Boeing Sued for Negligence in Southern California Wildfire

Boeing Co. was accused of negligence tied to a wildfire that tore through Malibu, California, in November and that purportedly started on the grounds of the nearby, disused Rocketdyne testing site.

A group of homeowners sued Boeing along with Edison International, the parent of the utility they say was at fault in igniting the fire, on Tuesday in Los Angeles. They claim Boeing failed to properly manage the vegetation on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and allowed the fire to spread to surrounding neighborhoods.

PG&E Contains California Gas Leak That Caused Major Explosion

PG&E Corp. has contained a natural gas leak from a pipe that exploded on Wednesday along a major thoroughfare in San Francisco, engulfing in flames a stretch known for its bars and restaurants.

The blaze, which had spread to at least five buildings as of Wednesday afternoon, triggered an evacuation order for people within a block of the site on Geary Boulevard — a major artery that leads into downtown San Francisco. Eight workers near the explosion were accounted for and no injuries were reported, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told reporters.

PG&E Could Kill Lights to Customers When California Wildfires Occur

Anyone who gets power from PG&E Corp. could see their lights go out this fire season.

Even the millions of Californians who live outside risky areas could be left in the dark under a sweeping proposal the utility filed Wednesday. That’s because it wants regulators to approve the inclusion of more high-voltage lines in its power-shutoff plan for periods of elevated fire risk. PG&E filed for bankruptcy last week in the face of fire-damage claims that could exceed $30 billion.

Effectively Responding to Active Shooters in Healthcare Facilities

Active shooter incidents have been on the rise throughout the United States. The most recent FBI data has identified 250 healthcare active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2017, in which 799 people were killed and an additional 1,418 were wounded. In the first half of that period, there was an average of 6.7 incidents per year. That number has tripled to over 20 incidents per year in the second half of that period.

Additionally, the Annals of Emergency Medicine published a 2012 study that examined all U.S. hospital shootings between 2000 and 2011 in which there was at least one injured victim. It identified 154 incidents in 40 states causing death or injury to a staggering 235 people.

Which Global Risks Are Increasing In 2019?

Every year, prior to the big event in Davos Switzerland where movers and shakers from around the world get together, the World Economic Forum produces a Global Risks Report. The report includes a survey of around one thousand members of their stakeholder communities. The results reported are worth the attention of executives that participate in risk management programs at their companies.

Can you be held personally liable in an employment lawsuit?

Case law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), generally holds individuals cannot be found liable.

Unfortunately, the clear language in case law supporting the dismissal of individuals has not prevented plaintiffs from bringing claims under these statutes. For example, a federal court judge in Oregon recently outlined this costly and questionable practice in his opinion in a case involving Starbucks, stating:

New method to determine how safe buildings are after an earthquake

Deciding when it's safe for a building's residents to move back in after an earthquake is a major challenge and responsibility for civil engineers. Not only do they have to evaluate whether the building could collapse, but also whether it could withstand aftershocks of the same magnitude. The good news is, some promising research is being carried out in this field.

Scientists at EPFL's Applied Computing and Mechanics Laboratory (IMAC) have come up with a new method that can increase the accuracy of these types of assessments. It is based on taking measurements of a building's ambient vibrations, and can be used to enhance existing methods and speed the process for determining which structures are too fragile to live in. The study – by Yves Reuland (lead author), Pierino Lestuzzi and Ian F.C. Smith – appears in the January issue of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering.

FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center in Paradise, Calif., Offering Services to Camp Fire Victims

(TNS)— With deadlines approaching for Camp Fire victims to get assistance, FEMA has opened a new disaster recovery center in Paradise to connect residents with emergency services.

The second phase of debris removal has begun, said Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Jovanna Garcia, and Paradise is beginning to fill with people again. Some businesses have reopened, some people whose houses survived the fire have moved back in, and people are coming through every day to return to their properties.

California Utility Equipment Sparked More Than 2,000 Fires in Over Three Years

(TNS) — Equipment owned by California's three largest utilities ignited more than 2,000 fires in three years — a timespan in which state regulators cited and fined the companies nine times for electrical safety violations.

How the state regulates utilities is under growing scrutiny following unprecedented wildfires suspected to have been caused by power line issues, blazes that have destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people.

When it comes to cybersecurity, states are the weak link

Every year, we receive the same news: Cyber threats against the United States are on the rise. This year, though, we have some good news: Federal government officials are finally taking these threats seriously. These officials are committed to developing a cyber strategy and working hard to shore up the nation’s virtual defenses. Congress is exploring ways to reorganize its own technology research capabilities. The military is figuring out how to put Silicon Valley to use.

Governments at the state level, however, are lagging.

Cybersecurity suffers from the weak-link problem: Weaknesses in one area can put entire systems at risk. With cyberattacks affecting state and local governments every day, the United States cannot afford to let state-level cybersecurity go unaddressed.

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