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.


Columbia University Settles Lawsuit with Former Student Accused of Rape

The lawsuit between Paul Nungesser and Columbia University has finally been settled. Nungesser, a former student of the university, filed a lawsuit against Columbia back in 2015 on allegations that the “university supported an outrageous display of harassment and defamation after fellow student Emma Sulkowicz held protests around campus where people openly called him a rapist.” Before the recent settlement was announced, the suit had been dismissed on two separate occasions.



Lawsuit Alleges Racial Discrimination in St. Louis Police Department

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.”



Salmonella Outbreak Spreads, Prompting Recall of Cavi Papayas

It turns out Grande Produce isn’t the only produce distributor having problems with their papayas. Earlier this week Agroson’s LLC, a New York produce distributor, issued a recall for “Cavi brand maradol papayas because they were grown on a farm in Mexico that produced other brands of papaya that are linked to a deadly Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. that has sickened more than 100 people.” According to the recall, the potentially contaminated produce was shipped to stores and wholesalers throughout Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.


Franciscan Health Agrees to $15M Settlement in Medical Malpractice Case

When many parents head to the hospital for the birth of a child, they do so with the expectation that they will be leaving with a happy, healthy, bouncing baby. The last thing on their minds is that the hospital staff will make a life changing mistake. This was the unfortunate reality for one Sauk Village family. Fortunately, a settlement has finally been reached between the family of Nyelle Brown and Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago Heights. The case settled for $15 million and was the result of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the health center back in 2013 in response to the severe brain damage Nyelle suffered during her birth in January 2011.


Airbnb Fines Host Amid Racial Discrimination Allegations

When most people book a stay at an Airbnb, the last thing they expect to experience is discrimination of any form. Unfortunately for Dyne Suh, a 26-year-old law clerk, she faced racial discrimination when she booked a “mountain cabin in Big Bear, California, for $250 a night from Tami Barker for a skiing weekend with friends.” As a result, “Suh complained to both Airbnb and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH),” and Barker was “fined $5,000 for racial discrimination and will have to take a course in Asian-American studies.”


Bestherbs Coffee LLC Coffee Recalled Over Viagra-Like Ingredient

Coffee fans beware. A new voluntary recall has been issued by Bestherbs Coffee LLC for “New Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee” after an FDA laboratory reported the coffee contained “an ingredient similar to what’s in the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.” The ingredient in question is desmethyl carbodenafil, and though the product has been “marketed as


Caribeña Papayas Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

A nationwide recall has been issued by the FDA for Caribeña papayas. Why? Well, it turns out they’re linked to a salmonella outbreak that has already “killed one person and sickened 46 others.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of “47 people in 12 states have been sickened by salmonella-contaminated fruit…. Twelve people have been hospitalized and one has died.”


Trump Appoints Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle as Chairman of CPSC

Earlier this week, President Trump announced that he was nominating “former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle to serve as chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.” For those unfamiliar with her, Buerkle is a Republican who has spent the last handful of years involved in politics. She “represented the Syracuse area for one term in Congress in 2011 and 2012,” and has “been serving as acting chair on the commission since February.”