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.



Mother Accused of Giving Baby Methadone Hit with $900,000 Lawsuit

Magan Michelle McDermott was recently criminally accused of “doping her 5-month-old baby with methadone, reportedly in an effort to get him to sleep.” As a result, she is now facing a $900,000 lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of her deceased son. The suit itself was filed last week and also seeks to stop McDermott from collecting a “$130,000 pending payment from the state for the death of her 15-year-old daughter, Gloria Joya.”


Confidential Settlement Reached Between Hospital and Family, Ending Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A settlement was recently reached between Concord Hospital and the family of Molly Banzhoff, ending a wrongful death suit the family had filed against the medical center. According to court records, the suit was settled back in mid-October. It was originally filed after the child, who was 13-years-old at the time of her death in the spring of 2016, “died of complications from an undetected brain tumor.”


Kroger Co. Recalls Shrimp Over Food-Borne Illness Concerns

If you’re planning on serving a platter of shrimp cocktail at your New Years Eve party, you might want to double check where your shrimp is coming from. Earlier this week, Kroger Co. issued a recall of “nine different kinds of cooked shrimp that actually is raw or under-cooked, raising the risk of food-borne illness.” The


Seattle West Coast Dockworker May Claim Pregnancy Discrimination in Potential Lawsuit

A pregnancy discrimination charge was recently filed against the Port of Seattle after a female longshore worker claimed she was “discriminated against while pregnant.” The woman, who has remained anonymous so far, “is the latest dockworker to claim pregnancy discrimination.” At the time the most recent charge was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “six other female workers at various West Coast ports” had also filed pregnancy discrimination charges. The women are being represented by “the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Southern California, the private law firm Outten & Golden and Los Angeles attorney Brenda Feigen.”


Wild Horse Sanctuary Loses Lawsuit Involving Conservation Easement

Earlier this month, the South Dakota Supreme Court rejected a wild horse sanctuary’s attempt to “rid itself of a conservation easement.” The horse sanctuary, known as the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, is located in southern Black Hills near Hot Springs. According to an opinion filed on Wednesday and written by Chief Justice David Gilbertson, the court “affirmed an earlier circuit court dismissal of a lawsuit from the Institute of Range and the American Mustang, which operates the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.”


Lawsuit Claims Bay Area Mushroom Grower Polluted Waterway with Manure

Monterey Mushrooms Inc. is at the center of a $67 million lawsuit over allegations that it “polluted a South Bay creek with manure.” The suit was filed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office earlier this week. According to the suit, the mushroom grower “intentionally dumped wastewater at its Morgan Hill facility containing toxic levels of ammonia into Fisher Creek, a 14-mile long ephemeral stream that flows into Coyote Creek, through the Coyote Valley of southern Santa Clara County, then into the San Francisco Bay.”


Family Files Lawsuit, Alleging Mother’s Ashes Were Swapped

Losing a loved one is difficult enough on its own, but couple that with the loss of your loved one’s remains and things may feel unbearable. Unfortunately, this is what happened to one Clayton County family, prompting them to file a lawsuit. According to the suit, which was filed earlier this week, the family of Paulette Patricia Bradley received the ashes of someone else when they went to lay Bradley to rest. Named as defendants in the suit are Southern Regional Medical Center, Speer-Shelton Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Atlanta.


Inspired Organics Expands Recall of Organic Nut Butter

Inspired Organics, LLC recently expanded a recall for some of its organic almond, peanut, and tahini butter over concerns that the products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The decision to expand the recall came about after additional testing revealed “positive test results for potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes.” The company’s original recall, which was issued earlier this month, was only for “jars of sunflower butter and specific lots of almond butter.”


Former Lincolnwood Firefighter and Paramedic Services of Illinois Agree to Confidential Settlement, Ending Dispute

A firefighter in Lincolnwood filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI), “a private company contracted by the village for firefighting services.” In the suit, the firefighter, Josh Weller, alleged “abusive behavior by PSI employees.” Recently, the suit was dismissed after the “two sides reached a confidential settlement,” according to attorney Brian Holman. Holman represented PSI during the legal proceedings.