Authors Posts by Brianna Smith

Brianna Smith

Brianna Smith
Brianna Smith is a freelance writer and editor in Southwest Michigan. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Brianna has a passion for politics, social issues, education, science, and more. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the simple life with her husband, daughter, and son.
Between July 2009 and March 2014, many households across the country received calls from an unfamiliar number that turned out to be a pre-recorded message informing the homeowner that they qualified for a free cruise. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it was, and given the fact that many people received multiple calls from the unfamiliar number, a class-action lawsuit was filed to bring an end to the robocalls. Fortunately for members of the lawsuit, a settlement was announced earlier this week. But who was responsible for the phone calls? Who filed the lawsuit?
The city of Baltimore is set to pay out $98,000 to settle a free speech lawsuit filed by a “former deputy who sued Sheriff John W. Anderson for firing him after he spoke out about a raid that resulted in him getting shot.” The payment will be issued by Baltimore’s Board of Estimates, “which is controlled by Mayor Catherine Pugh.” The decision to settle was made when the former deputy, James Lane, agreed to drop the lawsuit if the payment was issued. It’s important to note that this latest payment is in addition to “a $160,000 settlement approved by the state’s Board of Public Works in January.”
Due to concerns of possible Salmonella enteriditis contamination, a Michigan poultry farm is recalling “shell eggs in eight counties.” The recall was issued shortly after an environmental sample from a “foodborne illness outbreak investigation” detected the presence of salmonella at LaBar Poultry Farm in Manistique. The farm itself is owned by Jeff and Heidi LaBar, and so far they, along with the Michigan agriculture department and the health department have been silent on the matter, media outlets report that LaBar Poultry Farm “has recalled eggs distributed to restaurants, grocery stores and directly to consumers.”
A voluntary recall has been issued for Kawasaki “all-terrain vehicles due to fire hazard.” Though 18 reports of fuel leaks have been reported to Kawasaki, no one has been hurt so far.
To settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, UPS has “agreed to pay a total of $2 million to nearly 90 current and former employees” across the country. The lawsuit was first filed on behalf of the employees by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) back in 2009, and alleged UPS had “violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it failed to provide employees with reasonable accommodations and maintained an 'inflexible' leave policy that automatically fired employees when they reached 12 months of leave, without an interactive process.”
A settlement has been reached between the family of Cassidy Charette and the owner of Harvest Hill Farm in Mechanic Falls, bringing an end to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family. The lawsuit itself was filed after 17-year-old Cassidy Charette “died in a hayride crash” on October 11, 2014. The tragic accident happened when the wagon on the hayride attraction “went out of control after a brake failure, killing the Oakland teenager and injuring more than 20 other people.” Additionally, investigations revealed that the 1979 Jeep used to haul the wagon also had many safety issues. So basically, the lawsuit was filed as a way to not only seek justice for their daughter’s death but to also hold the farm accountable for what happened.
ABC News and Beef Products Inc. finally reached a settlement over “an ABC News report about so-called pink slime, a once-common ingredient in ground beef.” The trial began earlier this month after Beef Products Inc claimed the news report “wreaked havoc on its business after it aired in 2012,” misleading viewers and causing “hundreds of layoffs.”
According to recent studies, including one from “TransUnion, a company that helps hospitals collect unpaid bills,” more and more people are failing to pay off their entire hospital bills. In fact, according to TransUnion, “more than two-thirds of patients aren't paying” off their bills, “and that number could increase to 95 percent by 2020.”
A settlement has been reached between the city of St. Louis and a high-ranking police officer, bringing an end to one of three racial or gender discrimination lawsuits against the city. The officer, Major Michael Caruso, originally sued the city over allegations that “he was passed over for the same job that Jones was passed over because he was white.” While his attorneys haven’t released any details about Caruso’s lawsuit and the settlement, they did confirm “it’s been resolved.”
A $47,500 settlement has been announced by West Hartford’s town council earlier this week, bringing an end to a four-year lawsuit between the family of a former ice skating instructor and the city. The lawsuit was first filed by the family alleging that the skating instructor “died from injuries she sustained while working for the town.”