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.


4 Years After Patient Death, VA Employee Finally Suspended

Fredrick Harris, an employee of the Alexandria Veterans Affairs Health Care System, has finally been suspended indefinitely after being charged in a patient death four years ago. What has Harris been doing for the last four years? Well, he was allowed to continue working.


Recall Issued for Little Tikes Pink Swings

Warmer weather is right around the corner, which means families will soon be spending a lot of time outside. Unfortunately, a popular toddler swing has recently been recalled due to safety concerns by Little Tikes and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Exactly what swing has been recalled, and how many? The swing in question is the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure pink swings, and an estimated 540,000 have been recalled so far.


Poorly Designed Hospitals Are Making Us Sicker

From poorly designed rooms that increase the chance of patients falling, to loud noises and a lack of privacy, some suggest that hospitals and how they’re designed might be making patients sicker. According to a New York Times article, “hospitals are among the most expensive facilities to build, with complex infrastructures, technologies, regulations and safety codes,” but new evidence has found that we have been building them wrong. The way hospitals are currently built leads to high numbers of hospital-acquired infections, little to no privacy for patients, falling risks, loud noises, and an overall poor patient experience.


Lawsuit Filed Against Major Insulin Manufacturers Accused of Fixing Prices

Insulin is one of those medications that is absolutely necessary for the continued health of millions of Americans. In fact, about six million of the 29 million Americans who live with diabetes require insulin just to stay alive. Unfortunately, the price for this precious medication has shot up in price over recent years. Between 2002 and 2013 alone, insulin prices “more than tripled, to more than $700 per patient.” Fortunately for consumers, we may see an end to these dramatic price hikes because a federal lawsuit has been filed against the three big insulin manufacturers, accusing them of “conspiring to raise their prices.”


Penske Settles Lawsuit With Drivers Over California-Required Breaks

Penske Logistics has finally agreed to pay 344 current and former drivers $750,000 to settle an 8-year-old class action lawsuit that challenged the company’s “alleged denial of state-required breaks for its drivers.” The settlement agreement was filed back on February 6, and will award the three lead plaintiffs $15,000 each while the “rest of the drivers will receive a share of the remaining settlement.” Attorney fees and court costs for the plaintiffs will also be covered by the settlement.


New Bill Would Require Religious Daycares To Be Licensed and Inspected

A new bill has been introduced in Alabama by Republican and Democrat lawmakers that would get rid of the “God loophole” for religious daycares. What’s the God loophole, you’re wondering? This loophole is a law that has been around for a long time that currently “exempts more than 900 religious day cares from state oversight.” The bill, known as the Child Care Safety Act, would “require all day cares in Alabama to be licensed and inspected, and they would have to meet basic safety standards such as child-to-staff ratios and worker training.”


Christopher Duntsch Gets Life In Prison Over Questionable Surgeries

After a 13-day trial in a Dallas County Courtroom where a jury heard accounts and statements from more than “a dozen patients,” Christopher Duntsch was sentenced to life in prison. Nicknamed “Doctor Death,” Duntsch was accused of “crippling four patients and causing the deaths of two others between July 2012 and June 2013” while working as a neurosurgeon for a number of different hospitals throughout Dallas and Collin counties.


Lawsuits Filed Against the Estate of Deceased Marlins Pitcher, Jose Fernandez

Accidents happen all the time, but they’re even worse when lives are lost because of them. Unfortunately for Marlins pitcher, Jose Fernandez, and two of his friends, a boating accident last September ended their lives, sparking lawsuits. So far, two lawsuits have been formally filed against the estate of Jose Fernandez. Both of the lawsuits allege that Fernandez “owed his passengers a reasonable degree of care on the morning his boat crashed into a jetty.”


Sargento Foods Inc. Expands Voluntary Cheese Recall

Food recalls have been a hot topic in the news lately, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. Recently, Sargento Foods Inc. decided to expand it’s “voluntary recall of cheese due to potential listeria contamination.” Based in Plymouth, Wisconsin, the company has recalled a total of 14 different cheese products so far, including consumer favorites like “sliced Colby, muenster, pepper jack, tomato & basil jack; shredded reduced fat Colby-jack, chef blends four cheese pizzeria, artisan blends double cheddar; ultra thin sliced longhorn Colby; chef blends shredded nacho and taco; off the block fine cut shredded Colby-jack and cheddar-jack.”


Are the Elderly More Vulnerable To Investment Fraud?

A recent study commissioned by the AARP Fraud Watch Network found that “older people who are active investors and who prefer unregulated investments may be more susceptible to investment fraud.” The study was carried out by reaching out to “200 known victims of investment fraud” for telephone interviews, as well as conducting “800 interviews with members of the investing public.”