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.


Final Obama-Era Workplace Rule Delayed By OSHA

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that it will delay one of President Obama’s final workplace protections aimed at protecting “workers from a dangerous element known as beryllium.” Finalized in January of this year, the new rule was intended to go into effect on March 21. However, with OSHA’s delay, the protection won’t be implemented until May 20. Why so late? Well, the delay is partly because OSHA wants to further review the rule, and partly because of President Trump’s regulatory freeze he “initiated when he took office.”


Twenty States Join Forces Against Generic Drug Price-Fixing

We’ve heard a lot about generic drug price-fixing lately. From Mylan and their Epipen fiasco to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, consumers are wondering when someone will step in to make this price gouging stop before drugs like the Epipen simply become unaffordable. Well, that time has come. According to the Connecticut attorney general’s office, twenty states across the U.S., including California and Illinois, have joined a lawsuit that was filed last year, “alleging that six companies, including Mylan NV and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, conspired to push up prices of two generic drugs.”


Family Has Yet To See Money Since $17 Million Malpractice Verdict

Nebraska made history when it handed down the largest malpractice verdict in the state’s history that should have resulted in an injured young girl receiving $17 million to pay for the professional care she will need for the rest of her life. However, a year and a half has gone by since the verdict and not a dime has been paid so far. So what’s the holdup?


Did PayPal Divert Donations To Different Charities?

PayPal is under fire after news broke that it allegedly “misled tens of thousands of people about charitable donations made on the company’s platform.” As a result, a class action lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in Illinois that claims “the PayPal Giving Fund would tell users they were donating to a specific organization of their choice,” when in all actuality the company was redirecting donation funds to a different charity without letting donors or original charities know.


Lawsuit Alleges Toddler’s Wrongful Death Was Part of Medicaid Scheme

For the parents of a 14-month-old girl, a simple trip to the dentist cost their child her life. Now, the girl’s family is suing Austin Children’s Dentistry, including their daughter’s dentist, the dental practice, the anesthesiologist and the company he works for, Texas Anesthesiology Association, for the wrongful death of their daughter. But what happened? How did the girl, Daisy Lynn Torres, die at the dentist office? Well, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office, she tragically passed away back on March 29, 2016, as a “result of anesthesia administered for the treatment of tooth decay.”


CFPB Warns Of Student Loan Data Errors

Student loan debt is something many graduates find themselves saddled with for years, or even decades, after graduation. Unfortunately, this means they have to endure the occasional tango with student loan servicers, whether to determine monthly payment amounts, repayment plans or to address other questions and concerns that might arise over the life of a loan. The last thing on the minds of graduates and students alike is whether or not their student loan servicer is being honest with them and not trying to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, it seems some student loan servicers haven’t been playing nice lately, which prompted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue a warning on Monday to consumers to “pay close attention to their personal information on record with student loan servicers as errors are popping up that can cost borrowers dearly.”


Pediatricians-In-Training At High Risk for Burnout

Burnout is a serious problem among those working in the medical field, but studies suggest that pediatricians-in-training are especially vulnerable to burnout. Unfortunately, this burnout could lead to an increase in medical errors or residents taking “shortcuts during treatment.” How so? Well, pediatricians-in-training, often referred to as ‘residents,’ typically “work extremely long hours,” contributing to the likelihood of burnout. According to a recent study, “irregular work hours, sleep deprivation and limited leisure time” puts residents at a high risk for burnout, and “as many as three in four residents report feeling burned out in their jobs.”


Lawsuit Filed Over Drowning Death In Demi Moore’s Pool

The death of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, especially when it could have been avoided. This is the situation that Jorge and Maria Valle faced a year and a half ago when they learned that their 21-year-old son, Edenilson Steven Valle, drowned in actress Demi Moore’s swimming pool. How could his death have been avoided? Well, according to a lawsuit filed by the Valle family, their son “had said he could not swim, making it unlikely he voluntarily entered the deep end of the pool.” As a result, they’re suing the “Tree House Trust that owns the Beverly Hills home, and Bessy Wong and Lenny Hernandez” who hosted the party back on July 19, 2015, where Valle drowned.


Maine Senator Protecting Senior Citizens From Car Insurance Hikes

Senator Bill Diamond (D) is pursuing legislation that will further protect Maine senior citizens from insurance rate increases due to their age. Diamond’s actions come on the heels of a dispute between Progressive and Maine Superintendent of Insurance, Eric Cioppa, last year when Progressive sought approval for “rate changes that would allow the company to charge older Mainers higher auto insurance premiums based solely on their age.” Fortunately, Progressive’s proposal was shot down by Cioppa, but Diamond wants to ensure “seniors in the state are protected against similar attempts from insurance companies in the future.”


Think Car Seats Don’t Have Expiration Dates? Think Again.

Any family with kids has a car seat or two…or three. From infant car seats and convertible seats to booster seats, there are many types of car seats on the market to keep children safe as they grow. But did you know they can expire? I didn’t, until now. Turns out car seats, like many other things, are only good for so long. I suppose this shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering the fact that car seats are made from plastic, and depending on the climate you live in, things like varying temperature changes and every day wear and tear and degrade a car seat over time. That’s why it’s important to check expiration dates on car seats and replace them as needed for your child’s safety.