because it results naturally from the cooking process to make the beans flavourful.

Proposed California judicial decisions can be reversed but are reversed rarely.

Court Rules Home Owners Have No Duty of Care When Tenant’s Dog Injures Others

Source: Erik Magraken: BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing the legal liability of a home owner whose tenant’s pet injures another.

In today’s case (Barlow v. Waterson) the Plaintiff alleged that a dog owned by the Defendant was off leash and caused her injury.  In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff sought to add the homeowner of the residence where the Defendant was residing as an additional Defendant.  The court rejected this application finding that even if all the allegations the Plaintiff was advancing were true the Defendant home owner owed no duty of care in the circumstances.  In dismissing the application Master Wilson provided the following reasons:

[13]         In this case, Mr. Seifi is not an occupier of the premises, having yielded control when he rented them to Ms. Waterson. Ms. Waterson was not Mr. Seifi’s agent as was found in Hindley. Mr. Seifi does not own the dog and therefore does not exercise control over the dog. He is not an occupier of Prospect Avenue, which presumably belongs to the municipality. He had no duty to control the dog owned by the defendant Waterson and had no ability or obligation to control or to limit activities on the property, let alone activities on the road adjacent to the property. To the extent there may be a bylaw regarding off leash dogs, that would be Ms. Waterson’s concern.

[14]         As for the allegation regarding adequate fencing in the proposed amended notice of civil claim, I agree with counsel for Mr. Seifi that there is no allegation that the dog here even escaped. In fact, the plaintiff’s evidence provided by way of her daughter’s email suggests that Ms. Waterson would routinely permit the dog to roam freely. This would suggest a failure to supervise or control the dog by Ms. Waterson as opposed to a failure to provide adequate fencing, a duty that would have been owed to Ms. Waterson but was not alleged by her in her Response to Civil Claim.

[15]         In the circumstances, although the threshold is a low one, I am not satisfied that Mr. Seifi owed any duty of care in this case to the plaintiff, and the application is dismissed.

Woman charged after allegedly driving 60 km/h under limit on Highway 401

Police say an Ottawa-area woman is facing charges for allegedly driving 60 km/h under the speed limit on Highway 401 in eastern Ontario.

Ontario Provincial Police say they received numerous calls Wednesday night about an eastbound car travelling at 40 km/h in Front of Yonge Township, about 25 kilometres west of Brockville.

They say the callers said the car was in the fast lane with its high beams on.

OPP made several attempts to get the driver to pull onto the right shoulder, but eventually had to make a tandem stop with cruisers at the front and rear of the vehicle to move it off the highway.

They say the driver told officers she believed the speed limit was 50 km/h.

A 47-year-old woman is charged with unnecessary slow driving, failing to obey signs and not having an insurance card.

Lock It OR Lose it Campaign

Source: IBC

Ontario’s Police Leaders want motorists to Lock it OR Lose it when it comes to their vehicles and valuables. The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) launched its annual Lock It OR Lose It campaign, which encourages drivers and passengers to take precautions to protect their vehicles and contents from theft, particularly during the holiday season.

The campaign was kicked off at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

“Locking your vehicle and keeping valuables such as GPS and mobile devices, laptops, shopping bags, money and credit cards out-of-sight can go a long way in deterring criminal activities.” said Chief Kimberley Greenwood, the OACP’s First Vice-President and Chief of the Barrie Police Service.

This year’s Lock it OR Lose it campaign is being launched during the holiday season because it’s easy for people to be distracted and leave their vehicle unlocked or leave valuables in plain sight during the holiday hustle-and-bustle. Police will use Lock it OR Lose it notices throughout the year as part of their on-going crime prevention efforts.

“The insurance industry is proud to work with the OACP to support the Lock It OR Lose It campaign,” said Steve Kee, Director of Media and Digital Communications, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “Between 2015 and 2016, we saw an overall increase of 1% in auto theft across Ontario.  Let’s not make it easy for the thieves. Leaving your vehicle unlocked or valuables in sight is an open invitation to thieves. We must be vigilant in fighting this crime.”

During the Lock it OR Lose it campaign, police officers, auxiliary officers, and crime prevention personnel examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view. A small notice is placed on vehicles advising what safety precautions were neglected and offer simple prevention tips for drivers to protect their vehicles against theft. The notices also congratulate drivers who have secured their vehicle.

Motorists are urged not to keep personal documents such as vehicle ownership, liability pink slips, credit card invoices, or other documents containing personal information in their vehicles. Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for export, and even take out a mortgage against victims’ properties without their knowledge.

The OACP thanks the Accident Support Services International, Arrive Alive/Drive Sober, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Mac’s Convenience Stores, Smart Serve Ontario, and Trace™ for supporting LockItORLoseIt crime prevention initiatives across Ontario.

Great plate fight: Saskatchewan, Alberta tussle over job site licence plates

Alberta promised a court fight and mocked Saskatchewan’s lagging economy following a move by its neighbour to the east to ban Alberta licence plates on future job sites.

“(Saskatchewan Premier) Brad Wall needs to smarten up, and he has one week to kill this ridiculous restriction, or we’re going to be taking him to court,” Alberta Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous said Wednesday.

Bilous said Saskatchewan’s move violates interprovincial free trade rules.

“Brad Wall is absolutely desperate,” Bilous said.

“We know our economy is growing by four per cent. Their economy is in the dumps, so he’s grasping at straws.”

Earlier Wednesday, December 6, 2017 Saskatchewan Infrastructure Minister David Marit announced that vehicles with Alberta licence plates will no longer be allowed on future government highway and building project sites. Existing projects will not be affected.

The ban includes contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and workers. Ministry staff will enforce the provision through job-site monitoring.

Marit said the ban is in response to reports from Saskatchewan workers who say they face similar restrictions in Alberta.

“Saskatchewan operators feel forced to register their vehicles in Alberta if they want to do business there,” said Marit. “Today’s (12/06/2017) announcement just levels the playing field.”

Bilous said there are no such restrictions in Alberta on out-of province workers or licence plates.

Alberta officials said there were no prior discussions or advance warning of the change from Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association lauded the move.

“Saskatchewan heavy construction contractors have been one of the largest employers in the province in good years and in bad,” association president Shantel Lipp said in a release.

“As local construction companies obtain a larger share of the Saskatchewan construction marketplace, they develop the people, equipment and capacity to maximize their economies of scale.”

The plate feud is the latest cross-boundary sniping between Wall’s right-of-centre government and Premier Rachel Notley’s left-leaning NDP.

Wall’s government has previously complained about new rules to assist Alberta’s craft brewers that Saskatchewan calls unfair to out-of-province beer producers.

 

Sobering truth: CounterAttack turns 40, impaired driving still serious issue

Source: ICBC

On December 1, 2017 the B.C. government, police and ICBC marked the 40th anniversary of CounterAttack.

Since CounterAttack began in 1977, alcohol-related fatalities have decreased from over 300 per year to an average of 65 related deaths*. Yet the sobering truth is that impaired driving still remains a top contributing factor for fatal crashes in B.C.

This holiday season, if you plan to drink, leave your car at home. There’s no excuse to drink and drive and there is always at least one smart alternate option—like arranging a designated driver, calling a taxi, taking transit or using Operation Red Nose where available. ICBC’s special event permit kit is also available to order for free on icbc.com for party hosts planning to serve alcohol, encouraging guests to not drink and drive.

Police will be stepping up impaired driving enforcement at CounterAttack roadchecks throughout B.C beginning December 1, 2017.

ICBC supports two impaired driving education campaigns every year and funds CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement.

The 40 year milestone of CounterAttack will also be recognized in local newspapers this month to mark the progress made to reduce the number of victims impacted by impaired driving.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General:

“Over two generations, CounterAttack and related educational activities have helped to change attitudes and behaviours, saving hundreds of lives on our roads. Still, enhanced enforcement during the holiday season remains vital. There is simply no excuse for drinking and driving, and those who do so should expect to lose their driving privileges, their vehicle, and face other severe consequences.”

Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“CounterAttack, along with tough penalties and education has impacted positively on driver behaviour. But the fact remains that people are still dying on B.C. roads because of impaired driving – either drugs or alcohol. One life is too many and the police will be out in force this holiday season to protect everyone using our roadways. We once again remind B.C. drivers: there is no excuse to drink and drive.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety

“Today, impaired driving is still one of the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C. These crashes are significant contributors to cost pressures on B.C. insurance rates. The fact is, impaired driving crashes are completely preventable. So if you plan to drink, leave your car at home or find an alternate way to get home safe.”

Additional statistics:*

  • On average, 16 people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.

  • On average, nine people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island every year.

  • On average, 22 people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes in the Southern Interiorevery year.

  • On average, 20 people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes in North Central B.C. every year.

*Fatal victim counts from police data based on five year average from 2012 to 2016. Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

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